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Bed Time Browsing: Add a Night Mode to Chrome

night mode chrome

An accessibility extension with many uses

If you like to browse the web in bed at night, Google’s High Contrast Chrome extension is a must-have.

With the tap on the icon the extension adds to the Chrome toolbar you are able to quickly invert the colors of open web pages for easier reading.

Blindingly bright white backgrounds turn dark, and dark text is swapped to white for eye-soothing reading.

The added bonus: you’re no longer illuminating half the room and disturbing the person/cat you sleep with!

DIY Night Mode Chrome Extension

The extension claims to ignore images when a given contrast mode is enabled, something similar tools don’t do.

In theory this should mean that images within images look less like an x-ray gone wrong (as with most add-ons of this kind) and more like they should.

Does that feature work? Well, ish.

On some pages it fails entirely (resulting in the aforementioned x-ray issue) while on other sites images remain mostly legible, but not entirely ‘left alone’ as the Web Store listing assures.

Contrast settings can be customised on a per-site basis by clicking the toolbar icon, choosing a contrast setting and pushing the ‘Set Default Theme’ button. Contrast can be toggled on/off using a keyboard shortcut (precise combination varies depending on operating system).

Other features of Google’s unofficial night mode Chrome extension include:

  • Various color schemes
  • Automatically invert sites you choose
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Easy reset button

The Web Store listing for the high contrast Chrome extension explains that it “…lets you browse the web with your choice of several high-contrast color filters designed to make it easier to read text.”

On this it succeeds. While images aren’t quite left alone as promised in the store blurb they are sufficient for tired-eyed bed-time browsing.

The extension is regularly updated by Google and is a free download that works where Chrome does. If you’ve been looking to kit Chrome out with a browser night mode why not give it a try?

High Contrast (by Google) on Chrome Web Store 

 

  • RGS

    An alternative to this (which I personally find to be better) is the Night Owl font in Evernote’s Clearly.

  • G Ma

    As a blind user of a chromebook, I have the internal invert colour option on constantly. The extension version is not as good as it leaves core parts of the system with a white background which make it impossible for me to use. The accessibility of the CB has got a lot better but the latest update to Chrome OS causes the screen to jump around alot when the magnifier is on. Is there a keyboard shortcut for the internal accessability settings,

    • There currently isn’t a keyboard shortcut for toggling the high contrast mode in Chrome OS (though it is on the radar of Chrome developers).

      For those reading this who are curious, two accessibility features can be toggled/adjusted using keyboard shortcuts: spoken feedback (using Ctrl + Alt + Z) and screen magnifier (using Ctrl + Alt + Brightness Up/Down).

      • G Ma

        Thank you

  • vacuumation

    About time, Google, because your ‘contrast’ option in Accessibility settings is horrible. Up to now I’ve been using ‘HackerVision’ extension which has done a great job. But we still have to adjust the brightness of the monitor depending on how late at night it is. There’s still nothing on Chrome yet that compares to ‘F.lux’ found on Apple’s OS.

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  • Torice

    It is not good, don’t even have the option to keep images normal. Deluminate extension does a much better job but recently has created huge length scrollbars.