Quick Way to Switch to High-Contrast Themes in Windows 7


Do you ever use your laptop in bad lighting situations or where there is a lot of glare? The propensity of PC manufacturers for glossy screens can make reflections a real problem. Windows 7 comes with several themes that provide high contrast and make it easier to read screens in bad lighting. There are various ways to reach the settings but here is a quick keyboard shortcut. Simultaneously hold down the three keys:

    left Shift + left Alt + PrtScn

The dialog box shown below will appear. This shortcut can be used as a toggle to turn a high-contrast theme on and off. Click “Yes” to change the theme to high contrast. Repeating the keyboard shortcut will return you to your original theme.

Windows 7 high contrast theme shortcut

Another way to access high-contrast themes

The standard Windows 7 comes with four high-contrast themes. The shortcut given above only toggles one of these, a black and white theme. To access all of the high-contrast themes, do the following:

  1. Right-click an empty spot on the desktop
  2. Click “Personalize”
  3. Scroll down in the window that is under “Change the visuals and sounds on your computer”
  4. Four high-contrast themes are listed at the bottom
  5. Click the one you want to try
  6. Don't forget which theme you are switching out of so you can return to it if you wish

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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