View Full Version : White vs. black background for text


levander
09-13-2012, 06:12 AM
Right now, I'm just reading Kindle books on my iPad. I can not stand the defaults where the background is white and the text is black. I have to change it so that the background is black and the text is white. Just seems a more "cozy" reading experience when it's that way... So much more black on the screen cause you've turned the background black just means less light being shone around, and a more relaxing experience.

Looking at getting one of these dedicated Kindle devices. The Paperwhite having the integrated lighting would be my favorite. But, I'm worried about having to have a "much brighter than black" (I realize it's not white, it's some light shade of grey) background. With the dedicated Kindle devices, can you turn the background black and the text white?

I realize my iPad is back-lit and the Paperwhite is front-lit so there's going to be more than subtle differences in how the lighting looks... Anyone else out there can't stand black text on white on the iPad Kindle software but was somehow able to make-do with the colors provided by the dedicated Kindle device?

HarryT
09-13-2012, 06:40 AM
eInk screens don't emit light, hence it's like reading a book. I assume that you don't prefer white text on a black background for your printed books? With the PW, you can just turn the light off if you don't like it.

Jessica Lares
09-13-2012, 07:00 AM
Yeah. On any digital screen I read on I use the white on black feature in the Kindle app. Like HarryT is saying though, it's completely different on eInk.

levander
09-13-2012, 09:32 AM
I assume that you don't prefer white text on a black background for your printed books?

Actually, I might. I really like dark designs better. I had to be really careful about that when I designed my house, not go to dark.

Especially at night, the darker everything around you is, the sleepier you feel. And, I do often have trouble sleeping, that's the main time I read, when can't sleep.

I've always assumed the reason real books were black on white was because it's cheaper that way. The paper is already white and by just making the text black, you use less ink. At least originally anyway, these days, there might be a cheap way to make black paper without a bunch of ink - I have no idea.

I don't think black on white was ever really a design decision for books originally, it was just the obvious way to do it because it was cheaper, used less ink that way.

With the PW, you can just turn the light off if you don't like it.

But then it will still be black on light-ish grey... pretty much the same as black on white.

Still interested in anyone else's experiences with a Kindle who much prefers white on black like I do.

Barty
09-13-2012, 11:42 AM
I absolutely prefer white on black on LCD. Eink is an entirely different animal. I've tried white on bkack on eink because I have a jailbroken kindle and a 3rd party program that can invert the colors. It does not look good. Maybe because it's not white on black but light grey on dark grey. At any rate, it's not any easier on the eyes.

jswinden
09-13-2012, 11:52 AM
Even if you create your own mobi/KF8 book with the CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) necessary to display a black background with white text the Kindles with eInk will ignore that format and display black (or some shade of gray) text on white (blank) background. I've tried before but in every case with every Kindle eInk I used the Kindle over rode the formatting and and displayed the standard black text on white background.

I prefer dark text on light background for Kindles and printed material, but someone had asked if it could be reversed. It couldn't via mobi/KF8. You could of course create image files formatted like that, or perhaps a PDF file, but image files are not reflowable text. I did create an image file as described and it looked terrible on a Kindle or Sony. There are good reasons why Kindle eInk devices refuse to display reflowable text reversed in color. I won't go over those except to say that if you look closely at LCD devices which can display white text on black backgrounds, the fonts often look much thinner than they do when the same text is displayed as black on white background.

Having said all that I agree with others here and say there won't be glare on a Kindle like there is from an LCD device.

levander
09-13-2012, 12:00 PM
Having said all that I agree with others here and say there won't be glare on a Kindle like there is from an LCD device.

Yeah, that part's not just an opinion. It's just the way the various technologies work.

Thanks for the opinions guys. In the next couple of months I'll probably just buy a Kindle Paperwhite. Hopefully I can return the thing if I hate it. But that it not being an issue for others who like white on black too is encouraging...

geekmaster
09-13-2012, 01:07 PM
... I've tried white on black on eink because I have a jailbroken kindle and a 3rd party program that can invert the colors. It does not look good. Maybe because it's not white on black but light grey on dark grey. At any rate, it's not any easier on the eyes.A dark background has worse ghosting than a white background (on eink).

pidgeon92
09-13-2012, 02:12 PM
I've always preferred the Sepia color option when reading on my iPad.

jswinden
09-13-2012, 02:17 PM
I've always preferred the Sepia color option when reading on my iPad.

