Friday, January 21, 2011

Shades Of Gray (Another fix for online reading)

(Mis)Quoting lines from Billy Joel's song "Shades of grey":

Shades of grey wherever I go
.. .
Black and white is [not] how it should be
But shades of grey are the colors I see
It has occurred to me (after being disappointed with the tiny 6" screen of the Kindle) that we spend a lot of time (those of us who do) on the computer staring at bright and mostly white computer screens. We've become accustomed to the brightness of the white backgrounds. I find it quite stressful to read against a white background for long hours.

After spending a few hours searching (alas) online, I found some tricks that have made my computer time even more pleasant.

1) Fix for PDFs - a poor man's ebook reader:
Change the background of all PDFs you read by changing your preferences in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Go to the toolbar "Edit > Preferences > Accessibility > Document color options". Check the box that says "Replace Document Colors" and choose a gray background as shown in the screenshot.

Note the background color - 192-192-192, the magic combination.

And this is what it will look like. You can view it in full screen mode and almost convince yourself that you are reading an ebook.

2) Fix for IntelliJ:
Something similar can be done for IntelliJ. Import this JAR file with color settings for IntelliJ 10 using "File > Import settings".

Who said "gray areas" are bad? Enjoy!


Ashwin Jayaprakash said...

2 great apps for better reading:

For your PC -

For your smart phone -