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Ask Slashdot: Best Tools For Dealing With Glare Sensitivity? 195

First time accepted submitter der_pinchy writes "For many years I have used a high-contrast desktop color scheme (with green text on black background) and notice more and more software uses a forced color scheme that can make it difficult to use. For web browsing I have always used Opera and its white-on-black user style sheet, but have to constantly tweak it so that certain elements and transparent images are visible. Is there anything to be done with some of the major offenders, like Office or recent versions of Visual Studio? Even recent browsers that support user style sheets still use a forced color scheme on a lot of there dialog controls."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Tools For Dealing With Glare Sensitivity?

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  • LED Screens (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:24PM (#42617965)

    Black on white on LED screens gives me major migraines. When will they understand computer screens are not like ink on paper.

  • by Bovius ( 1243040 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:27PM (#42617993)

    I'm used to interpreting "glare sensitivity" to meaning the screen is generally too bright for your eyes, but the subsequent comments about needing to use high contrast color palettes has me thinking maybe you mean something else.

    Anyway: I stare at a monitor all day, and for quite a while I had some serious dry eye problems because of it. Then about a year ago I bought some Gunnar glasses ( [] ) and my eyes got happier within 24 hours. Wear them all the time now.

    Full disclosure: I'm not even kind of affiliated with Gunnar. I just wear their glasses and I like them.

  • OS? (Score:5, Informative)

    by lazarus ( 2879 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:27PM (#42617995) Homepage Journal

    You didn't say what version of Windows you were running, so it's tough to tell what might be available to you from an accessibility standpoint. On the Mac you can invert colours, use greyscale, and alter the contrast of the screen as well as cursor size (in addition to the typical colour schemes, display brightness, etc). It sounds to me like you may be facing an uphill battle if you are trying to do this outside of what the OS supports directly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:29PM (#42618013)

    I've got a similar problem. I've taken to filing bugs with every vendor when I encounter a forced color scheme that dishonors system settings. Fat client apps are very likely to get fixed.

    Visual Studio fixes itself if you turn on high-contrast and then load your color scheme on top of it. In Windows 7, saving your color scheme with high contrast enabled saved high contrast enabled to the color scheme. In Windows 8, high contrast is always on when the color scheme is not the default.

    Unfortunately, websites tend to not fix their bugs. I get too many "it's a browser bug", and one that was equivalent to "use a screen reader" even after I offered to fix their bug for them.

    I suppose you could hack up a 1 bit display driver that only sends green to the monitor, or perhaps with a remote desktop client that does (incoming) -> (gresyscale) -> (green) -> (inverted green).

  • Simple (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:29PM (#42618019)

    Invert the colors in X11 itself: xcalib -i -a

  • bias lighting (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:33PM (#42618047)

    If black on white text is too bright then you probably need more light in the room. Your eyes adjust to the overall scene brightness, so if you have a bright screen in the middle of a dark field, because the lights are out in the room, then the screen will appear too bright and fatiguing. Try installing some LEDs on the back of your monitor to illuminate the wall behind the screen. That will increase the overall scene brightness and make the screen seem less harsh without creating reflections on the screen.

  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:34PM (#42618053) Homepage

    If it's MacOS X, go into the 'Universal Access' control panel, and there's a 'contrast' slider, and you can force greyscale, black on white, or white on black.

    Most X windows managers have ways to do similar things, although in some you have to mess with configuration files.

    No idea how to do it in Amiga or Haiku, though.

  • Re:Simple (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:36PM (#42618083)

    Since he mentioned Office and Visual Studio, I strongly doubt that he is using X.

  • by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @01:37PM (#42618103)


    Polarized sunglasses cut glare because reflected light tends to be polarized in one direction. Therefore you can selectively block it out.

    Alas, modern flat panel displays all use polarized filters to work. So they don't work too well with polarized glasses.

  • Re:LED Screens (Score:4, Informative)

    by Spectre ( 1685 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @02:45PM (#42618885)

    Most fonts appear to have smoother edges and more consistent curves when rendered as black-text-on-white background, which is why that is the default ...

  • No scientific method (Score:4, Informative)

    by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @03:03PM (#42619031)

    I looked at the Gunnar Web site and saw no scientific backing of any of their claims. In my opinion, any improvement you'll get from these is 100% due to a placebo effect.

    specifically tuned focusing power - It's your eyes that do the focussing. Air does not distort focussing unless it's extremely hot.

    DIAMIX lens material is optically pure. - So is air. Actually, air is probably more optically pure than DIAMIX.

    IONIK lens tints improve overall contrast and comfort by filtering out harsh artificial light, eliminating UV rays and reducing high-intensity visible light. - So does your eye. You have an iris, lens and your brain automatically corrects for white balance. If your work place behind a computer screen puts you in dangerous UV light, you really need to look at your TFT, since those don't emit UV at all.

    iFi lens coatings include an anti-reflective layers to reduce glare - If there was no lens in the glasses, they wouldn't have to put anti-reflective layers on it. The only reflection those layers partially prevent is the reflection on the glasses themselves.

    TL;DR Snake oil glasses, you've been conned.

  • by PNutts ( 199112 ) on Thursday January 17, 2013 @03:25PM (#42619297)

    Poalized dont do anything for glare except on water from direct sunlight.

    Polarized glasses eliminate any light not in the proper orientation, regardless of its source. In the example of sunglasses, besides water it also reduces glare from the streets themselves, metal (manhole covers), etc.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.