Internet Explorer Colour Schemes

Why Change the Colours?

Changing the colour scheme of text involves changing text colour (foreground) and/or the page colour (background). This can help many computer users by reducing glare and therefore reducing eye fatigue and headaches. It can also help people who are sensitive to certain colours or can not easily read text in a black-on-white format such as is found by many people with scotopic sensitivity syndrome or dyslexia.

Before you start you need to have set your own preferred colour scheme for Windows. You can do this using a free program such as Screen Tinter Lite or by delving into the Windows Control Panel. These changes appear automatically in Microsoft Word and in Windows dialogs, but not the web pages shown in Internet Explorer (or Firefox or Adobe Reader).


This what we are working towards. Here is the same page from my site shown using three different colour schemes:

Better Living Through Technology Screen Capture: Black On White

Example One

Black on white – this is the default setting for the website. It is perfectly readable for many people but the white generates a lot of glare.


Better Living Through Technology Screen Capture: Pink

Example Two

Dark Red on Light Red – a shift towards the red results in far less glare and can help people with visual disorders such as Scotopic Sensitivity.

Better Living Through Technology Screen Capture: Yellow on Black

Example Three

Yellow on Black – suitable for people with more severe visual difficulties.

Enabling your Colour Scheme

It’s really easy to enable your colour scheme in Internet Explorer 6 or the new Internet Explorer 7. You must have already used the Windows Control Panel or Screen Tinter Lite to establish your own custom colours before continuing.

Tools Internet Options

Select Internet Options from the Tools menu.

In Internet Explorer 7 the Tools menu should appear on the toolbar alongside the Home and Print icons.

In either version you can access the Tools menu and the Options dialog by pressing:


Accessibility Button on Options Dialog

Now click on the Accessibility button.It can be found under the Appearance section of the General tab.


Ignore Colours checkbox on Accessibility Dialog

Select ‘Ignore colors specified on webpages’ and click OK.You should see the change straight away.

You will need to click OK on the Internet Options dialog before you can continue browsing.


As well as selecting alternative colours you may want to explore your browser’s page magnification options.

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