Last week I showed how you change some global Windows font and color selections to make changes to the way OneNote displays. I also explained why you probably don't want to do this. Then over the weekend, I saw this question on the discussion group:

"How do I change the background colour of a page to black?"

A short answer that I gave is to change Windows to use black as the window color. This means that most applications (unless they handle their own colors) would start to use black. Notepad is a great example. While this is by itself not bad, unless you remember to change the font color, you will wind up with black on black. This is clearly not ideal.

Instead, you can take advantage of a feature we have tested - Windows Accessibility. Depending on which version of Windows you have, you can change to one of several different Accessible modes that use high contrast colors to make reading the screen easier. For instance, you can change to High Contrast (Black) and this is what OneNote will look like:


You get the black page color, but a whole lot more functionality as well. The page title tab gets changed to gray, the font becomes white and even the selected text gets highlighted in purple. This is a much better choice compared to finding and tweaking all these colors yourself. Notice all the powertoy icons do not have their background color set to transparent? This is not a OneNote bug, but looks like the powertoys could use some updating if the UI for them is critical. The powertoys that use text labels instead of icons work as expected, though. Yay for plain text!

The default high contrast theme on Windows XP is very similar:


You get green highlights and the you can change is yellow.

The white theme is not quite the "reverse" of the black:


The section name here shows as a link, but otherwise the change is fairly obvious.

So what I'm going to do, since I brought these modes up, is to use the high contrast black theme on my tablet. I like the dark background, and since the ink color is set to white in this mode by default, it's like writing on a chalkboard.

I'll also track down the bug in the UI shown above. Can you find it?

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,