The Dark Side of Dark Mode

Thanks Adam. My only Apple device with TrueTone is my iPad Pro 9.7. The iPhone 7 and late 2015 iMac are out of the picture.
True Tone is a display technology first introduced in 2016 on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro that has since made it’s way into Apple’s 2017 iPad Pros, along with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Most recently, True Tone has made the jump to the Mac lineup with the 2018 MacBook Pro.

Ditto. My eyes are sensitive to light, more so the older I get. A white screen is almost painful these days. I reverse the screen, which turns the white page black and text white. As is your case, this is demonstrably easier on my eyes. Admittedly I am one of those outliers that Adam gives lip service to, but I find Dark Mode a magical improvement. While reverse screen mauls most colors, Safari has long turned colored images (not video) to their proper color when the screen is reversed. I find this very helpful, in that I only need to go back to a white screen to view video. For text, for me, white text on a black backgroung works just fine. YMMV.

Even on my Kindle Paperwhite, which has much less glare than an LDC powered tablet like the iPad, I have found that reversing the screen is easier on my eyes. If I used an iPad for reading, I would have to reverse the screen, too. Actually, reversing the screen is more reliable than Dark Mode, as not all apps are adjusted for it—like MS Word—so that you have to reverse the screen to read much there. In the end, I’m glad we have choices, as one size definitely does not fit all, despite what the studies say.

Yes they do. I’ve been using a Kindle Paperwhite for years and, in fact, I’m on my second model, the latest Kindle 7, 2019.

I must also respond to the fellow who doesn’t like the dark interface in most graphics apps these days. Both Photoshop and Lightroom have long had interface options where you can choose a variety of backgrounds from white to black, and a number of grays in between. I have a friend who likes the old white Photoshop background, so when I installed CS6 for him, I showed him how to restore the old familiar interface. Photoshop CC has the same options in Preferences>Interface. He also didn’t like tabs (though I find them quite useful). But you can open documents the old fashioned way, in Windows—in Workspace, uncheck Open Documents as Tabs. Then you get to see the desktop behind your documents, if that’s how you like it. These apps have always been very customizable. If you haven’t found these options, you haven’t looked.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Best fonts for reading

Tony Ramos on Twitter also pointed me to this article, which focuses on some research that suggests that dim light in office environments may have a negative cognitive impact.

I have severe difficulty distinguishing different colors when looking at websites that use Dark Mode. I can tolerate Dark Mode, for only a few minutes, before looking at the website become unbearable to me. I really wish that website developers would take into consideration that not everyone is younger than 25, with 20/20 vison. I’m 48, and my eyesight is getting worse with the passing of tme.

Look into Dark Reader, it will solve your problem on a site by site basis. Free.

Overall I have had good success using these Bookmarklets although I have only put them to the test with a limited number of dark mode pages:

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Unless I’m misunderstanding, @Matthew1 is looking for something to turn OFF Dark mode for Web sites that have difficult-to-read light-on-dark text, whereas Dark Reader does the opposite, making normally dark-on-light sites into light-on-dark.

I believe it goes either way. Depending on the overall mode in settings. But I had an unreadable grey on black website in dark mode and flipped that single site to black text on white.

Just here to chime in that obsession with dark-mode specifically is an accessibility nightmare for me. I have an eye disorder called Keratoconus that makes me extremely sensitive to high-contrast, along with other visual artifacts. White-on-black text is an order of magnitude harder for me to read than black-on-white. I use a dark them in VSCode, but that is more of a “light grey on darker grey” theme, which works great for me.

Gizmodo mentioned this article in a recent piece:

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'Grats! And they almost spelled TidBITS correctly!

I think dark mode is an affectation. I had an IBM XT and worked on some UNIX servers, but I am no programmer. First time I saw it in the modern era was the html and css editors which is nothing but XML markup. And then in javascript editors. And then damn them in Adobe products! I find it hard to read. I think folks want to think that they are real computer programmers by using dark mode. And I am probably wrong!

Why not? I think taht Dark Mode is a visually nice feature for all applications and if it really can save my battery so I think that it is a good decision for nay device and for any OS to start implementing Dark Mode to teh applications and extensions. Maybe someone is afraid of the words “Dark Mode”. Yeah it is rather closely to “Darth Mode” But you should not afraid. In gerneral you can always switch off dark mode and choose the light version.

After reding an article about enabling YouTube Dark Mode ( I can say that you can do this with code. I am interested if I can disallow differnet apps and extension to make the Dark Mode automatially in such a way.

Damn right! For me the icons are now nothing more than distracting grey blobs and I rely solely on the text beside them. Unfortunately XtraFinder has stopped working. What Apple got into this anti-ergonomics fad anyway is completely beyond me.

Having said that, dark mode is a god-send for me personally. Besides the floaters that are beginning to visit me, dark mode takes the strain away that I generally experience with light mode. Also, I do astronomy for a hobby and there you most certainly do want dark mode, especially when presenting.

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Fwiw, Path Finder continues to offer colored sidebar icons although it is arguably overkill for many users. For me, at my age and having had double cataract surgery which killed my ability to focus on most things within 24 inches Path Finder is almost worth the price of admission only for colored sidebar icons. Thankfully it is a powerhouse Finder replacement/addition that I appreciate every day.

This is one of those few things Adam and I disagree vehemently about. I suffered from eye ulcers when I was younger, and my eyes have been sensitive to light ever since (I wore prescription sunglasses around the clock for years). I’ve long found Apple’s displays entirely too bright, especially in dark rooms, so Dark Mode helps a lot.

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As I say in the article, there are of course conditions that will make Dark mode easier on the eyes, and that would be especially true for someone who had to wear prescription sunglasses at all times. If it were another Accessibility setting like Reduce Transparency, Smart Invert, and the like, I’d have no beef with Apple.

Path Finder

Thanks, I have PF, but hadn’t found the icon colours yet. Now I got the right setting!

But isn’t that the case? They just put it in a prominent place. I know quite a few people who tried it, didn’t like it, reverted and forgot about DM’s existence.