The expetiments reported here were designed to investigate the extent to which subjects perceive the contour of three-letter strings composed of permutations of the letters (k, x) or (d, o, p). The strings were presented for 100 ms at various retinal eccentricities. 13 subjects were required to report the entire letter string. Both average contour scores and individual letter scores decrease with eccentricity. Position in the string appears to be of paramount importance, letters farthest from the fovea showing the best performance. The extensions of the letters seem to be salient cues for perceptual analysis. Shortening of the extensions causes reduced accuracy in contour recognition.