• Accessibility option (IE 6 SP1)


    Sometimes web pages are unreadable (particularly with those people who think black backgrounds and vibrant colors are “cool”). The way to easily read pages like this is to go to IE Tools | Options | Accessibility and check the box on for “Ignore colors specified on Web pages”. Obviously, this takes 4 clicks to set and then 4 more clicks to undo. Does any one have a script or something attached to a custom toolbar buttoon that would allow this setting to be toggled on/off with a single click?

    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • #648811

      A quick & dirty solution to this problem is to just select the text you want to read with the mouse, so that it’s highlighted. Sometimes that does wonders for legibility. OK, for occasional brief use, but your option is better when a lot of material is involved.

      • #648935

        I know it is not the ideal solution to the original answer, but FYI, the Windows standard Ctrl+A (to Select All) seems to select and highlight the entire page in one hit…

        • #649022

          Of course! blush I forgot the obvious, because a page I access routnely has only section on it that needs the “treatment” (anyway, that’s my story). grin

        • #649051

          Hey, it works for me! I can’t find any guru who can tell me how to make IE “reload” or “reinitialize”. IE obviously does it when you click OK in that Accessibility box, but at least for today, all the gurus have been silent. frown

          Obviously, there must be SOME call that can be made to have IE re-read the registry. I don’t know what it is….

    • #648862

      Interesting question. First let us see what that button does in your registry. The first time you use that button, the following vaules are added to the registry:

      HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSettingsAlways Use My Colors: 0x00000001
      HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSettingsAlways Use My Font Face: 0x00000000
      HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSettingsAlways Use My Font Size: 0x00000000
      HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerStylesUser Stylesheet: “”
      HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerStylesUse My Stylesheet: 0x00000000

      Now, the first one is clearly important — but it seems to be necessary but not sufficient. Hmmmm…. the other four values are essentially set to “zero” — so why isn’t it JUST the first one?? The first one is the only one that seems to address just the colors and nothing else.

      Duh, it seems that the first time you click “OK” in the Accessibility box, ALL of the values needed for the Accessibility settings are added to your registry. However, since I only placed a check in the colors box, it was the only value set to something other than zero.

      However, simply changing that registry value to “1” and Refreshing the screen is not doing th trick. Time to dig some more….

      • #648883

        OK, this is simply bizarre. The registry value clearly is linked to the Accessibility check box. If I set the check box in the dialog box, the registry value changes — and the screen is refreshed with the modified colors.

        However, if I approach it the other way around — modifying the registry value and manually Refreshing the screen, the colors do NOT change. Something else has to occur — but I am not sure what. No other permanent registry changes are made. The entire IE registry settings are queried, however, this happens with each manual Refresh as well. So there is no net difference that I can identify.

        The image belows demonstrates the enigma. My personal settings here on the lounge are for the green lizard skin background. If I go into the Accessibility dialog box and check “Ignore colors…” then click “OK”, the screen is refreshed to a bright white background with black plain text and blue for links — as pictured.

        However, if I modify the registry value for “Always Use My Colors” from “1” to “0”, and then requery the Accessibility dialog box — the box and my registry are in complete agreement. BUT… IE is still displaying “My Colors” — despite my Refreshing the screen.

        Something else needs to be done — because everything is correct if I EXIT and REOPEN Internet Explorer. There is some other advanced ‘Refresh’ that needs to occur. I remember something about this a long time ago… Time to ask the experts. smile

        • #648891

          WRONG!! I stand corrected.

          There is a major difference between the entire re-reading of the registry’s IE settings and with a simple Refresh. The Refresh button ONLY refreshes the URL.

          We need the script command to “Reload” IE’s settings. That should be possible… give me some time.

          The overall solution is quite simple. For anyone who wants to help in my absence, here are the steps:

          1) Create a script to toggle the “colors” registy value between “1” and “0” — plus have this script “reload” IE so that the colors value is re-read and utilized.
          2) Place this script inside an HTML file (.htm) and move this file into the “%Windows%Web” folder on your Hard Drive.
          3) Add a Context Menu Extension for IE by making the appropriate registry modifications in this key:
          HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMenuExt
          (I will be able to make the registry changes in seconds — once we get the script up and running).

          When all is said and done, you will have right-click option to Toggle On/Off Colors. smile GOOD IDEA! I like it.

          • #649263

            Reply to self: smile

            OK, so far no one can give me script to do this. So, the right-click option is out — but, the concept is not. To force IE to re-read the registry, I need to “broadcast a WM_SETTINGCHANGE message to all top level windows”. This is partially described in the MSDN here.

            I can do this in Visual Basic, so I will need create an applet that will toggle the registry value and then broadcast this command. I don’t think I can easily tie this into a right-click extension (that is more conveniently done in script), but I can make it a menu drop-down item or a toolbar button.

            If I have time, I will look into this later today….

