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Colour modifications for computer display screens

The main section of our website on Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties discusses Visual Stress and how some people report that reading is easier when using coloured filters. Traditionally, people with Visual Stress have been helped by using coloured overlays (sheets of plastic that are placed on a page) and/or coloured lenses. Now that computer displays are increasingly being used for reading various forms of IMG_5164software can be used to change the screen colour and these modifications are described on this page.


iPhone and iPad

For those using iPads or iPhones with iOS 10 or later there is a very good free way of investigating whether coloured filters may improve the perception of text. This can be accessed as follows: Settings, General, Accessibility, Display Accommodations, Colour Filters, On, Colour Tint. The colour of the background (hue) and depth of colour (intensity) can be varied to find a setting the improves the perception of text. This is easiest to do if the child views text and double-clicking on the Home button can be used to alternate between the Colour Tint page and a page with a paragraph or two of text.


Windows PCs

A program called ColorVeil allows Windows users to rapidly select the preferred screen colour.


Multiple platforms and web browsers

Claroread is commercial software that provides a number of reading aid options for multiple platforms.


Precision tinted lenses

If you find that changing the colours on your screen helps, then precision tinted lenses would also be likely to help you when viewing text on paper and on other computers. We have a specialist instrument that is used to test for precision tinted lenses and if you would like to be tested with this instrument then please telephone our reception and ask for an appointment to be tested with the Intuitive Colorimeter.


Other approaches to reducing symptoms from visual stress

For some people, coloured filters almost completely eliminate the symptoms of visual stress but for others they are only partly helpful. Other strategies that can be used to reduce the symptoms of visual stress include the following:

increasing the font size;

increasing line spacing to double spacing;

avoiding high contrasts by printing work on grey or recyled paper and using a grey background on white boards;

where possible, allowing the person with visual stress adjust light levels;

some people with Visual Stress experience symptoms from flicker. These people will find it helpful to avoid faulty fluorescent lights and for some very sensitive people even flicker from normal fluorescent lights can be problematic.

many modern LED computer screens also flicker as this is an inexpensive way for manufacturers to dim the screen. However, for some people with visual stress this can cause discomfort. The following website reveals which laptops are best for avoiding flicker:



Return to Cole Martin Tregaskis home page. Updated May 2019