Even Scrivener's brilliance cannot ameliorate Apple's gloss

Keith’s Scrivener software was the final straw that triggered my transition to Mac after having used Windows since Win95. I simply had to use Scrivener for my writing. Thus, for me, Keith’s inexpensive and affordable software was accompanied by purchases of an iMac, MacBook Pro, as well new printers and a scanner since Leopard wouldn’t play with my existing peripherals.

All is well. I’m now a card-waving Apple fanboy, however, Apple’s insistence on removing the matte, anti-glare option from its line of computers (bar the 17" MacBook Pro) could be the thing that outweights even Scrivener’s brilliance. You see, I write for many hours each day sometimes 16 hours starring constantly at the screen. I simply cannot tolerate these glossy screens, in certain unavoidable lighting conditions. My eyes are susceptible to eyestrain.

I know this forum is populated by writers, and I imagine a portion of you (not all, of course) struggle with using Apple’s new glossy screens for extended hours – under certain lighting conditions. (For instance, in a room where the windows can be perpendicular to the glossy screen, and not behind, the glossy screens are actually wonderful, I find).

Things are fine at the moment while my matte iMac and MacBook Pro’s live on, nevertheless I anticipate the day will come when these workhorses must die, and not even Scrivener’s brilliance can force me to use a gloss screen in lighting conditions where reflections are unavoidable. Which all means that I am now hesitant to create data in Scrivener’s file format, if these cannot be readily transported to Windows later on when I have to look elsewhere for matte screens.

If you detest glossy screens, can I suggest you leave comments at a website that is solely focused on the topic of registering a protest against Apple’s decision to remove the matte option. http://macmatte.wordpress.com

Subject to Keith’s approval, I suggest that any anti-gloss comments be created on that website, rather than this literatureandlatte forum – for the reason that there is a need to consolidate anti-gloss comments to bring focus to the depth of sentiment. Right now, there’s a tendency for matte-supporters to state their views randomly on whatever forum they happen to find themselves at. As such, there is no consolidation of viewpoints to act as a focused voice to Apple.

Sure, please also give feedback to Apple as well – as I and most of us have already done – but Apple already knows there are people who want matte screens, and has taken the corporate decision that they can ignore our needs. Hence, the benefit of consolidating pro-matte comments on a single, focused website to emphasise the depth of sentiment.

The website, once again, is http://macmatte.wordpress.com

In closing, no one is claiming that matte is superior to gloss. Rather, we simply want Apple to offer the option for those who prefer matte, even if they have to pay extra.

Given the benefit of consolidating comments on one website, if there are substantial number of pro-matte comments that are instead entered at the literatureandlatte website – since some souls are wont to just “conveniently” enter comments where they are, rather than clicking on links – with Keith’s consent, I propose to copy those pro-matte comments to the MacMatte website at http://macmatte.wordpress.com

Keith, for the greater good, are you ok with that approach?

I assume you already know about the reversal of black and white via Universal Access:

Hold down control, option, command and press 8. Do it again to turn it back.


On a glossy screen, the dark portions of the screen show even more reflections that the white portions, hence I cannot see how your suggestion solves the problem of screen reflections from a glossy Mac screen.

Why not buy either a Mac mini, Mac Pro or Macbook in conjunction with a matte external display?


That’s all fine with me as long as it’s okay with those who leave comments.

Personally, I really like the glossy screens - I was a bit outraged when they first started ditching the matte option, until I actually bought one of the machines. The glossy screen on my MacBook was actually much better in light from all directions than my iBook. True, the MacBook’s screen reflected light rather obviously from some angles, but at the same angles my iBook screen was completely grey or white and almost impossible to read, whereas at least on the MacBook I could still see everything I needed to. As I say, I only had the iBook screen to compare it to (and I don’t even that any more), so it may be that other matte screens were much better.

From a practical point of view, even if everything goes glossy, you could still “stay Mac” by just using one of their notebooks. I use a MacBook (now rebranded MacBook Pro dammit!) for everything, plugging it into a Gateway 24" monitor at my desk. So you could use a notebook, finding somewhere to use it where the light doesn’t bother you when out and about, and plugging it into a matte screen when you are at home.

The above notwithstanding, I do agree that it would be better if Apple left the matte screen as an option, though, even if glossy becomes the default; I may personally prefer the glossy but I do see a lot of Mac users on forums who, like you, aren’t happy with this move and much prefer matte screens, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t at least have the choice.

