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Show HN: Dark Reader extension – Dark mode for every website (darkreader.org)
369 points by alexanderby 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 175 comments

I often use the reader mode in Firefox. Although it is not the same as a dark mode for a whole webpage, it is pretty good at removing clutter and making a web text easier to read. With the added bonus that there are no permissions involved (although I suspect the latter are absolutely necessary for the addon to work, without sharing data to 3rd parties).

It is even possible to save a bookmark in Firefox with reader mode already enabled, by adding about:reader?url= before the url.

There is a nice extension, Automatic Reader View [0], which automatically enables Firefox reader view, if available for the visited page. I even used it in blacklist mode for a while, which wasn't bad but after some time I ended up using it in whitelist mode, because it was too extreme for me.

[0] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/automatic-rea...

You can set dark mode in reader view (firefox mobile)

In desktop Firefox there is a dark background option, which is my favorite, along with serif font. I used to postpone my reading list until reading mode came about, because the white screen is just too much sometimes.

I tried this a few months back, I liked the visual effect and the configuration flexibility, but it ate at my CPU waaay too much. Anybody else have this? Was meaning to look for a lightweight alternative. Maybe I'll try this extension again to see if it's still a resource hog.

Note: I'm on Firefox.

Bad performance in Firefox is a known issue and I'm working on improving it. It's not an issue in Chrome and Safari. Low performance can be noticeable in new GMail design, but the reason is their heavy stylesheets full of unused code and images, that Dark Reader tries to analyze. Some day it will be fixed by adding some static themes for popular websites.

a fast and simple alternative for firefox (and android) is this one:


please let us know if it performs better for you! (i'm the author)

I've tried it just a few hours ago, at the moment it's my goto alternative, cheers! The only downside to your extension is that I can't regulate the visual contrast, so some text, like HN content text, is a bit too glaringly bright.

Also, I'm not sure why, but the monospace text in the HN reply box is quite unpleasant to read when inverted.

But good effort! Is it open source?

yup its open source:


and thanks for the feedback!

CSS filters can cause heating of your phone.

Just added the extension to give it a whirl. My CPU usage is 3% to 4%, memory is ~37%, on an i7 wih 16 GB RAM (and about 100 tabs open in Firefox).

I like it. I was looking for something like that for a while. Nighttime browsing on LED monitors seriously hurts my eyes, even with night light settings on. This looks like it'll do the job. I'll know tonight :)

Wish you luck. The resource usage spikes I was experiencing were happening sporadically and some sites were more prone to it than others. I've just installed it again, we'll see how it goes.

I just bought for Safari and immediately uninstalled because CPU usage was too heavy and didn't come down. Also, permissions are way too intrusive, why does the extension need to have access to all of my browsing history?

The browser doesn't separate what injected script can do and what it can't. Regarding Dark Reader, it needs to know page URL to determine if it is blacklisted by your settings or not.

I’m using Night Reader for Safari right now, it allows using hotkeys for toggling between dark and light. Didn’t notice any hit on the performance.

unfortunately still a bit resource intensive, agreed that I like the extension if I ignored that bit

I experienced the same thing. Waiting until the problem is fixed to use again but it was a really useful albeit slow extension.

I have used it a lot on both Firefox and Chrome. It's much slower on Firefox.

With Safari on macOS, the OS reports a negligible energy impact for the extension.

How are you seeing what CPU usage is used on a per extension basis?

I'm not. Wish FF had that.

On Firefox, I love the Owl - Dark Background app.


I'll have to try that. I never had performance issues with Dark Reader on Chrome, but I find it to be slow on Firefox.

It isn't the fastest, it's true. I'm not sure if this is a browser/CSS rendering limitation or a Firefox issue, so I've just dealt with it. It's best to not use Owl on video streams.

I find it slowing my Chrome too. Is there an app that we let me benchmark my browser performance with Dark reader app and without dark reader app?

Then you should try switching to Filter or Static mode.

ooh, this one is way less intensive on resources.

Does anyone actually prefer reading text on a bright background? If so, what are your reasons? For me, the choice is obvious to the point that I'm often annoyed at the lengths I need to go to in order to browse the web comfortably. I feel like we should have moved to the sane default of dark-themed UI ages ago.

Honest question: how well-lit is the area you use your computer in, and have you tried turning down your monitor's brightness? I'm as baffled by the popularity of dark themes as you are with light themes, but I'm sitting in a fairly bright room with natural light and a monitor at 35% brightness. In these conditions dark-on-light and light-on-dark text are equally pleasant to read, and I opt for light themes when given the choice simply for consistency. If you're using dark themes because you browse the web in the dark, it seems to me like changing your conditions is a better solution for your eye health.

