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Blue background with White text.

Word has a ‘blue background, white text option’.

Aside from the fact that you are not getting pure WYSIWYG using the option.
And not taking away from the fact that a part of me would love to use this option for pure ‘look at me, I am a geek’ option (at least I admitted the desire is there).

What is the reason for it? Is it for health-type reasons, ie lessens eye strain, or is it just a carry-over from the old days of DOS editors?

Does anyone have any ideas?

Aussie Chick
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

http://webword.com/reports/contrast.html


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Wordstar (the old DOS classic) used to be white text on a blue background.

Legend has it that one of the sci-fi authors (Larry Niven? can't remember) lobbied Microsoft to include that as an option because he found it much easier on the eyes.

Don't know if there's any truth in this. Joel may be able to say...

Andrew Lighten
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Yeah, when I said Wordstar, I meant Word Perfect... :-(

Andrew Lighten
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

And it was Jerry Pournell

Bill K Ramsey
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Black text on white is like looking at ants on a lightbulb.

If you're using a CRT, a non-white colour also lessens the noticable flicker in the screen. For example, before we had LCD's, a co-worker had a 19" trinitron monitor on 90Hz and would routinely get headaches from using Word or a black-on-white IDE. Changing the colour schemes fixed that.

Rhys Keepence
Thursday, January 15, 2004

It was implemented a long time ago in order to provide 100% perfect WordPerfect emulation (you also have to turn on "full screen mode" and a few other options)

Joel Spolsky
Thursday, January 15, 2004

If only there were a "bright green text on a black background" option -- some days after looking at those ants on lightbulbs all day I long for the days of my Commodore PET.

Eric Lippert
Thursday, January 15, 2004

I wish I could get full-on Word Perfect 5.1 emulation for word. If I remember correctly it was F7 to exit and F2 to save.... or was it Alt + F2?

Daniel Searson
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Blue & White was the default on WP5.1 (with yellow as italic I think) but you could muck about with the colours. 

A friend of mine had green text on a vivid red background - just to irritate people (she succeded).

A cynic writes
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Pournelle even.  Very particular about his terminating 'e' is Jerry Pournelle. His reason for the white on blue (apart from his ultra-conservativism in almost everything), is that his eyesight is even worse than mine.  He runs everything at about 22pt just to be able to read it.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, January 15, 2004

I run my console windows in green on black and it makes a big differences to my eyes.

Also setting the default window background to 235/235/210 helps reduce eye strain -- though it does show up all the web sites that have images with white borders rather than transparent ones but don't set a background color.

Rob Walker
Thursday, January 15, 2004

I also run my console windows in green-on-black... though I think I do it for nostalgia more than anything.

'Course, I'm also the guy who religiously sets the colors in Visual Studio to match the dark-blue b/g schemes used in Borland's Turbo C++.  Hey, I got used to the colors in the 7th grade, and never wanted to change... so sue me.  :)

Greg Hurlman
Thursday, January 15, 2004

For the 100% Word Perfect emulation, does Word allow you to view all the tags? I've looked for this feature in word but couldn't find it.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, Word Perfect had a feature that let you reveal the markup tags, e.g. <u>underlined word</u>. It was really useful when the formatting got hosed and you needed to figure out why.  I've tried looking for the same thing in Word to no avail.

Nick
Thursday, January 15, 2004

The closest you're going to get using Word is Ctrl + Shift + *, or press Shift + F1 and click on some text.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Thursday, January 15, 2004

I've just learnt something new about Word. If you press Shift + F1 for "What's This?" help and then press another valid key combination e.g. Ctrl + B, you get a help tooltip come up for that keyboard shortcut. Kewl!

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Thursday, January 15, 2004

Nick, the reason you can't get Word to 'reveal codes' ala WordPerfect is that Word does things differently. It doesn't do bold via inline {b}{/b}-style codes. Instead, it stores the character formatting information separately (usually at the end), along with information about which part of which paragraph it needs to apply to. (Ok, so that's greatly oversimplified, but you get the gist.) This doesn't make much sense if you only ever do direct formatting, but Word is supposed to be used with styles.

Martha
Thursday, January 15, 2004

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