• Want to see the world darker?

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    This question came up the other day – someone wanted to know if we could offer a button to flip the site to dark mode. Do you know that you can do it
    [See the full post at: Want to see the world darker?]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

    Viewing 18 reply threads
    • #2636404

      What about you? Do you use tools or techniques to deal with contrast issues?

      I prefer a decent amount of contrast.  I don’t mind things like a Command Prompt window with it’s black background, I just change the font color to green; the white is a little much.  I started out on terminals, dark screen with green font, so it’s a bit of nostalgia, I guess.

      AskWoody has enough color in the borders that it’s comfortable for me.  I prefer dark on light, rather than the other way around.  My desktop background is a slideshow of my own pictures, most of which are landscapes.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2636439

      Want to see the world darker? Not me. I hate dark mode.

      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2636445

      Dark mode on my iPad and iPhone is my preference. I also set Brightness to a lower point and pick a warm level in Night Shift which helps with contrast. For websites, Ask Woody is good for me, as are most other sites. I don’t care to use special settings through the browser for site backgrounds, they are what they are.

      MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, and SOS at times.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2636469

      After a lifetime of reading newspapers, printed office documents, etc., I find black text on white (or very light) background easier to read on a computer screen than light text on dark. I feel differently, however, in the case of projected PowerPoint presentations. I do many of these, with both pictures and text. Based on audience feedback and my own testing in rooms with varying amounts of lighting, I find the most readable projected text slides seem to be bold yellow text (with drop shadow) on a navy blue background. White text on navy blue works well too.

      And, like bbearren, I find that contrast helps my reading.

    • #2636466

      I find dark mode very difficult to read and use, and don’t use it on any of my machines or devices. The black type on white background works fine for me as long as the brightness is controlled or automatically adapted to the room lighting levels. The gold background color with blue letters typing on the right hand column of this page is also difficult and slow to read, because I have to strain my eyes and move much closer to make it out. I guess I’m just getting too old for the internet.

    • #2636495

      Except for the “occasional” use of the cmd window, I don’t use dark mode for anything as I find it very annoying if I have to view something for extended periods.

      My preferred color scheme is an “off-white” background with “dark blue” letters like this.


      I find it much easier to read things that use these colors.


      • #2636518

        Forgive the off-topic, but as a teenager many decades ago I worked summers in a typewriter repair shop (they did mechanical calculators, too).  The owner bid on cleaning & repair of typewriters for county school’s typing classes (~30 to ~60 typewriters per school), and we’d work on eight to ten school’s typewriters in a summer.  We’d pick them up at the school, bring them back to the shop, take off all the removable side and back plates and give them a thorough cleaning.

        There was usually a load of eraser crumbs in every one, and grooves in the  platen.  We had picks for the crevices.  We’d blow them out with compressed air, then clean them with a jetted mist of banana oil (the exhaust vented outside), sandpaper the platens smooth, then set them aside to dry in the back of the cleaning room.  The banana oil left a very thin residue of lubricant.

        After drying, we would reassemble them on a lazy-Susan, roll in a sheet of paper and type

        The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’s back 1234567890 times.
        Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

        We straightened any bent arms until it typed smoothly, and left the paper in the typewriter. H  and v were the only letters missed. I’ve typed those two sentences a few thousand times.

        The boss’ son was the senior tech, who gave the machines their final check for letter/number alignment, and made any adjustments necessary (he would start by typing hvhvhvhvhvhv to get the feel of the keyboard. It wasn’t necessary to check upper case, since they were on the same key as lower case, and the special characters were on the same key’s as the numbers.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        • #2636585

          That off-topic post evokes memories.  One of the best classes that I ever took was Typing in Junior High School.  We learned touch typing on old manual Remington typewriters that had all the keys covered so you couldn’t see what they were for.  We were tested on speed and accuracy.

          That skill payed big dividends throughout my life at work and at home.  Sigh, the good old days…

    • #2636508

      I find dark mode to be much easier on my eyes than looking at a blinding white background for any length of time.  I have set my default Firefox theme to dark mode and also use dark mode whenever it is available in other applications.

      I would happily welcome a dark mode theme for AW.

      • #2636672

        I would happily welcome a dark mode theme for AW.

        The Dark Reader extension works well on AskWoody.


        Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
        Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
        Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

    • #2636513

      I’ve always found light text on a dark background easier to read than dark text on a light background

      So, I always select “Dark Mode” if it’s specifically available (e.g., Windows, Unity, Visual Studio, Gimp, Audacity, Firefox, Notepad++ etc)

      Even better if an app allows me to create my own colour scheme (e.g. Daz Studio, Windows)

      If none of the above, I just get up close and squint


    • #2636559

      I also prefer dark mode on all my devices. I use “Dark Reader” on my PC. To further level the lighting field while on my PC I use an l.e.d. strip behind my monitors to ‘wash’ the off-white  wall behind them. That gives my entire field of view more even lighting. Makes life much easier for these nearly 70 year old eyes. (I still do not need glasses, even for reading!)