It really bugs me for my monitor to not be at or near max brightness because of how terrible the colors look at low brightness, even on high end IPS panels. This isn’t an issue on my OLED phone, which has great colors even at the lowest brightness, but nobody makes 27” OLED monitors and if they did they’d be prohibitively expensive.

Are you speaking subjectively, or are you saying reducing the backlight level is affecting the color reproduction of your IPS display?

I've found that while I may need to recalibrate with my Spyder, color accuracy is essentially unchanged at 50% brightness.

Display brightness establishes the absolute limits of its output color space (i.e. the display's dynamic range).

By which I mean: bright colors won't be anywhere as bright with a dim display as they would be when the brightness is turned up. And the difference between dark and light colors is more pronounced with a higher brightness level.

I use Redshift continuously day & night and at first it looked really weird with the red tint, but after awhile my brain got used to it and now I don't notice at all (and it is a lot more comfortable), looking at other peoples' screens looks blindingly bright; makes me feel like a vampire...

Man I would pay a lot for 15-17" MacBook (or properly supported Linux machine) with proper OLED screen (from what I read the already discontinued Lenovo's suck at direct sun).

As I understand it, OLED burn-in is a _mitigated_ problem but not a _solved_ problem, and I wouldn't expect to see OLED monitors so long as that state of affair continues.

We got phones adopting OLED for a while now. Their expected lifetime is getting close to laptops...

Also burn-in might not be such a big deal for developers (a category that Apple more or less ignores).

> have you tried turning down your monitor's brightness?

Not all content is too bright and white. Videos for example playing at full screen, I would not want reduced brightness for. It's the bright 100% white background of websites on a large monitor that is not comfortable.

Also most monitors have annoying UX for adjusting brightness, requiring two presses of tiny unmarked buttons to get to menu then change brightness.

I was very pleased when Youtube added their nightmode feature, which I leave on always.

Yes. I find it really difficult and uncomfortable to read bright text on dark backgrounds. It honestly hurts my eyes. And afterwards my eyes have leftover streaks of bright after the text lines. Can't stand it, and I will go to lengths to turns such pages into "bright mode".

I have a thinkpad I rigged with slackware and a custom WM and whatnot, custom browser, etc. exclusively in dark colors with brighter text. But instead of white I opt for a lighter grey. If I need context highlighting I use variations of red, orange, and blue. It's the perfect setting for me since I also had that "retina burn" effect from white-on-black. On my windows machines I use a redshift app called Flux. Not great for watching videos since the colors are off, but for general browsing and working it's the only setting I can stand with light backgrounds.

Definitely seems to be a preference thing I guess. I'm like you, I find it more uncomfortable reading bright text on dark backgrounds that I often avoid sites that have that color scheme, if there is no "bright mode" available.

Absolutely. I am old enough to remember working on monochrome monitors with green or yellow text on a black background, and the associated eyestrain was torture for me. It was a glorious day when I installed my first color monitor and was finally able to read black text on a white background.

I do. I cannot use dark themed text editors for a long time even though I fully understand and feel that over time it becomes tiring to the eye. I can't explain the reasons why I keep using the white background because I don't exactly know, but I think I find it a bit difficult to keep my focus on what I'm reading (or writing). Feels like I'm getting lost in the code that I'm editing, can find the relevant part as quickly as I can with a bright background. Maybe it has something to do with habit, which can change upon forcing myself, I don't know.

Yes, and I understand there's a simple physiological reason for it. To focus, the eye needs to contract the pupil (which is why when people take off their glasses they squint at things. Another test if shortsighted: remove specs and look at a distant item such as a clock on a wall. It looks blurry. Take a sheet of paper, put a pin through it and then look again at the clock through the pinhole - it's a lot less fuzzy). With dark background, the eye tries to expand the pupil to let in more light, yet wants to contract to improve focus, so they fight. With light background, they don't fight.

This is sloppy but I believe correct. Any experts, feel free to correct or extend this, thanks.

When I stated using a mac, the bright background infuriated me, but when I went back to a dark background, I realised the mac was just nicer to use.

To the guy saying it's a strain to use black text on white, I believe some eye disorders make it easier to read white text on black. Another reason is the brightness of the monitor is just excessive - try turning it down.


I find dark modes depressing when I stare at them for too long.

Take the new macOS dark mode. Looked great when I first switched to it, but after a few hours I happily switched back to light mode.

