Writer’s tip: Help out those sore eyes

Staring at a bright, white computer screen all day makes my eyes hurt. But I do it — like most of you — for the sake of my manuscript, since I make the most progress while typing away in Microsoft Word.

This week, I made a change to my screen, one that seems minor but has helped decreased my end-of-the-day eye aches. Instead of writing on Word’s white screen with black type, I switched the settings to a dark blue background with white text.

How? Click Tools, then Options, then General, then Blue background.

Try it. It took a bit of getting used to, but I’m telling you, this has made all the difference.

Anybody else have tips like this, ideas for small changes that really boost your progress?

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13 Responses

  1. Great tip, Alexis!

    As I near the big 4-0, I’m starting to have issues with small print. If you hold down the “CTRL” key and they tap the “+/=” key at the top of the keyboard, the print gets larger. You hold down “CTRL” and the _/- key to make it smaller again.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Thanks for the tip! I once worked for a guy who always kept his background black and his font a light color. It took a little getting used to, but it was so much easier on the eyes.

    Elizabeth: Thanks for posting this! I forgot how to make the print bigger 🙂

  3. White text on blue background? Sounds like the old Wordperfect program.

    You could go really Old School and set your word processor so that you are typing green text on a black background.

  4. Great idea! Never thought of that one. 🙂

    The Old Silly

  5. I am so going to try this. I get up around 5:30 and go straight to work and before I know it the day is almost over and I’m still reading the screen without glasses because I haven’t put in my contacts. My eyes get so tired by the end of the day.

  6. Yeah, this reminds me of Word Perfect, “back in the day.” Everything old is new again. But, it worked then, why not now? MSFT has just conditioned us to like black on white. Let’s rebel.
    Best regards, Galen

    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  7. Never gave any thought to the background, but your idea makes good sense so I’m going to give it a try. Thanks.

  8. I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts. I am sure everyone knows the standard ones, CTRL-C & CTRL-V (copy and paste) but here is a good link to a lot more. http://www.stevenchalmers.com/Tips/Word.shtml

  9. Thanks, everyone, for these good tips. And thanks, Alexis, for #memoirchat last night. It was fun. Forgot to mention National Association of Memoir Writers as a resource.
    Karen

  10. Great tips from you, Alexis, and from the comments. I think my tired eyes would also appreciate the color change in Word.

  11. I try not to look at the screen as I type. I also edit from a paper copy.

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