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  • Dark Mode keeps browser windows white and too bright. Is there a workaround?

    Posted on OscarCP Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems macOS Dark Mode keeps browser windows white and too bright. Is there a workaround?

    This topic contains 14 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  OscarCP 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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    • #1981228 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Dark Mode, first introduced in Mojave (my current macOS) is helpful and I’ve always preferred to read white text on a black background whenever I could make a choice of colors: much easier on my eyes.

      However, Dark Mode does nothing to change the white background and dark lettering of browser windows (at least those of Safari, Waterfox and Chrome). Is there some way to get this eye relief, for example to dim considerably the background and turn lettering from black to white, or choose a darker color for the background and a contrasting one for the text? Changing the background color to some more eye-soothing than bright white used to be possible in older versions of Windows, but it is gone now, at least from Windows 7 after installing some patches quite while ago. The way it worked was that a background color could be chosen for all windows, including those of browsers, not just for the ones of the OS or related application software, as with Dark Mode.

      One could always dim the screen, but that does little to help, because reading black lettering on a darker background is also stressful to the eyes.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1981345 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      Waterfox and Firefox have a setting that will allow you to change the background color to one of your choosing, or to the system colors if you wish.  It’s in Preferences/ Content/ Colors.  If it used to work in a way you like but no longer does, it is possible that this setting was once set to always override page colors and to use the system colors, so the background of all web pages would be the same as your OS.  If so, selecting those options now may give you what you want.

      The last time I used that mode by default was a few years ago, but it had a few downsides.  One was that it had the effect of making some popup menus on sites transparent and hard to read (as the text collided with whatever was supposed to be behind the popup).  As such, I used an addon to toggle between my colors and the default page colors.  The one I use now is called Monochro, a Classic addon that will not work with Firefox anymore, and it should be in the Classic Addon Archive (use the “releases” link to get the addon that enables the CAA: protocol for the Classic Addon Archive). For people using Firefox proper, there are Webextensions addons similar to Monochro.

      I used to use the above method as my main method of taming the white backgrounds (I’ve been doing that since before Firefox existed, when Mozilla’s only product was the Mozilla Suite, now Seamonkey), but it’s not perfect. I already mentioned the popup menu problem, but it’s not the only issue with using my own colors.  A lot of pages use background images as content, even though the whole point of marking up backgrounds as “backgrounds” is to let the browser know they are not content and can be discarded.  You end up missing out on content from a lot of miscoded web pages, so I ended up toggling my colors on and off a lot, which got tedious.

      For automatically dimming web pages, now I use Page Shadow, from the regular Firefox repo (it’s a Webextension, but it works fine with Waterfox), which I set to darken pages by 12%, making the blistering white a nice light grey, with plenty of contrast remaining between that and the black text.  I can toggle that on and off with the toolbar icon (which I have in the lower right, on the status bar) and it will remember the settings on a per-site basis, if you wish.  For users of Chromium-based browsers, there is a Chrome version in the Chrome Web Store.

      Page Shadow takes over 95% of what I used to use Monochro for, so I seldom need to use Monochro anymore, but it’s still a nice tool when sites choose backgrounds or color combinations that are hard to read.  I never had any trouble reading the text on the right hand panel here on AskWoody.com, but if I did, I could just hit the Monochro button and have the woodgrain disappear and be replaced with my chosen background color (a correct use of a background!).

      If there was a site I use often that had that sort of readability issue, I would use Stylus to create a custom style for that site to remove the offending bit, or see if someone else had already created one from the addon’s menu.  That way, the site would look as I want it to without me having to hit the button each time I visit.

      Between Page Shadow and Monochro, I don’t have to tolerate the retina-blistering white that is nearly everywhere these days, whether talking about Windows, web sites, or what have you.  (Not included in that group is KDE Plasma, which lets me change all the colors independently, as Windows once did).

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1981361 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Ascaris, Thanks for the advice! I just tried it in Waterfox, with the result you can see in the attached screenshot. It is even easier this way to read the right-side bar contents.

        I’ll try this new view by doing what I usually do with browsers and this way find out what the drawbacks vs. benefits balance actually is and then decide if to keep things this way or to go back to the all black on white plus background I have been using until now.

        Screen-Shot-2019-10-14-at-6.30.34-PM

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

        Attachments:
    • #1981451 Reply

      Nathan Parker
      AskWoody_MVP

      In terms of Dark Mode on the website content in Safari, the answer is: “It’s coming, depending on your website”.

      Safari 13 supports Dark Mode for the content of websites in Safari (I think there’s a release of Safari 12 that does as well, but Safari 13 definitely does).

      For sites that support it, Dark Mode occurs.

      It’s occurring on DuckDuckGo, MacRumors, and a handful of other sites I browse.

      Other sites have to enable support for it though.

      Nathan Parker

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1981490 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Nathan,

        I have Safari 13.0.2 and have used it to look up one of those sites you mention (DuckDuckGo) and it definitely supports Dark Mode. But others, such as Google’s home page, that I use to start searches, or Wikipedia, don’t.