I also only really read/code at day/in well-lit environments, so dark mode doesn't really do anything for me when it comes to eye strain etc.

It really depends on how light it is outside. I like light backgrounds when it's light outside, but dark ones at night.

Exactly. I feel like everyone who is dogmatic about dark themed everything never spends time near a window.

People on the internet being dogmatic? Never!

White backgrounds have less glare with my monitors, and I'm not one to work without a lamp as I live off a legal pad. I haven't gotten eye strain in over a decade since I started using f.lux. I used to be really into night mode in high school, but that didn't really last as back then, extensions like this were clunky and screwed up websites (eg, not all black font would switch to white, or the implementation would just invert the colors on the page, including images).

There's an IT 'dungeon' at my workplace, and all of their screens are in a dark mode theme although the IT people there do not use any lights in that room besides the glow of their monitors, and maybe 10 feet of multicolored string lights in one of the corners so you aren't running into desks. They even have blackout curtains over the windows. The first time I walked into that room trying to find someone, I assumed it was empty, lights off, and everyone went home, but there were a dozen people in there working like that! I'd feel like I crawled out of a cave every time I left the room if I worked in that environment. Good lighting keeps me awake as well.

I actually switch depending on the lighting conditions around me. If I'm on the train on my laptop during the day, it's too bright to read text on a black background. Everything becomes way too difficult to read, so I set all my terminals/editors to white. Once I'm somewhere darker or it's later in the day, I'll switch everything back.

I find it jarring to switch from a dark window to something bright, for example from vim to the web browser.

You basically said it yourself. It takes a lot of effort to make everything dark. Instead I make bright comfortable. Around 5% brightness on the external monitor and f.lux active all the time with a pleasant middle setting.

"make bright comfortable" <- Yes, this. f.lux has been great for my eyes too.

i do

bright text on a dark background (at least on a display) triggers auras and nausea for me. the auras can vary a bit, but a typical one would be seeing an overlay of flickering, scrolling dark-colored horizontal bars for the next few minutes

i actually came to this thread to see if the extension supported "Light mode for everything" as an option :)

I prefer a dark theme, but find black on white much better outdoors or in an overlit area. This is on a work laptop with a glossy screen (I'd prefer matte).

Matte screen here, white on black is unreadable outdoors.

I prefer dark themes, but they become more difficult to read than light themes when there's glare. If there's a lot of ambient light, dark themes could even cause eyestrain.

You can turn up monitor brightness to compensate, but you could have turned down monitor brightness to compensate for the light theme anyway.

Also, if you're using a projector, dark modes tend to be noticably more difficult to read. I'm not sure why that is.

Honestly, though, I stick with Microsoft's dark mode 95% of the time.

I do!

Because if the background is uniformly bright (white/whitish) I can use the accessibility options to invert the display and make everything dark :-)

I hate Windows 10 full black taskbar (must be #000000), because it breaks this. And even W10 lets you pick some colors in a theme, you can't go full white (#ffffff).

I do, because the screens on my devices suffer from extreme amounts of glare if they're not as white/bright as I can get them to be, and I work in suboptimal lighting conditions.

dark mode makes me sleepy, having bright monitors and room helps me stay alert, so does standing which gets tiresome from doing it all day.

I work from home so there are less distractions and it helps me stay focused for this... but all in all I think this is 100% pure preference, I cannot work in dark lit rooms, when I am working at 3am (this is rare but happens) I have my hospital grade lighting (my wifes words) blasting at on :-)

in other news, I think its relevant for me to say my HN topcolor is ffffff :-)

I still remember when I went from using MS-DOS to Windows 3.1. The black background of MS-DOS was pleasing, whereas Windows was too bright on the eyes.

In dark environments, dark UIs are easy on the eyes.

In light environments, dark UIs get washed out and are illegible.

It depends on ambient light.

I'm almost blind (legally), and this is the first extension I found that PERFECTLY fixes the contrast so I don't need 20-point font zoom to be able to read it. I have tried dozens of FF extensions to adjust contrast, dark theme, etc... none have worked this well.

I wonder if the creator is a fan of


It Just Works!

I'm buying this tonight. Thank-you very much.

I've been using this for a few weeks and overall I'm happy with it. I do find that some complex web apps like gmaps or gmail slow down with this extension enabled. Particularly so in Firefox.

Gmail is pretty slow in Firefox no matter what.

I use it daily in conjunction with f.lux and its been an essential combination for a smooth transition to late-night working/surfing/reading.

Specifically, after trying similar extensions, this one is the best. Its css rules fit perfectly for most of the websites which I visit.

