Having treated myself recently to a 27 inch widescreen monitor, I encountered a problem that I hadn't previously considered. Staring at a blank screen in any editing application meant looking straight at 160 square inches of bright white. Which, without a pair of sunglasses, actually hurts my eyes.
In all the versions of Windows that I've used over the past 20 years or so, every one has offered the option to easily change the default background colour of a window. And most applications (though by no means all) obey this setting, rather than imposing their own background colour.
Trouble is, Microsoft seems to have removed this most basic of customisation options from Windows 8, for reasons best known to itself. Unless you're using one of the special High Contrast themes, there's no option on the control panel to change the default Windows background.
Needless to say, there's a workaround. It involves editing the registry, which is Windows's central database of all settings and config data. Not all of the data in the registry is as trivial as a colour setting, so be careful if you do this.
To change the background colour in Windows 8, first run the Regedit registry editor. From a command prompt, just type Regedit to do this. Then navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER and from there to Control Panel. Then click on Colors, and look down the list on the right hand side of the screen until you come to Window. It will be set to 255 255 255, which is the RGB code for white. To change it something less intense, try 200 200 200. Just double-click on the entry to change it.
When you're done, exit the registry editor and log out. When you next log into Windows, your new colour will take effect.
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