    • #2636593

      You have to be careful with “Dark” backgrounds. You can hardly see the blue Woody against the black background in the Dark version.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was more fun than being 70 something in the 20's
    • #2636594

      I’ve never read or written on dark paper..
      White is right for me as brightness, contrast and saturation is altered dependant on surrounding environmental light.
      Presbyopia, what’s good for some ain’t for others.

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
    • #2636595

      I use a Firefox Add-on “Font Contrast” for making standard fonts permanently bold for selected sites like Askwoody etc. It also has the ability to make a on-off bold on/off setting.


      I absolutely hate reading grey text on white backgrounds, worse is light blue.

      I have a similar Add-on for Chrome.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2636663

        Light or Dark mode is certainly a personal choice. I’m generally OK with both but prefer black letters on whiter backgrounds.

        I’m with you on the “modern design ethic” of using grey letters — which I’ve sometimes come across on backgrounds that kill contrast even more! It’s been a pet peeve of mine for years. I’ve never understood why it became trendy in Web Design. It may work fine for young eyes but, dang, it’s sometimes taken to an extreme. So, thank you for the heads-up on the Firefox extension!

        Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 22H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

    • #2636674

      I’ve been using the dark reader extension (darkreader.org) for several years and just upgraded to the newer version. I do keep it disabled on a hand full of websites. I don’t use the 100% dark (black) with 100% white text, but a modified gradient blend, and have some websites set with different levels of gradient.

      I also use MS Word in the dark mode, white on black or a custom background/text setting like this:


      Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
      Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
      Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

    • #2636678

      There’s a settings area in Firefox 122 to change website appearance from default (or system default/automatic) to either light or dark by default according to what the website will support. I just looked in Edge (121) and it appears to possibly support the same thing.

      I do believe that these settings are at the discretion of each site. If you have Firefox or Edge set to dark, then the page will be displayed in a dark theme if the site will support it. Firefox even says so explicitly: “Some websites adapt their color scheme based on your preferences. Choose which color scheme you’d like to use for those sites.”, but Edge doesn’t say quite the same thing, but it comes kind of close “Applies to new tabs, pages, dialogs and other menus”.

      Therefore, extensions may be of more use if you want all of the sites you visit to be in a given theme.

    • #2636679

      I’ve heard that dark mode draws less juice from battery and makes a charge last longer. Is that true?

    • #2636715

      I like dark reader on my Pixel 6a. It keeps display energy use down, since OLED only lights up non-black pixels.


    • #2636738

      I’m not a fan of dark mode. But at the same time, I’m not a fan of the modern “light mode” either. We’ve moved to UI designs which give you two choices – dark or flat, harsh whites with little contrast. My eyes aren’t keen on either. For Windows I use the custom option, light mode for apps and dark for the “Windows mode”, which is pretty much the taskbar. Ubuntu’s light GNOME theme isn’t great either.

    • #2636975

      I greatly prefer Dark Mode on my phone and iPad 24-7 (along with Night Shift).  I also prefer it with Forums, but that is dependent on the forum software on  a given site.

      With AskWoody, I like the white background.

      With MSWord or any word processor, and even with learning word processing on a Wang system (green text on black) and then Wordperfect 5.1 (white text on blue), I prefer the appearance of a white paper/black text when I got WP6.1.  That continued to MSWord and LibreOffice Writer.

      I really do not like when sites use pastel colors for text and background (or gray text) and frequently find myself highlighting the text for careful reading, or if possible switching the site preferences to Dark.

      With my PCs I have Linux Mint Cinnamon Dark as the theme and had set the desktop on my old Windows 7 machine to a dark taskbar with dark wall papers.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2637673

      I have long preferred dark mode initially on smartphones and as I get older with computers as well. I find white text on a black background much easier to read. But more importantly it also reduces eye fatigue, especially at work when required to be in front of a computer almost constantly over a 10 hour shift.

      So whether smartphone or computer the system theme is always set to dark mode. Thankfully most applications now follow the system theme to use dark mode or they have an option to choose it. Many websites also detect the option and automatically switch to dark mode or they have a toggle (often in the upper right) to select it.

      For websites that do not have the option, I use built-in browser settings to set dark mode instead of an extension. For Firefox, settings, general, manage colors, then set text to white and background to black, unvisited links to white, uncheck “Use system colors” then set the override to “Always”. To reverse back to normal I just set override to “Never”. For Ungoogled Chromium (also works on regular Chrome I use at work), in the address bar enter: chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark, then set to enabled and restart Chrome as prompted.

      Below is a screenshot of AskWoody with the aforementioned Firefox settings:

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