Why so much gray text on web pages and in PDFs? How to lose it?

Discussion in 'Graphics' started by AES, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. AES

    AES Guest

    More and more web pages and also downloadable PDFs seem to be using
    gray rather than black fonts for large portions of their text content.
    For just one easy-to-reach example, take quick look at

    <http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2546>

    Why? -- or, putting it more bluntly, "Why the Hell do they do this?!?"
    (For many readers, makes it much harder to read, both on screen
    and when printed out)

    More important, is there an easy way to globally convert all such gray
    text to honest black? (especially when exporting or printing)

    --When viewing a web page: any Safari setting that can
    do this? (globally convert displayed gray text to black)

    --When printing a web page to PDF: any global setting in
    Preview that will convert gray text to black??

    --Viewing and printing a downloaded PDF document: Any
    quick and simple command in Preview, Adobe Reader,
    Acrobat, GraphicConverter, to do the same?

    [Note: In several of the above cases I can
    --Select and Copy the entire offending content
    --Use Services to put the content into a new Bean document
    --Open the Bean doc as an RTF doc; Select All; and use the
    Bean Font command (Cmd-T) to globally convert all text
    to black.
    But, that's a hassle; loses image content, etc.]
     
    AES, Oct 21, 2010
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. AES

    Peter Flynn Guest

    Re: Why so much gray text on web pages and in PDFs? How to loseit?

    On 21/10/10 17:00, AES wrote:
    > More and more web pages and also downloadable PDFs seem to be using
    > gray rather than black fonts for large portions of their text content.
    > For just one easy-to-reach example, take quick look at
    >
    > <http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2546>
    >
    > Why? -- or, putting it more bluntly, "Why the Hell do they do this?!?"
    > (For many readers, makes it much harder to read, both on screen
    > and when printed out)


    It's a Designer thing. It's just the current fad, especially among
    not-very-bright designers with no training in Usability or how to use
    the web.

    Ours wanted all links to be the same colour as the surrounding (grey)
    text, without any underline. When we pointed out that this would make
    them indiscernable to readers, they simply couldn't understand why that
    was a problem: they suggested that readers should wave their cursor
    across the page to reveal the links (they had set onmouseover to
    highlight them). When we overrode them and made links blue and
    underlined (a blue with the same luminosity as the grey, rather than the
    saturated default), they complained that it upset the aesthetic balance
    of the page. The fact that people read pages to get <gasp/> information,
    rather than admire their design, genuinely had not occurred to them.

    > More important, is there an easy way to globally convert all such gray
    > text to honest black? (especially when exporting or printing)


    Copy their CSS to a local file. Edit it to make the greys black. Set
    your browser to use the local file instead of theirs.

    Or just save the whole page (+images +css) to a local file, edit the
    CSS, and then open as a local file.

    ///Peter
     
    Peter Flynn, Oct 21, 2010
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. AES

    dorayme Guest

    In article
    <>,
    AES <> wrote:

    > More and more web pages and also downloadable PDFs seem to be using
    > gray rather than black fonts for large portions of their text content.
    > For just one easy-to-reach example, take quick look at
    >
    > <http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2546>
    >
    > Why? -- or, putting it more bluntly, "Why the Hell do they do this?!?"
    > (For many readers, makes it much harder to read, both on screen
    > and when printed out)


    They do it mainly because they think it looks cool, understated.
    But it is often very annoying! You might like to look into making
    your own user css stylesheet.

    If you use Firefox with some addons, and if you learn a few
    things about css styling (web pages are mostly controlled by
    these sheets theses days), you can alter these to suit as you
    read. But user style sheets to override all the others is the
    simplest solution.

    --
    dorayme
     
    dorayme, Oct 22, 2010
    #3
  4. Re: Why so much gray text on web pages and in PDFs? How to lose it?

    Hallo,

    On Oct 21, 5:00 pm, AES <> wrote:
    > More and more web pages and also downloadable PDFs seem to be using
    > gray rather than black fonts for large portions of their text content.  
    > For just one easy-to-reach example, take quick look at
    >
    >          <http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2546>


    > --When printing a web page to PDF: any global setting in
    >    Preview that will convert gray text to black??


    Our product can do this;

    http://www.coherentpdf.com/proview.html

    Menu Process --> Blacken... --> Blacken Text

    Cheers,

    John Whitington
    Coherent Graphics Ltd
     
    John Whitington, Oct 22, 2010
    #4
  5. AES

    AES Guest

    Re: Why so much gray text on web pages and in PDFs? How to lose it?

    In article
    <>,
    John Whitington <> wrote:

    > > --When printing a web page to PDF: any global setting in
    > >    Preview that will convert gray text to black??