I've never bought anything so fast. $7 for the safari extension sounds like a lot, but for how much time I spend on the web and how glaringly white most pages are when OS X has done a good job with Dark Mode, it's well worth the price.

I’ve also written a similar addon, although much simpler, using static css filters:




It has 4 presets that can be configured per domain.

I’ve added by hand rules to fix inverted images on some popular websites. YouTube is a pain to maintain, they keep changing their css every couple of months.

The code is simple enough to review even for someone not familiar with JS. And you can download it and load it as a local extension if you’re worried about the permission.

I’ve only tested it under Linux, I don’t use anything else. But some users tell me it works under Windows too.

This actually seems better (more lightweight and easier to read dark colors schemes) then the Dark Reader extension.

Thanks. I use it myself so I tried hard to make it work well.

Dark Background and Light Text is great also ...


Fully customizable so you can don't have to go full black/white, you can copy and dark theme you like and use that as a default.

Can we also choose which web pages not to add dark theme?

Yes, it has per-site configuration from the toolbar; also, a couple of different modes to choose from if one doesn't work quite so well for a given site (invert, CSS, simple CSS). I'm pretty happy with this extension (I switched away from Dark Reader). Also, open source: https://github.com/m-khvoinitsky/dark-background-light-text-...

An extension that's become as important to me as uBO. Discovered this only a couple of months ago thanks to a random comment from someone here on HN. I'd previously been using another extension that did the same thing, but poorly.

HN now looks like an old school amber monitor, and its default rules get 9 out of 10 sites spot on, with perfect contrast. Unlike other similar addons seems able to leave the right highlight and banner colours alone. If some rare site doesn't work well with the defaults you can tune individually or even add custom css for that site only. The few times I browse without it my middle-aged eyes are instantly resenting the excessive whiteness.

So I have to thank you, a lot, for your attention to detail with this. I hope you receive lots and lots of donations. :)

The only negative I find is it's sometimes very greedy with CPU, especially if you're switching between a few tabs a lot.

I'm a big fan of dark mode, particularly because I was of the impression that it was easier on the eyes.

Turns our, it's not so black and white...

In a study from the 1980s: > However, most studies have shown that dark characters on a light background are superior to light characters on a dark background (when the refresh rate is fairly high). For example, Bauer and Cavonius (1980) found that participants were 26% more accurate in reading text when they read it with dark characters on a light background. Reference: Bauer, D., & Cavonius, C., R. (1980)

So perhaps dark mode actually puts more strain on the eyes? At least when the user is not in a dark room.

Very interested to hear about similar research done in this area.

Further reading here: https://ux.stackexchange.com/a/53268/22606

Anecdotally, I very much doubt dark mode puts more strain on the eyes at night time.

During the day, I could see the "light mode" being preferable. But at night the brightness of devices seems quite damaging to eyesight and sleep.

If you have dim lighting, you can cause eye strain, and in extreme cases actual eye damage, by having small points of bright light in your vision like a phone or computer monitor because your pupils will be more relaxed.

Even now with the benefits of warmer color temperatures becoming mainstream knowledge, most people still use blindingly bright screens with high color temperatures, which causes more eye strain.

Also when you're staring at a monitor for 8-12 hours a day, it becomes less about readability and more about comfort. That's why most programmers prefer dark themes.

There's so many mixed signals and contradictory studies about eye strain and computer displays that I'm almost forced to conclude as a layman that it's totally subjective and up to the user. I've read about blogs and apps which go with a light design to reduce user strain due to being very text-centric, but then again there's studies that say programming benefits from a dark view for the exact same reason.

I've read about apps that switched from light to dark and saw a drop in engagement, but the same thing has happened for apps that go from dark to light, so perhaps it's just poor experimental control and the dip is just what happens to the user base whenever you change up the UI at all. There's always a backlash against that.

The studies are never very rigorous, either. There's also lots of persistent myths and misconceptions left over from yesteryear, such as the myth that being close to a CRT will actually damage your eyesight. I think that's conflated with dark-vs-light because of the typical retro image of a CRT displaying a green-on-black CLI. Seems that some people think reading strain means real eye damage, perhaps even permanent damage, instead of what it really means--quicker exhaustion and perhaps a headache.

The light UI has really won out completely in the wider world of consumer UI, while the dark UI is almost ubiquitous in certain niches and communities. People are always asking for or writing blog posts about the ultimate answer. I think it should just be up to the individual: what do you prefer? And UI design should move towards standards to support this user-based decision, offering both a light and dark mode that is easily toggled based on personal preferences and the ambient lighting where the UI currently exists.

