Good thing: I got a spiffy new e-ink monitor and it's going to help a ton with my concussion symptoms.

Bad thing: It can't exactly handle things like video conferencing, so I need to switch back and forth between it and my regular screen a few times a day. Because I need a lot of preferences set in a pretty specific way for the e-ink monitor, I'd like to be able to run a script (shell, Apple, or Python) and just have them all the way I'd like them, and then run another one to switch back.

Specifically, I need to set...

  • Displays -> Display resolution, Displays -> color profile, and Desktop -> background (all of these already change automatically, I think).
  • General -> Appearance set to Light
  • Accessibility -> Display -> Reduce Motion, Increase Contrast, Reduce Transparency, and possibly Use Grayscale.
  • Finder -> View options -> Text size 16, though I might eventually handle this by just using a smaller screen resolution.
  • And, of course, switching them back.

My backup plan is creating a second login for use with that screen, but that causes issues when I want to get to my documents.

I'm happy to use terminal commands, 3rd-party tools, etc.

Edited to add: I just went through some of the items at https://pawelgrzybek.com/change-macos-user-preferences-via-command-line/ , including the wonderful before/after diff trick. I found the proper plist items, but writing to them doesn't seem to do anything. defaults write com.apple.universalaccess increaseContrast -int 1 should turn on increased contrast, but it doesn't have any visual effect. Using read shows that it has in fact changed. Not sure if there's a "but for reals, do it please" command.

  • 1
    I think it might be easier to create a separate user account for video conferencing, and share documents between the accounts. Sharing files and folders is well-established technology, and will be quicker, easier, and more stable than jerry-rigging a defaults switcher. Set up the account, use fast user switching to jump in and out of it at need; or fight with the system to cobble a solution together, then fight with it again at the next OS revision. May 27, 2020 at 19:05


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