            • #649324

              OK, OK. Pay dirt. smile One still needs to use the executable file to “Reinitialize” Internet Explorer — but all we have to do is write a line of script to RUN the executable. That is easy — so it seems.

              To accomplish this task several items need to be created:

              1) An HTML file (.htm) holding the script to “Toggle” the registry value — and the line to run the executable.
              2) A .reg file to modify your registry and give you the right-click Context Menu.
              3) The executable file that refreshes the IE window.

              The .htm and the .exe files need to be moved into a safe place, and the usual storage place for MenuExtensions in the %WinDir%Web folder. So, move those there. The .reg file can be stored there are well, but it does not have to be. It can be discarded once it is run.

              The HTML file looks like this:

              Dim WshShell, bKey

              Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
              bKey = 0

              On Error Resume Next
              bKey = WshShell.RegRead(“HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSettingsAlways Use My Colors”)
              On Error GoTo 0

              If (bKey = 0) Then
              WshShell.RegWrite “HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSettingsAlways Use My Colors”, 1, “REG_DWORD”
              WshShell.RegWrite “HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSettingsAlways Use My Colors”, 0, “REG_DWORD”
              End If

              WshShell.Exec “C:windowswebSettingsHaveChanged.exe”


              To be consistent with the rest of this, you need to name this file “ToggleDefaultColors.htm”. Also note that this is written for Win98. Your path to your WEB folder may be different. If so, you need to modify the script to point to your Web folder.

              Next, the .reg file looks like this:



              [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMenuExtToggle Default Colors]

              And the simple executable file is attached.

              I don’t know of any other way to pull this off….

            • #649379

              Seems to work like a charm! Hope this is what you were looking for.

            • #649423

              Well, here is a compiled executable that ‘does it all’. You can use this in several ways:

              1) You can stick it in any folder, then place a shortcut to it on your QuickLaunch bar.
              2) You can place a shortcut to it in your Favorites.
              3) You can place a shortcut to it on your Links bar.
              4) I can make an IE toolbar button for you.
              5) I can make a Tools menu drop-down item.

              The last two items are generally linked — to make a toolbar button, you essentially have to create the Tools menu item first, then link it to a button that can be optionally placed on the toolbar.

              Take your pick! smile

            • #649424

              And here is a side-by-side image of the executable working through a button on the QuickLaunch Bar.

              OK, I am outta here. Cool question. Thanks.

            • #649447

              R2: Great stuff! Very instructive. Thanks!

              I downloaded the executable. I guess I can muck around with making a right-click entry in IE but if you already have a .reg for this, could you post it? I think a right-click entry would be the best solution but some may want a toolbar button. I have like 60 links in my link bar already, so that isn’t a good idea for me….

            • #649491

              (Edited by TimOz on 31-Jan-03 16:58. fixed a smilie)

              I grabbed a copy too, it’s good stuff! clapping Now why didn’t MS build it in?

              About your 60 links – have you considered ‘nesting’ your links? That is, create sub folders in your links folder for related items. For example, I’ve got my ‘news paper’ links all in a subfolder. If you’re already doing that, pretend I wasn’t here. grin invisible

            • #649699

              >About your 60 links – have you considered ‘nesting’ your links? That is, create sub folders in your links folder for related items. For example, I’ve got my ‘news paper’ links all in a subfolder. If you’re already doing that, pretend I wasn’t here. <

              I didn't know that you could nest links on the link bar. How do you it? Through Explorer?

            • #649710

              There may be other means, but I use explorer. When you do it the new folders will act as “fly out” menus within Links.

              The easiest way to get to to your Links folder, if you use XP, is to open Favorites from the Start Menu, find the Links folder. right-click it and select Open. Then you can treat the same as any folder, create new folders in it, and move your IE shortcuts around to suit the way you use them. (I organise my Favorites the same way, rather than the “organiser” MS supplies.)

              The direct explore path to your links, in XP, is “C:Documents and SettingsFavoritesLinks”. From memory, under w98 it is “C:WINDOWSProfilesFavoritesLinks”. (In each case replace “” with your user id.)

            • #649714

              At least on my computer, you can just locate the Links folder in the Favorites Explorer Bar, right-click, and select Open or Explore.

              Additionally, you can get to an Explorer view of your Favorites by using the Menu bar, selecting Favorites, then hold the Shift key while selecting Organize Favorites. Once you have your Favorites opened in an Explorer window, simply select the Links sub-folder.

            • #649798

              joy Learn something new everyday! That Shift+Organise from the menu bar is clever

            • #649546

              Believe it or not, everything you need is posted above. I usually prefer to let people make their own .reg and .htm files so that they can make adjustments for various operating systems and personal configurations. It is very easy to do.

