How to maximize contrast in the editor text screen

Hi there, I use Scrivener on an iPad. Also on a Windows 11 pc. I use dark mode on both because I have a light sensitivity thing going on. I’ve used Scrivener ios for years and it works quite well for my needs… but as I get older, I find myself looking for a way to increase the contrast to darken that grey background in the Dark mode setting in Scrivener. The only adjustment I can find is white, cream, and grey background colors. I would love to see a black option.

I use the high contrast dark modes in Windows on oled screens and that is what works best for my eyes. Matte screens are just painful. Lately, I spend more time in Windows because it is simply more comfortable for me… I’d rather be out on my deck though with my ipad. The ipad screen is beautiful in so many ways, but white text on grey is pretty much a contrast free experience.

Am I doing it wrong?
How can I adjust Scrivener ios to the darkest and most high contrast view that it is capable of?

Hmm - I can quite appreciate the problem, having some post-diabetic retina damag remaininge as well as a degree of lost except in imagination younger times, probably amounting to the same thing.

I’m not sure where you’re getting the ‘cream’ option, as I find only light, dark, and system, which amounts to the same thing.

The dark is pretty dark, but you’re right, it’s a dark grey, as most dark backgrounds are, as pure black can often be a bit harsh to look at.

Here’s what I’ve found recently, though, and it works in Scrivener – very simple.

In general, the iPad hasn’t enough contrast for me, especially when I have brightness set to what seems a sensible level – and one that doesn’t disturb on websites which can’t be handled by browser darkening.

So then in a sort of analytic thought about this one night, I instead turned up the brightness…and found that this gave much better contrast generallly-- and as well for dark background text. It’s not quite counterintuitive – and it works, without ‘blowing out’ to lose the clarity otherwise.

As mentioned, this is quite effective in Scrivener, just tried various levels again to check.

But there’s also another way – and this works for apps which manage not to include any dark screen convenience, like Quicken or LiquidText, the last of which particularly needs it.

The appearance will be a little strange, but yo’u’d be surprised how easily you get used to it, especially now able to read from the screeens with ease.

This is to use the iPadOS Smart Invert color inversion ability. For quick changing to it, you can add the Accessibility Shortcuts button to the pull-from -upper-right-corner command menu. Smart Invert will appear as a checkable item on this menu, and the screen will instantly switch,

The ‘Smart’ aspect tends to limit color inversions to ‘soft look’, so it’s not going to disturb attention where there are photos or color elements.

But playing with it again to write this, I found something which makes Smart Invert much more powerful in Scrivener – and this increase in intensity may be something possibly useful to you:

  • if you’re already using Scrivener set to Dark or following System which is Dark, adding the Smart Invert doesn’t increase the effect – it looks the same, or much the same.

  • However, if you set Scrivener to Light, then apply Smart Invert, you get a truly black background, from which letters stand out in considerable contrast.

You’ve probably realized that in general, iPadOS apps tend to want you to use your fingers, or be adept with the stylus in certain ways. I’ve found that a quick diagonal swipe down from top right corner easily brings up the Command menu.

Then by placing Accessibility Shortcuts on the outside of one of the rows (via ordering when arranging Command Menu contents in Settings), it’s very easy for the thumb to tap the icon which you’ll soon learn, and then the checkbox item with Smart Invert’s label.

Hope you’ll find in all this what might work for you, @tjward – and I learned something new…

Someday we might find offered (and affordable?) iPads with OLED screens, which can be a lot better at contrast, but until that time, this iPad Air 4 has been very, very good in all other aspects, so it’s good to see how best it can be fit to what it can do for individuals. Some real thought went into that Smart Invert, it feels, compared to its cousin I detected on Windows, which has at least a keyboard access – Ctrl-Winkey-C…



Thank you for the iPad lesson. I hadn’t thought to look at accessibility settings. Mine is an old iPad Pro with the 9 inch screen… I bought it back then for Scrivener. I haven’t used it for anything else.

I’m still experimenting with the accessibility settings but I have already found better than I hoped for. This is going to work just fine.

I’m actually a Unix guy. I used to run Scrivener Linux until it got left behind. I was that guy that used to walk up and down the side walk in front of Literature & Latte looking at my watch… waiting for an upgrade for the Linux version.

Then Scrivener IOS came out and off to Best Buy for an iPad.
Then I made room for a new Windows desktop.
So… I’m into Scrivener for the long haul.

Most of my writing now is behind my home… comfy chair under the trees with my iPad.
I was afraid I would have to give it up.

Anyway… thank you :slight_smile:

most welcome – and thanks for the tale of the 9in iPad.

I have one of those too, very retired once it started not running or updating some essential apps, and for this becoming insecure.

But…as you note, it can run Scrivener, or should, even the latest improved version.

I will try this, and if so, I have just what I need for the same writing experience, out in the arbor where I’d bought chairs…

Thanks, and a smile for your perseverance told as tale :slight_smile:

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