More comfortable reading on the computer screen

Reading PDFs and long texts on the screen has always been something that bothered me and most people I know. It’s just not comfortable! Well, today a colleague of mine showed me something that feels like a solution so good that I wonder why it took me so long to actually stumble upon it.

It’s quite common for programmers to use light-colored text on dark background. It is much more true for those keen on Linux and terminals. That’s because the dark background emits less light, and thus makes it more comfortable for the eyes if you’re going to stare at it for a long time, like we programmers do.

What about reading? Isn’t that just the same? Long hours, staring at a PDF full of dark letters on white background. Wouldn’t it be more comfortable the other way around? As a matter of fact, it is! But how do we do that?

Well, my colleague uses a Mac, and the key combination to invert the colors of your screen apparently is Command+Option+Control+8. Counter-intuitive, I know. More info and a graphical way to do it can be found on this link, which Google helped me find. On Linux, if you use Compiz, there’s a nice plugin that should probably be already installed (I know it is on my Ubuntu) called Negative. It was also enabled by default, and the key combinations are Super+N for the active window and Super+M for the whole screen. If you’re a Windows user… Well, Google didn’t help much, but if you know an easy way to do it in Windows, please leave a comment!

After all this time using Compiz, I finally understand why someone would ever use the Negative plugin… Being a dark background terminal kind of guy, I really wish I had thought of this sooner! 😛


2 Responses to “More comfortable reading on the computer screen”

  1. Eric Wong Says:

    Thanks for the tip! I’m a Windows user and I guess the best way to do this on Windows must be using some kinda word editor like Microsoft Word! Just set page background color to black and paste the passage with white font color, and switch to full screen! Hooray you did it! (You may wish to enable auto-hide in taskbar for better result ^^)

  2. Benedikt Says:

    inverting the color is a good way for eye comfortable reading. windows 7 user can use the magnifier, which includes a color inversion function (shortcut ctr + alt + i)

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