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Thread: Text readability on monitors - Background and Foreground colors

  1. #1
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    Question Text readability on monitors - Background and Foreground colors

    Hello,

    I'm a journalist and novels writer and as a result of my job I spend a long time reading texts on the computer. Some days up to 9-10 hours a day.

    As a result of this, obviously my eyes get very tired at the end of the day.

    I would like to minimize the impact of this. I would like to know, or if you can point me towards some research or papers about the best way to read texts on a computer monitor.

    To be more precise, I'd like to know what are the background and foreground (text) colors that work best to minimize strain in the eyes.

    I have heard that absolute black against yellow works good, but I have also heard that it could be black on grey background. I'm confused. RGB values instead of color names would be prefered.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Go to your local optical shop and ask for a PC Peeker. $25.00 Use it, your troubles will go away.

  3. #3
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    Hi Chip, thanks for your reply.

    What's a PC Peeker?

    I have done a bit of googling and haven't found anything relevant I'm afraid.

    Is that available in England, UK? Else I might want to contact the distributor if that's really worth it.

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    PC Peeker is a little devise that slips behind your glasses. Makes your upper vision focus at the PC. leaves bifocal (lower part of glasses ) the same as it was for reading printed text. Also allows your glasses to continue to correct for astigmatism, etc.


    Don't know about UK availablility, if you can't find one. I will send you one as they are small and light, shipping shouldn't be much of a problem.

    Of course this assumes you wear full spectales are 40 years of age or more.

    Other things that help, turn down brightness of screen and move further back away from screen, make sure that monitor is at least two inches
    (50 mm) lower than eye level. Do monitor height even if it is you that must be elevated.

  5. #5
    Paper Shuffler GOS_Queen's Avatar
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    Here are some articles on computer vision syndrome - it's not just the text colors that bother the eyes, it's also the pixels of the computer - hopefully these articles will explain.

    Another key to managing the strain is to take "eye breaks" thru the workday - look away from the monitor at varying distances ~ what happens is we get so "focused" on the computer monitor it tires the eye muscles - (imagine holding your arm out parrallel to the floor ~ you can do it for a short time but 8 - 10 hours a day and that would NOT be comfortable !)

    When focused at the computer screen for any length of time, our eyes don't blink as often and often get quite dry. A good quality moisturizing drop is often helpful.

    Also, the eyes can see the printed text easier than pixels on a computer ~ your eyes work harder.

    If you wear corrective lenses, invest in A/R coating.

    here's the links to consider ~


    http://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/



    http://www.healthycomputing.com/arti...n_syndrome.htm



    http://www.prio.com/index.cfm


    I hope that helps ~


    Karen
    "I just love the smell of Optidirt in the morning.

    Smells like------Victory." -- Uncle Fester :p


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    Master OptiBoarder QDO1's Avatar
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    pay a lot of attenntion to screen fonts

    diffrent monitors work in different ways

    in printing serifs are used to control ink bleed, and an old fasioned type setter knew this, and modified the font to look right after the bleed. On the screen, if it is is a CRT, serifs are displayed wrong - as the electron beam effectivly scans past them, and gives them more of a tail, A LCD screen does not scan so treats text differently.

    so look up http://www.microsoft.com/typography/...tal.aspx?PID=8

    when you look at the screen for hours, it is important to present the text as clear (to you) as possible, so work with the fonts. I work on the screen in one font, and print in another
    Richard King
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    vast subject

    There are many factors in computer vision that can result in poor performance and visual perceptual difficulties.

    To understand them you will have to understand so much, happy to send basic e book to anyone who wants it. E mail me
    There is to be a 20 week post grad diploma course starting next Sept in UK for those who wish to become expert in this area.

  8. #8
    Optical Clairvoyant OptiBoard Bronze Supporter Andrew Weiss's Avatar
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    On a purely personal level, I've found a great difference by switching to LCD screens from the traditional CRT monitor. The refresh rate of CRT monitors can create a strobe-type effect (try waving your hand across your monitor and see whether it "flashes"), and looking at this makes the eyes work harder and can cause fatigue. We've even gotten an LCD television.

    For me, switching to the LCD screen was a lot more important than adjusting background/text colors.

    The other suggestions on this thread are also excellent and worth checking out.

    Best of luck to you.
    Andrew

    "One must remember that at the end of the road, there is a path" --- Fortune Cookie

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    What's up? drk's Avatar
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    I think Andrew is on-target, here.

    I'm not sure if the critical flicker fusion rate (CFF) is a factor in computer issues. I tend to think of accommodative fatigue and dry eye.

    As far as colors, who's using a monochrome CRT anyway? If you were to use monochrome, you'd need a light that was at the eye's most sensitive color (around 555 nanometers, IIRC, the limey color of fire trucks) and keep the background illumination turned down, and turn up the contrast to the lowest comfortable setting. Excess illumination of the retina can potentially be an issue, but is minimal IMO.

    The best color is really the highest contrast. I was taught that black characters on a white background is generally preferred.

    Get a high resolution monitor, wear low plus lenses, take a few breaks, use a few drops, turn the background illumination down a little, keep your screen off "full blast" and you'll be OK.

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