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There are students at the school I work at who are dyslexic, and have the specific strand of dyslexia which doesn't deal well with black text on a white background. One way you overcome this with print is you put a coloured film over the text you're reading - and it really amazing how it improves their comprehension and their fluency (you can see an example of the overlay here).

I'm looking for a way to 'tint' the screen with software in the same manner on the mac. There is a windows solution, and a paid solution, but I'm looking for a free, cheap or built in way to achieve the same result. I've googled, and found a couple discussions but no solution.

Are any of you aware of any software or system preferences I can use to either:

  • tint the whole screen a colour (ideal)

  • change the background colour of windows / documents to one similar to the tint (better than nothing)

  • achieve a comparable result.

If you have dyslexia and have found a workaround for this challenge I'd be really grateful for your input as well!

I thought that this would be achievable with the color setting in System Preferences but I don't think it allows the tinting sense. I might be wrong though.

Thanks for your help!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I don't use it for this, but it's one of the options available in Black Light. You might also be able to create a custom color profile (System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate...) in expert mode, but unless you can do it just by tweaking the color temperature or gamma then it'll probably require some expertise to adjust the color curves.

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Brilliant - so useful. Thankyou. – glenstorey Jun 1 '11 at 2:50

I would suggest that you look at Nocturne:

Nocturne preferences

It allows you to invert the screen colors and create a night mode, which is much easier on the eyes. It is also under the apache license, so open source and free to use.

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Upvoted for Nocturne. I use it just for night mode (aka "battle stations"). – da4 Dec 16 '11 at 17:34
Nocturne is the weapon of choice for me, too – koiyu Dec 17 '11 at 12:15

I know this may be a bit off-topic, but have you checked out this font for dyslexics ?

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I don't know if this is what you are looking for (and this is an old thread so you might have already found a solution) - I have dyslexia and find that a coloured overlay helps me read so I created a small, open source Java program to create an overlay on screen. It can be found here. Hope this helps

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Try screenshades at

It is free and works with Mac OS 10.2 or later.

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Try controloptionenter image description here-8. That should invert the colors.

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I have been looking for the same thing. So far the only solution I have been able to come up with is only applicable in Word. If you go to Format and Background you can change the colour of the "paper". This setting does not apply during printing so you won't accidentally waste all your ink.

I know I have the ability to get software free through my university, though I don't know if it serves this function — have you contacted the suppliers to see if they will offer your school free/discount services?

Maybe you could contact the British Dyslexia association about this sort of thing.

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