If sepia background with black text were available as an option, as they are in many 3rd party reading apps, then I would too. However, a sepia background with a light brown text as supported by the K4iOS strains my eyes too much. I still say that at least as far as the Kindle for XYZ apps go, the developers must not be people who read a lot. Their choices of fonts and themes are terrible.

Blossom
09-13-2012, 05:40 PM
I've always preferred the Sepia color option when reading on my iPad.

I use Sepia on my Kindle Fire. Out of the three themes it's the one I prefer.

White text makes letter moves go in and out of focus for me and I see blinds anytime I stare at a black background. I can't stand at a white backgrounds either so Sepia is really my only choice.

On my Kindle Fire I use an app called Screen Dim that let's me adjust the brightness and contrast of my screen. Some nights I use less contrast and other nights less brightness.

The nook app has a nice grey background on black text I would love to have for the Kindle. *sigh*

jswinden
09-13-2012, 05:47 PM
Surely it cannot be that difficult or time consuming for Amazon to code in two option fields for themes: Text color and background color. These two fields should be added to the Fire(s) and all Kindle apps designed for LCD devices. Several 3rd party reading apps have these options. To be clear, I'm not talking about eInk Kindles, only those devices with color LCDs.

david8866
09-13-2012, 08:12 PM
I tried cool reader on Kindle 3, black background, white text. It was not good at all.

twowheels
09-13-2012, 08:21 PM
With the PW, you can just turn the light off if you don't like it.

Curious... does the :bulb2: go off completely? It looks like the brightness slider goes down very low, but I wonder if it actually turns off. What if you turn it on, like I often do, after dark? How would you find the controls to turn the light back on in absence of a physical button? [So many questions! They should just ship me one so I can answer them!]

vxf
09-13-2012, 09:09 PM
Curious... does the :bulb2: go off completely? It looks like the brightness slider goes down very low, but I wonder if it actually turns off. What if you turn it on, like I often do, after dark? How would you find the controls to turn the light back on in absence of a physical button? [So many questions! They should just ship me one so I can answer them!]

I can't find it right now, but one of the early 'hands-on' posts I read over the past days mentioned specifically that the light cannot be turned off, just turned down. Hopefully, it can be turned down to very low levels... but it seems like an awkward design choice...

twowheels
09-13-2012, 09:24 PM
but it seems like an awkward design choice...

Awkward perhaps, but the only one that makes sense in the absence of a physical switch, given the use case that I described.

BenG
09-16-2012, 12:29 PM
I seem to remember that the Sony PRS-500 or perhaps the 505 had a hack to reverse black and white but it didn't look good at all.

Mike Hunt
01-15-2013, 02:24 PM
I absolutely prefer white on black on LCD. Eink is an entirely different animal. I've tried white on bkack on eink because I have a jailbroken kindle and a 3rd party program that can invert the colors. It does not look good. Maybe because it's not white on black but light grey on dark grey. At any rate, it's not any easier on the eyes.

Could you share the name of that 3rd party program? Where can I find it? Does it work for all books on the device or just specific side-loaded books?

TIA,

susan_cassidy
01-15-2013, 02:56 PM
I find white text on a black background to be very hard to read. I always change the default color setting for a DOS window on Windows.

Parody
01-15-2013, 03:12 PM
I use white text on black on my phone (in Aldiko), standard coloring on my Kindle, and document defined/black on white everywhere else (usually PDFs on my tablet).

I'd like to try the light-warm-gray on dark-gray which is the default text colors in the Zenburn color scheme I use in text editors and command prompts, but there isn't a dark enough gray in Aldiko's color selections. :(

sirmaru
01-15-2013, 03:22 PM
Use whatever makes you feel better. On my KFHD7-32 I use White text on a Black background. On my PW I use the light at 22 of 24 maximum in all ambient light conditions to give the background a pure white image.

Others use different combinations. On my AcroBible for the KFHD7-32 I like their multicolor combinations and use that.

Hoyt Clagwell
01-15-2013, 03:46 PM
I seem to remember that the Sony PRS-500 or perhaps the 505 had a hack to reverse black and white but it didn't look good at all.

Here is a pic of the ghosting on a Sony Reader 500. It came from this thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?p=73267