              The .reg file is made by:

              1) Open NotePad to a new sheet.
              2) Copy the stuff above beteween the dotted lines for the .reg file — start at “REGEDIT4” and end at “=hex:00”.
              3) Paste this into the new NotePad sheet.
              4) Save this file to your Desktop as “ToggleColors.reg” (or something easy to remember) — you have to use “Save as type: All files (*.*)” for this to be effective.

              Now you have your .reg file.

              Note: this was designed for Win9x, so if you have Win2K-XP you will need to modify it to point to your “Web” folder. My guess is that this would be “C:WinNTWeb” — but you could have it anywhere. Since I don’t know where your Web folder is, I did not post a .reg file. Remember, in .reg files use TWO backslashes between directories (i.e., C:WinNTWeb).

              One of the ‘optional’ sections of this is the “contexts” line (and because of your question I just realized the “s” was originally left off of my post). It is NOT necessary, and as it stands, it is NOT even functional. If you desire, you can use this line to make this Context Menu item appear in various, eh, contexts.

              Lastly, another optional item is the underlined “hotkey” letter. As it stands, there is no letter assigned to be a “hotkey”. This is because some users may have already assigned letters to other Context Menu items. For example, the “C” may be assigned to “Copy Location” and the “D” may be assigned to “Document Tree”.

              If you have a desire to have one of the letters be an underlined “hotkey”, simply place an ampersand (&) before the desired letter in the item’s name. For example, “…MenuExt&Toggle Default Colors” makes the “T” a hotkey.

              For more information on creating IE Context Menu items, I recommend reading this:
              Adding Entries to the Standard Context Menu.

              Now, the posted HTML file works the exact same way — you can create the thing yourself using NotePad. The only line that is “user-specific” is this one:

              WshShell.Exec “C:windowswebSettingsHaveChanged.exe”

              Again, this is trying to point to your “Web” folder, and for Win2K-XP, this may be C:WinNTWeb — I really don’t know. The key issue is that this must point to the “SettingsHaveChanged.exe” executable file. So, this line needs to identify where you decided to store that file. Remember, in HTML you DON’T need to use double backslashes for the path.

              Also, for this to work, the name of this HTML file MUST match the name of the file listed in the .reg file: “ToggleDefaultColors.htm” — and this file must be moved to the location specified in the .reg file. All of the pieces of the puzzle must point to the other pieces in the correct manner, or this will not be successful.

              Now, I would love to have been able to not post an .exe file for this to work — many people are very skeptical to download and run .exe files off the Internet — and rightfully so. However, I could find no easy answer for this problem without using one. Specifically, the other members of this lounge gave me absolutely no assistance in coding this any other way! (here and here — jab, jab, jab!) smile

              The attached .exe file is very simple and very safe — it uses SendMessageTimeout to “broadcast” a WM_SETTINGCHANGE message to all top level windows. This essentially “refreshes” or “reinitializes” all open programs — including Internet Explorer. I could not easily find a method to specifically force ONLY Internet Explorer to do this, so I was left with using this. Since it works fine, I am going to accept it.

              Because it uses a “Timeout” function, this .exe file will not “hang” your computer if one of the running program fails to respond. So, I believe you will find it to be very safe.

            • #652515

              Using X-Setup, I manged to add a menu drop down item on the TOOLS meenu for ToggleColors and it works perfectly. I also added this as a toolbar button BUT the icon isn’t picking up, so it is an invisible button (kind of cool actually). The icon I am drawing from is on a logical disk, not C: drive. Is there some restriction that the toolbar icons must come from C:?

              The command also works in another browser I am now using called Slim Browser at http://www.flashpeak.com/. But here you have to hit F5/Refresh for it to toggle.

            • #652527

              If you are using XP Pro, you can create a custom button and seamlessly incorporate it’s action and icon directly into the Internet Explorer toolbar by using Run > gpedit.msc > User Configuration > Windows Settings > Internet Explorer Maintentance > Browser User Interface > Browser Toolbar Customizations.

              Incidently, for any of you folks who may be interested – XP Pro’s ‘gpedit.msc’ also allows the means for disabling and preventing the use of Messenger.

            • #652577

              I don’t use X-Setup, but try the C: drive as the icon source path and see if that works.

    • #649079

      The best thing I have found was I do NOT go back to that web page. It must be VERY important for me to go back. I even send the webmaster a email and let them know. If it is a company web site I will let some one who might care why their pages are NOT being hit.

      DaveA I am so far behind, I think I am First
      Genealogy....confusing the dead and annoying the living

      • #649109

        Hi, Dave ~

        ranton I completely agree and typically adhere to your philosophy. Furthermore, I do find discontentment with what seems to be a growing pervasiveness with general apathy towards the customer and the ease with which to do so with the ability to side-step P2P contact.

        I am a firm believer that when price and product are the same, success is dependent upon customer service…..quality customer service. rantoff

        pardon the jollyroger

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    Reply To: Accessibility option (IE 6 SP1)

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