Can I make my Mac laptop's screen brighter?
June 16, 2006 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Is there any software for OSX that will let me make my G4 PowerBook's screen brighter?

I like to use it outdoors, but even with all the brightness settings at their highest, I have to sit in the shade to see the screen very well. Brrr.
posted by TochterAusElysium to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think there is. It's a hardware thing, not a software thing.

What you can do is press ctrl-cmd-option-8, and it'll invert the colors. Makes it a bit easier to read when there's a lot of glare outside. (Also, it freaks people out.)
posted by danb at 6:36 PM on June 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Whoa, I always wondered how you inverted the colors. Cool.
posted by oaf at 6:40 PM on June 16, 2006

Oh, that IS cool. Thanks, danb!
posted by TochterAusElysium at 7:03 PM on June 16, 2006

Sunlight overpowers most LCDs, with the exception of the few made with that special transreflective-whatever.

I don't know of any hardware solution (though if there is one, count on much shorter battery life -- screen brightness is a power hog), but the workaround is to reduce sun glare. Moving into a patch of shade helps. So does turning so the sun is behind the laptop (but then your eyes hurt for a whole new reason, argh). Or bring along your choice of portable shade.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 7:14 PM on June 16, 2006

Also try command-control-option-. repeatedly (and command-control-option-, to go back the other way)

I don't know of any hardware solution

Glossy screens like the MacBook has are the answer. The only reason sunlight can overpowers LCDs is because it gets picked up by the matte coating, creating a nice grey fog in front of the image.
posted by cillit bang at 7:56 PM on June 16, 2006

What you can do is press ctrl-cmd-option-8

Where does one find out about things like this?
posted by advil at 8:05 PM on June 16, 2006

advil: I found out the same way you just did -- a post on a message board. I'm sure someone has a Master List of Weird OSX Shortcuts handy, though.
posted by danb at 8:07 PM on June 16, 2006

Where does one find out about things like this?

System Preferences > Universal Access
posted by cillit bang at 8:14 PM on June 16, 2006

Ambrosia Software makes a cool freebie utlity, ScreenCleaner Pro, that is just exactly the medicine for your brightness woes. It does a neat gamma reset.
posted by dbiedny at 10:49 PM on June 16, 2006

... Or not. I couldn't resist.
posted by dbiedny at 10:55 PM on June 16, 2006

The screen cleaner was awesome, cheers!
posted by Wolof at 12:01 AM on June 17, 2006

You can adjust the gamma using the screen calibration function (System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate). In the "Select a Target Gamma" page, move the slider to the left of Mac Standard a bit if necessary.

This doesn't really make the screen brighter, but it does make your screen, overall, lighter by making the midtones lighter.

Actually you may not need to fiddle with the target gamma; just leaving it at native Mac gamma may be enough to help since your display is probably not actually calibrated for the way you use it.
posted by kindall at 7:36 AM on June 17, 2006

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