Firefox greys out my text. Grrr...
September 24, 2008 11:44 PM   Subscribe

Why does text tend to be dark grey in Firefox?

If I allow pages to "choose their own color" in Firefox, the text often defaults to a dark grey. If instead I go to Tools / Options... / Content / Colors..., and uncheck that box, the text turns a uniform black (with blue links).

Internet Explorer doesn't seem to do this.

Why grey? It's harder to read!

(Firefox 2.0 & 3.0, Windows XP, laptop & desktop w/CRT.)
posted by IAmBroom to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
 
Do you have Cleartype enabled on a CRT display for some reason?
posted by SirStan at 12:25 AM on September 25, 2008


I suppose you should make sure that the default colors in that same dialog box aren't set to dark gray; although nearly all pages specify their own colors. Is there any chance that you have edited userContent.css or any of the other stylesheets in Firefox?

Does the page and Firefox function normally beside the page text? Do the rest of the colors seem fine? A screen shot or two of some pages might be helpful in attempting to figure out what's happening.
posted by skynxnex at 6:27 AM on September 25, 2008


So would some example page URLs so other people with Firefox can see if it's everybody or just you.
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 AM on September 25, 2008


Screenshots!
posted by SirStan at 10:30 AM on September 25, 2008


Does this happen if you create a new Firefox profile?
posted by dhartung at 2:32 PM on September 25, 2008


OK, here's a dual-view screenshot.

Do you have Cleartype enabled on a CRT display for some reason?
posted by SirStan at 3:25 AM on September 25 [mark as best answer] [+] [!]


Boy, I was sure that would be it... but unchecking Cleartype didn't fix it. :-\

dhartung, I'll try making a new profile tonight. Thanks for the ideas... everyone.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:17 AM on September 26, 2008


I just tested here, comparing FFx3 with IE7, and they look almost identical for the plain theme of metafilter.

Also, inspecting the elements with Firebug to find what color the elements are supposed to be, and well, the text on plain is supposed to be gray.

The headlines are set to color #666666 and the body text is set to #333333. So, the first kind of a middle gray and the second a darker gray.

If the only example is the plain theme on MeFi, it sure looks like nothing is wrong. That's just the color the text is. Or, are there other websites that do this?
posted by skynxnex at 7:00 AM on September 26, 2008


Assuming that's Firefox text on the left and IE text on the right: it looks like Firefox is respecting the web designer's color choice, as it's been asked to do, and IE is using default colors (black text, dark blue links). So:

If I allow pages to "choose their own color" in Firefox, the text often defaults to a dark grey.

Website designers often choose dark grey text.

If instead I go to Tools / Options... / Content / Colors..., and uncheck that box, the text turns a uniform black (with blue links).

That's exactly what unchecking that box is supposed to do: it overrides the website designer's color choices.

Internet Explorer doesn't seem to do this.

Try going to Tools->Internet Options->General->Accessibility and unchecking "Ignore colors specified on web pages".

Why grey?

The website designer thought it looked good.

It's harder to read!

Try turning off "allow pages to choose their own color" in Firefox, or turning on "Ignore colors specified on web pages" in IE, or turning down your monitors's brightness, or turning up its contrast, or playing with its gamma under Control Panel->Display->Settings->Advanced.
posted by flabdablet at 7:08 PM on September 26, 2008


Try turning off "allow pages to choose their own color" in Firefox, or turning on "Ignore colors specified on web pages" in IE, or turning down your monitors's brightness, or turning up its contrast, or playing with its gamma under Control Panel->Display->Settings->Advanced.
posted by flabdablet at 10:08 PM on September 26


If you'll read my OP, that you quoted in your post, I did turn off the "allow pages to pick their own color". Monitor brightness, contrast, and gamma aren't going to make grey text black (unless taken to the point at which much detail on the page is lost).



I just tested here, comparing FFx3 with IE7, and they look almost identical for the plain theme of metafilter.
...
If the only example is the plain theme on MeFi, it sure looks like nothing is wrong. That's just the color the text is. Or, are there other websites that do this?
kynxnex at 10:00 AM on September 26


Thanks. I just couldn't believe that webdesigners would choose to lower the contrast, and therefore the readability, of the text on their pages, just for "design sense". But given the number of awful background/font color combos out there... that was naive.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:53 AM on September 29, 2008


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