        Because other browsers allow one to choose the background color of the Web pages to be other than white (as you can see in my previous entry here, I’ve chosen a more restful beige color in Waterfox), I had a look in Safari for that same feature, or a similar one but it does not seem to be available there. Did I miss it?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #1982205 Reply

      RogerZ80
      AskWoody Lounger

      If your using FF, try the Dark Reader addon.
      White backgrounds become Lt. Grey which helps.
      Has 1,431 Reviews
      Roger

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1982243 Reply

      Nathan Parker
      AskWoody_MVP

      I had a look in Safari for that same feature, or a similar one but it does not seem to be available there. Did I miss it?

      Off the top, all I see in Safari is the ability to add custom stylesheets to Safari. I’m not sure if that’d work or not. If it did, it could get complicated as well (and not the typical “simplicity of Macintosh”).

      You can see if the App Store has an extension for Safari that enables this functionality, but I haven’t heard of one (I couldn’t quickly find one).

      I can do more digging later to see if there’s a hidden preference that does it, but so far, I’m not seeing it.

      Nathan Parker

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1982345 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I hove found an addon for FireFox that is called  “Dark Reader Theme” and has the effect on  Web pages that you can appreciate in these two attached screenshots. As you can see, I am using the Mac for this. So far, although I have been looking for it, I have found no equivalent application for Waterfox.

      To work like this, it needs to get the URL of the Web page to be modified, which some might find intrusive. But I think that any application that modifies how a Web page looks, without hiding from view information as a result of the modification, has to do that.

       

      Screen-Shot-2019-10-15-at-6.48.41-PM

       

      Screen-Shot-2019-10-15-at-6.51.24-PM

       

       

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
      • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  OscarCP.
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      • #1982378 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I just installed Dark Reader in Waterfox (latest version) to test it, and it’s working just as in your images!

        The link colors are controlled by another addon, Visited Enabler, JFYI.  The text on the right panel is harder to read than before.

        Screenshot_20191015_171420

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

        • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  Ascaris. Reason: Add image
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        • #1982393 Reply

          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Just noticed that your image shows the woodgrain panel blacked out, but mine didn’t.  Not sure why!

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

          • #1982428 Reply

            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Ascaris,

            How did you get Dark Mode installed in Waterfox? I have been trying to find a version that works with Waterfox, or something else that does the same job in it, but I have not been able to. Drawn a complete blank so far.

            Also, as to the  way the right-side bar looks: maybe there is a difference between the versions of Dark Mode for FireFox and for Waterfox? Still, the effect of what you have installed, incomplete as it may be, looks like progress to me.

            But I have been looking for a Mac version; maybe it does not exist for Macs.

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

            • #1982521 Reply

              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              It is the Firefox version I have in Waterfox.  Just follow the link in the first line of my post above (with the screenshot) to Dark Reader and hit install.  That is the official Firefox addon site.

              Most Firefox addons will install and work in Waterfox without a problem.  You just have to go to the Firefox addon website manually instead of using the new addon menu inside the browser menu, which doesn’t connect to anything at present (not sure why).  I usually just search the name of the addon I am looking using Startpage, then look for the fox emoji in the results, which is usually the Firefox addon library site.

              As far as the woodgrain panel, it could be because of a difference in Firefox and Waterfox, or it could be that I have a lot of addons installed.  It is possible that they are interacting in such a way that the wood panel stays there.

              When you say you are looking for a Mac version, do you mean for Safari?  I can’t help with that, but otherwise, if you’re using Waterfox on the Mac, it uses the same addons as Windows and Linux.

              Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.2).

              • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  Ascaris.
              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #1982608 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Ascaris, Many, many, many thanks! That worked just fine, and now I have Waterfox also in Dark Mode!

              And I am seeing the brown side-bar the same way as you do! I have  installed only two extensions in Waterfox, just the add blocker and this dark mode one and WF came with jut six pre-installed ones when I downloaded it. So I am guessing this is just a Waterfox thing. Or maybe a Woody’s thing….

              And I am still doing this from my Mac, running the Mojave version of macOS, that takes care of Dark Mode anywhere that is not a Web Page. So now I have this mode pretty much everywhere.

              My two eyes say thank you too.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #1982614 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Added after a further discovery: Chrome with Dark Mode has the same way of showing the right bar  here as in Waterfox, with the words in black appearing in a sort of washed-up grayish color hard to read on the mysteriously persistent light brown background.

      But it looks just fine when looked in Dark Mode with FireFox, as I showed with a screenshot in an earlier posting here.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

    • #1983175 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      One problem with Dark Reader is that, as far as I have been able to figure it out, that is, one cannot selectively choose certain pages to be shown with the usual white background that is the default without using Dark Reader. One can “single-click” on  the little hooded-head icon on the top bar of the window of such a site and then use the switch at the very top of the menu that opens to go from “dark” to “light” mode. But that turns off dark mode at all sites, until one reverses the process just described. It is a pity, but it seems one issue I could live with, as I will have to repeat this procedure only few times a day.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W(?) + Mac&Lx

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