Which PDF readers have a dark mode?

Who I am
Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
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A PDF (Portable Document Format) file is used to distribute read-only documents that retain the layout of the page. Normally PDFs are used for manuals. eBooks and different types of forms. Available on multiple platforms, PDFs look the same on a Windows computer as they do on a Mac.

There are several programs that read PDF files and most of them contain black text on a white background. But some of them also have the ability to read PDF files in dark mode. So how do you enable dark mode in a PDF reader?



Adobe Acrobat Reader

This is what you think of when you talk about PDF. Adobe created the PDF decades ago and did so for two main reasons. First, to help people open a document on any type of hardware and operating system. Second, that the file remains unchanged regardless of where it is opened. So how do you access dark mode in Adobe Reader?

the Windows

If you want to read a PDF file on Windows, you won't be able to find a designated switch for dark mode. But that doesn't mean dark mode isn't available. What you need to do is search around a bit to find a way to enable it. Here's how:

  1. Go to the Edit menu.
  2. Select Preferences, then Accessibility.
  3. Click the button next to "Use high contrast colors".
  4. There are four options to choose from, one of which is "white text on black".
  5. Apply changes. Now every new PDF document will be opened in the selected color combinations. And it will even display images without any color inversion.

iOS and Android

For anyone trying to read an e-book or textbook using their iPhone or iPad, good news: a dedicated night mode option is available. Just select the page-shaped icon, then turn on the switch you see next to night mode ā€“ which will be instantly applied.



Overall it works great, but the downside is that it displays inverted grayscale images. And that's not always what you're looking for. On the other hand, it may be compatible with dark mode features. It reduces color contrast.

Android has also allowed dark mode, which can be activated by tapping the View icon at the top of the screen. Adobe PDF Reader applies night mode not only to PDF files, but also to the entire theme. in addition, it also displays grayscale images.

Foxit PDF Reader

Foxit is another software that allows you to read PDF files. It mainly competes with Adobe in terms of editing, but it also offers a free PDF reader app. It is simple, easy to use and also supports dark mode. Here's how to activate it:

the Windows

When you open a PDF in Windows, select "View" and then choose "Night mode". The change will be instantaneous. If, however, the black background does not seem to match certain images, you can use the Color Mode option. It's in the same menu and lets you switch between four background color shades.

iOS and Android

For iOS supported devices, switching to dark mode is very easy. All you have to do is tap on the "Show" icon and switch to night mode. There are many predefined background colors to choose from. You can also customize the text and background color. There is an auto-brightness feature with a slider that you can use for adjustments.


Dark/Night mode works much the same in the Foxit Android app. Go to the "Display" icon and here is the night mode, ready to be activated.



Is dark mode better for your eyes?

Why is dark mode so important, anyway? Twitter was the first to introduce it. And then many other applications followed. There's a reason dark mode is more commonly referred to as night mode. It is intended for use at night or in dark environments. During the day, standard black text on a white background makes more sense.

But in the dark, especially if you're lying in bed scrolling through social media for hours, your eyes will like dark mode more. Basically, because things have changed so much lately. For example, smartphone screens have become larger and brighter.

You know what it feels like when someone pulls out their phone in a dark movie theater and the light is blinding? It's not comfortable. And while the science is inconclusive on the actual benefits of Dark Mode for your eye health, many people find it far less tiring. And it's supposed to be better for your battery too. And battery life is still one of the things smart devices lack.


PDF dark mode is convenient and good for you

Many people try dark mode and never change it. It doesn't matter if it's day or night. They find it so more soothing and comfortable to use. Others find it unnecessary. Either way, it's good that dark mode is now more available in everyday apps. Like PDF readers. If you wait until dark to read files or like to read in the dark, night mode is extremely beneficial. And it's easy to activate.

What do you think of dark/night mode in PDF readers? Do you use it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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