All the best,

I find it amusing and perhaps a little frustrating to observe that Apple, the company that built its reputation on a TV ad depicting the taking down of Big Brother, now behaves far more like Big Brother than IBM ever did. I wonder if Steve Jobs ever ponders this.

You might also look at Power Support’s screen film:
I have used their smaller (and cheaper!) one for my iPhone, and I like it a lot. I think this is probably the quickest solution to otherwise unsolvable screen glare–which is clearly a problem that depends a great deal on the actual daily light conditions wherever it is that you work.
good luck!

I also find the glossy only option frustrating, but…

Much as KB I find the limitations to be equivalent. Add to that the only times I have had a real problem, I was in a place where a simple shift corrected the problem (tilt the screen a little more forward, sit up straight, etc).

My biggest complaint is not about the glare, but the “dirty screen” factor. The suckers show every little bit of filth while the matte hides it better. Lucky for me the glossy was just a loaner while I was traveling and my MBP is so old that it will only be matte.

There’s probably no experience more subjective than our vision. I am far-sighted. Can read book titles on a shelf across the room; can’t dial a phone without my glasses. I wonder if myopia or astigmatism have anything to do with reactions to the glossy screen?

Personally, I have no problem working on one, in a room with two windows providing light. Yes, reflections appear on the screen, but somehow, I see “through” them to the text I’m reading or writing. I also like the fact that the glass cleans up so easily. So, to each his own, but I won’t be signing any petitions.

Yeah, I’m another “convert through usage”, I suppose. Initially I hated the things; but after a few months of using them found tricks to taking advantage of the screen. As suggested, sometimes only a 1 or 2º shift can move the reflection source entirely out of view, whereas with a matte screen the diffuse effect would make this impossible. There are actually more places I can use the MBP than I could my old matte laptop, especially on bright days. I do second the filth problem though. I have to take a damp cloth to the screen fairly frequently in order to keep it clean, otherwise it’s pretty ugly. I have feeling that gloss is here to stay, now that Apple is switching over to tempered glass displays. These are more durable and safer to use cleaning supplies on. They are also more eco friendly in both fabrication and disposal, which they seem to be all about these days.

Anti-glare film. Cheap. Removable. Best of both worlds option and also protects your computer’s weakest link.

photodon.com/mm5/merchant.mv … y_Code=AGF

So your saying it prevents me from using the system?

No. It protects you from yourself. :slight_smile:

Curiously, Apple has re-introduced the matte option for 15" MacBook Pros. This option has been added:

I am now in two minds about what I’ll choose for my next machine!

Vic-k Still has you beat. He has 4 minds (at last count) and none of them can agree on anything.

I wonder if they added an extra $50 when they went gloss, in anticipation of adding another $50, if you wanted matte… as and when the inevitable grumblings and mumblings started. :wink:

Hello - haven’t been here for a long time, but I had the 17inch powerbook with the matte screen and it blew big time compared to the glossy, I am afraid - it made everything look a bit fuzzy - even with my glasses on. Very much personal taste though.

I personally like the matte versus the glossy but then again it usually depends on personal likes and dislikes, main usage and of course lighting.

The glossy in an environment with overhead fluorescence (typical office) to me is a migraine waiting to happen. But then again when playing WOW in the bedroom, the glossy screen makes graphics “pop”.

The matte is more color accurate for people who do color graphic work for printing, the Glossy is more rich in vibrant in color which looks better for on screen display or people who do video or web design, but makes accurate color for printing a little more difficult.

Each choice has advantages and disadvantages. The best solution is to look at two side by side if you can (like in an apple store) and see what best fits your needs.

I’m weighing in late on this issue. I am definitely a glossy convert. When I was contemplating a new laptop purchase, back when they gave you the option, I would never have chosen glossy. I’d heard about eyestrain, etc. When I actually had the money to buy a MacBook, it came with a glossy screen. I had no choice. And now I could never go back. I use my MacBook for writing in all kinds of different places, but I also use it for watching movies, especially since the hubbie still has the TV up at our place in Portland and this is all I have! Use it also for graphics and web site designs work, the very little I do of that!

Anyway, I like my glossy screen and would stick with it. That is not to say my preference is for everyone! I definitely think it is good to be given the choice. So good they are offering a non-glossy screen on the MBpros. Bad that they are making people pay $50 for it!