Do You Prefer Reading Using Inverted Text Mode?

PW4 Inverted Text

Reading apps for phones and tablets have had the option to invert the text to read with white text on a black background for many years, often called Night Mode, but it’s not a common feature when it comes to dedicated ebook readers like Kindles and Kobos.

Amazon finally added the option to invert the text on the Kindle Oasis 2 when it was released last year, and they also brought inverted mode to the new Kindle Paperwhite 4 that was released in November 2018.

Amazon considers it an accessibility feature for those with light sensitivity.

That makes sense with tablets and phones, but E Ink screens don’t emit light and the frontlight would still be at a similar settings when reading at night regardless of which mode you’re using. So does that really help?

Some studies suggest that reading using inverted mode can help inhibit myopia, so there may be some benefit in that regard.

But it sounds like a lot of people like using inverted mode simply because they prefer it, not because of light sensitivity or other concerns.

Do you prefer reading using white text on a black background? If so, why do you like it better than black text on a white background?

26 Responses to “Do You Prefer Reading Using Inverted Text Mode?”

  1. I just got an Oasis 2 today, and one of the features I’ve been wanting most is Nite Mode. I’ve been hoping it would be included in an update for my Voyage for a while. I think it’ll be best when in bed and not trying to wake up my fiancé. It’s a good option to have.

  2. I often but not always use white on black but I’d ALWAYS like to have the option to do it on any Kindle or other e-reader.

  3. I prefer white text on a black background and it is the only way I have been reading books on my tablets and phone for the past few years. I just find that I can read more easily and longer without eye strain that way. I use it day or night.

    I bought the new Paperwhite just because it offers that feature but am really disappointed with it. No matter the light setting, it only has light gray text on a dark gray background. It’s not what I like so I don’t use it at all. I use the tablets and phone only again.

  4. I used to use it early in the morning or at night before bed, but I prefer the night mode in my GL3 better, so i don’t use it much anymore. I do still use it when I carpool early in the morning to keep there from being 7″ inches of bright white in the driver’s view. Also the screen looks this weird bluish grey when the frontlight is turned down very low in the dark. It looks better just to invert the colors.

  5. Definitely prefer inverted mode. The regular white mode is blinding bright so it’s a great feature.

  6. For lit screens, yes. For unlit screens, no.

  7. I have been using dark mode on windows since the early 2000s because I get migraines from staring at a white background too long. I don’t do it with eink screens, but apps without it are annoying. Many web sites don’t work right with it though, hiding navigation buttons that are images

  8. I have dyslexia, and inverting the colors on my rink reader (I ise pocketbook on a Nook) is the only way I can read at length.

  9. I like white text on black. Because it’s just easier to see day or night. I also like the comfort view LG phones have. That cuts down on blue light making the screen easier on the eye that way too.

  10. i prefer white text on a black background simply because my eyes dont feel tired/strained when they glued to the phone for hours. also i use it for a day or night.

  11. Night mode was the way one saw computers in the early days–actually green text on black. So we have come a long way. Why go back? Unless there’s a health problem I would not use the night mode at all, but now and then I do because I feel a glare.

  12. Yes!!! I’m an ebook reader and prefers white text on black background! Please have that night mode on every ebook reader

  13. On my ipads I always read with the black background and white text which turns orange on black with night shift which I leave on all of the time. I have the Kobo Clara that I use at night with the invert system edit which also is orange on black with the Kobo comfort light. But during the day I love reading on the Kobo Forma normal screen with the comfort light set at 50%. I have the new kindle Paperwhite but do not use it that much. If it had a color warming system I would like the black background but I find white on black bothers my eyes. On Kobo’s screens with black background the fonts are but on the Paperwhite grayish/black background the white fonts are blurry.

  14. An additional reading feature is never a bad idea.
    Sometimes I use this option and I feel it can reduce my eye strain

  15. I think it is an odd way to read.
    We grown up reading school books were the pages are white with black text.
    Though this may be good for who have some kind of vision sickness, for who with perfect vision it may be useless.

    This is not about think out of the box, I mean, it’s much more comfortable to read in the regular way… Black on White.

  16. Inverted text is a great option…perhaps better than light temperature control(As a Kindle Oasis owner I would like both). I definitely prefer it while reading in a dark room and sometimes under normal reading conditions.

  17. I’ve been using apps on my tablet so needed to use inverted or night mode to reduce strain, it also is less of a bother for the people you sleep next to. Despite the e-ink causing less strain, i still find a white screen in the darkness of night gives off too much light. I’m been looking for an e-reader with a good proper night mode like on an app tablet.

  18. I use invert text reeding in a complitly dark room. I find it so relaxing!

  19. I know there are many proponents if “Night Mode” but I just can’t see the benefit in my personal use. Whenever I end up on a website that has white text on a dark background I end up seeing these weird lines in my vision once I look at a wall or at another website. But I do really like that it is made available for people who use it. I love comfort lights that take out the harsh blue-ness of many screens which is why I upgraded to the Kobo Clara HD. I can see Night Mode be a similar convincing reason to switch over to a kindle if one has a massive benefit from it.

    • That happens to me too. It gives my vision weird afterimage effects so that’s why I never got into using night mode. White text also seems less sharp to my myopic eyes. I actually like how it looks but my eyes don’t like it.

  20. It’s actually a lot slower to read than way, because our eyes naturally seek out dark shapes.

  21. I’m severely astigmatic, and even with glasses on my eyesight is not perfect. White on black makes it a lot more difficult for me to read, because the white letters tend to get diffracted into the black background.

  22. Since seeing this post, I did some research and found the there is now a patch for Kobo’s that provides a radio button for switching to inverted mode (it removes the display PDF page numbers button). I suppose this isn’t a proper “night mode” as it inverts everything including book covers and menus, but using a radio button to switch is much easier than connecting to a computer and manually editing a file.

    I have been reading in inverted mode for several days but haven’t notice much difference in eye strain or anything. I don’t see a difference between the modes and the text seems just as sharp to me on my Aura One.

  23. I have a new Kindle Oasis 2 and I am absolutely loving inverted mode. I have to have an eink ereader because trying to read on an ipad or iphone kills my eyes yet my husband can read on them without issue. He also has 20/20 vision and I have a small degree of myopia.

  24. I develop computer programs after retirement from aerospace engineering. I can’t comment on a Paperwhite-like e-book reader per se (mine has a gray background), but I’ve been looking at computer code on a high-resolution desktop computer monitor for several hours per day during the past 12 years, and looking at white text (and other text colors) against a black background is strongly preferred by me. I’m 81 now, and as you get older you are more sensitive to stimuli than are younger people, because your energy level is lower among other things. But, I would imagine that white text on a black background may be less tiring (even if not obvious) than black lettering on a white background, even to young people. The white background does have one significant advantage though. More light is entering your eyes, and your pupils will contract a little more, making for a sharper focus, all other things being equal.

  25. I regularly get severe migraines and try to read for a couple hours each day. Without changing anything else, I went ahead and inverted my tech (toshiba laptop, apple ipad mini, samsung phone and a 2018 kindle paperwhite ereader), using blue light filters if there’s the option. I haven’t had a migraine in months and I am putting it down to this change.