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Tip o' the Week 354 - Alone in the Dark

clip_image002Now that the northern hemisphere has put the clocks back, and a new age of darkness has begun, it seems a good time to share one reader’s tip for making things go dark on your Windows PC. Deep Fat suggested this is a good way of using your PC in places where bright lights may not be welcome, that it can help reduce eyestreain and there’s probably a power saving element to it too.

There’s a school of thought that it’s easier to read light coloured text on dark backgrounds than the other way around, even though we’re conditioned to have black text on white paper. It’s largely a personal preference thing, so might be worth having a play with a few options within Office & Windows (and a few other apps) to see how you fare.

clip_image004In Windows 10, the color settings page lets you pick the various system colours to be used, but also lets you choose the theme for apps to use – not every app necessarily respects the theme, but most of the modern applets (like the settings pages themselves, the calculator, clock, even bigger apps like Groove or Film & TV) will switch between a predominantly white background and a black one.


Go into Settings -> Personalization -> Colors to tweak the app mode on your PC.

The Edge browser inexplicably ignores the app mode on the main settings page, but does implement its own light/dark theme, accessed via the Settings (click or tap the … in the top right, then Settings).

clip_image008In Office, go into File -> Options and look for the Personlize your copy… option on the General page. The default option is Colorful (ie mostly monochrome with the odd accent of colour) but you can choose a few alternatives, including black. It can look a bit weird at first, as all the menus turn to black with white text, but the main document / email you’re working on stays regular black on a white background…

Users of Visual Studio and the Azure Portal probably know this already but they also feature dark themes…