    >
    > Our product can do this;
    >
    > http://www.coherentpdf.com/proview.html
    >
    > Menu Process --> Blacken... --> Blacken Text
    >
    > Cheers,
    >
    > John Whitington
    > Coherent Graphics Ltd


    Thanks -- looks good.

    [But it does it also convert all spellings to the British forms?]
     
    AES, Oct 22, 2010
    #5
  6. AES

    Peter Flynn Guest

    Re: Why so much gray text on web pages and in PDFs? How to loseit?

    On 22/10/10 04:11, sbt wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Salmon Egg <> wrote:
    >
    >> In article <>,
    >> AES <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> More and more web pages and also downloadable PDFs seem to be using
    >>> gray rather than black fonts for large portions of their text content.
    >>> For just one easy-to-reach example, take quick look at
    >>>
    >>> <http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2546>
    >>>
    >>> Why? -- or, putting it more bluntly, "Why the Hell do they do this?!?"
    >>> (For many readers, makes it much harder to read, both on screen
    >>> and when printed out)

    >>
    >> I hated it even before my vision deteriorated. I end up using invers
    >> video a lot.
    >>
    >> The reason, I think, is that arty fartyness has invaded all parts of our
    >> lives.
    >>

    >
    > Succinctly stated. Many doing the web design work are graphic artists
    > and the visual impact is first priority. Readability is sacrificed on
    > this altar.
    >
    > However, this is not only the case on the Web, but insufficiently
    > contrasting text is becoming more common in mainstream "glossy"
    > publications (e.g. TV Guide, Macworld, et al) as well.


    Many designers are young, insufficiently trained or experienced in
    production, and anxious to prove their cred.

    If the stock is *really* "glossy" (glazed or art paper), then
    insufficient contrast is bad because readers can't read the copy, and
    you lose sales, or interest, or whatever it is you're peddling. It's
    even worse in long-run rotogravure because the absorbency of the
    substrate dulls the colour slightly, making it even harder to read.

    On the web it's more severe, as most people don't know the tricks of how
    to fix it, and you can't easily use a magnifying-glass, or twist the
    surface to catch low-angle light. If these sites' readers include many
    of the older and perhaps wealthier AB groups whose sight is "stiffening"
    (as one writer delightfully put it :), making the site hard to read for
    them, they lose even more eyeballs.

    But that's their funeral: if they wish to cut a substantial chunk of
    their readers and potential purchasers out of their market, let them.
    Someone else with a better site will pick them up.

    ///Peter
     
    Peter Flynn, Oct 22, 2010
    #6
  7. AES

    Peter Flynn Guest

    Re: Why so much gray text on web pages and in PDFs? How to lose it?

    On 22/10/10 15:18, AES wrote:
    > In article
    > <>,
    > John Whitington <> wrote:
    >
    >>> --When printing a web page to PDF: any global setting in
    >>> Preview that will convert gray text to black??

    >>
    >> Our product can do this;
    >>
    >> http://www.coherentpdf.com/proview.html
    >>
    >> Menu Process --> Blacken... --> Blacken Text
    >>
    >> Cheers,
    >>
    >> John Whitington
    >> Coherent Graphics Ltd

    >
    > Thanks -- looks good.
    >
    > [But it does it also convert all spellings to the British forms?]


    Doubtful, but this site: http://www.rinkworks.com/dialect/
    can translate any page into Redneck, Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish
    Chef, Moron, Pig Latin, or Hacker.

    :)

    ///Peter
     
    Peter Flynn, Oct 22, 2010
    #7
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Similar Threads
  1. Markus Hänchen
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    386
    Markus Hänchen
    Mar 29, 2006
  2. hurlebaus

    Pages - Text over Text

    hurlebaus, Oct 1, 2008, in forum: Apps
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    276
    hurlebaus
    Oct 1, 2008
  3. Paul Soderman
    Replies:
    18
    Views:
    279
    Maverick
    Dec 3, 2006
  4. AES
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    767
    Peter Flynn
    Oct 22, 2010
  5. Edd

    Pages, Hoefler and PDFs

    Edd, Sep 20, 2005, in forum: UK Macs
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    320
    David Sankey
    Sep 20, 2005
  6. D.M. Procida
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    130
    D.M. Procida
    Dec 28, 2007
  7. Path

    Pages and PDFs

    Path, Aug 24, 2012, in forum: Mac Applications
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    362
    Cory Cooper
    Aug 25, 2012
  8. MartiInChico

    Gray line "predictive" [something] in text

    MartiInChico, Apr 22, 2015, in forum: Mac OS X
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    420
    Spawn_Dooley
    Apr 22, 2015
Loading...