Adobe Reader: Change Text, Background Color for Eye-Friendly Reading

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Adobe Reader, by default, open PDF documents with black text on a white background (unless set by the PDF author). Our eyes have grown used to seeing this color combination in traditional print format, but this scheme is of limited suitability on a computer screen. On a computer screen, color contrasts come across with greater intensity than they would in print format because the colors consist of light rather than material.

If you spend a long time reading PDF documents with black-on-white text you know how rough this can be on your eyes. One way of fixing this is by changing the document colors. Luckily, Adobe Reader has such an option. You can easily change both text and page color of a PDF document while reading without making permanent changes on the document itself. This will help you maximize screen readability while minimizing eyestrain.

Here are the steps to change background color and text color to something a little more eye-friendly in Adobe Reader:

  1. Open Adobe Reader, and go to Edit menu > Preferences.
  2. From the categories list on the left, choose Accessibility.
  3. Check the box against ‘Replace Document Colors’.
  4. Next, click on the colored squares to change the background and text color to something that works for you.
  5. Choose either one of the built-in High-Contrast color scheme or a combination of your own by clicking on the ‘Customize color’ option. If you like, you can choose one from this image:
  6. When you’re happy with your selections, click OK to save the changes.

Hopefully this tip will make reading easier on your eyes!

You can find more tips to reduce computer related eye strain here.