This is 1980 in a time before OLED screens

Barely any computers have OLED screens.

If you prefer dark text on dimmed background try Dark Reader's light (dimmed) mode https://i.imgur.com/H38tpIS.png

How can I trust that this extension, which has access to every page I visit, doesn't steal my data? How can I trust that if someone else takes over the project and releases an update, that my data is still secure?

Looks great, but I'm just so skeptical of browser extensions now.

Firefox add-ons pass full source code review before the submission after the Stylish incident. Safari extensions also pass manual review, Apple asks developer to send an ID card photo. Not sure about Chrome, you have to simply trust me, the code is not obfuscated and you can always locate the files and see what the extension does in your browser. Google recently announced some security changes https://blog.chromium.org/2018/10/trustworthy-chrome-extensi...

Is that really true? I was really alarmed when this extension requested access to all websites and added a ton of obfuscated code with the latest version for no apparent reason: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/restore-old-t...

I've reported it, but nothing seems to happen.

yes. to submit to firefox you’re required to provide them with the source code, but you may transpile it so long as they can verify that it’s the same AFAIK?

> Apple asks developer to send an ID card photo.

To me this sounds like the most vital thing to improve trust. Having browser developers review all the source code in detail is unrealistic, and even then, won't defeat underhanded programming (is it a bug or a deliberate vulnerability?). Legal accountability combined with auditability at least provide a deterrent to publishing malicious software.

Yah I am sure hardcore hackers are giving up the gig b/c they need a PHOTO of an ID! And now the ones who are legitimate have to trust a company with their IDs? This seems like a VERY weak stop-gap measure to a very difficult problem.

DO they also inspect the hundreds of npm packages an extension might use?

> Apple asks developer to send an ID card photo

Is this something specific to Safari extensions? I have never heard of anyone having to do this.

to be less disingenuous, the review process seems to be limited to looking for specific known attack vectors, rather than a full review or evaluation of the sourcecode (which would be impractical). that said, yes, someone at mozilla does at least eyeball it

To his credit, the author has released the source for the Chrome and Firefox versions:


However, I posed the same question in the MAS about the closed-source Safari version, which requires full access to webpage contents ("Can read sensitive information from webpages, including passwords, phone numbers, and credit cards on all webpages") and browsing history ("Can see when you visit all webpages").

The author's response boiled down to "trust me" and "trust Apple's review process".

Shortly after mentioning recent headlines highlighting weaknesses in Apple's review process ("More malicious apps found in Mac App Store that are stealing user data" https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/09/07/more-malicious-ap... , "Mac App Store apps are stealing user data" https://blog.malwarebytes.com/threat-analysis/2018/09/mac-ap... , etc), Apple deleted the review, but a cached version can be found here: http://www.gadgeteur.com/2018/11/26/dark-reader-for-safari-a... and here: https://pastebin.com/DxsWcaj7 .

EDIT: Other than the permissions issue (which was unfortunately a show-stopper for me), I was very pleased with the Safari extension's functionality; it could be a good fit for those who restrict their web browsing to non-sensitive sites or who can remember to disable it when necessary.

But there's no proof that the published source code is the source code of the extension! You still have to just trust them

There's an extension that allows you to view the source of any Chrome extension direct from Chrome's repository.

"Chrome Extension Source Viewer" I use it to audit every single app that I give permission to read each site.

You can always load your own from source.

Sure - but do you? Does anyone?

EDIT: a better solution would be if the store itself allowed you to inspect the source that went into building the plugin. Then you would only need to trust the store itself, which you already do (when you trust the browser).

It's quite common among many groups of people to download and install locally as it also protects you from unwanted automatic updates. For instance, those using MetaMask or Scatter to interact with a blockchain are often advised to install the extension offline.

I have yet to meet a person who did it though. Though I'll admit that the argument against automatic updates is a good one..

> the store itself allowed you to inspect the source that went into building the plugin

Or at least build it from the source code, like F-Droid.

You don't need to install from the store.

Sorry, I'm not sure that publishing a paid app source code would be a good idea. There is a chance that somebody will publish the same app under different name. Somebody has already published a crack for it. And another Safari app already reuses some code from Dark Reader for Chrome.

There was a long discussion regarding this review https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/9y0s2a/dark_reader_d...

You know, some Apple developer can also put some malicious code into Safari, but for some reason you trust them and use their browser, even though they used to slow down older iPhones without a warning, forcing users upgrade to newer devices. Who knows what they will do the next time.

> Sorry, I'm not sure that publishing a paid app source code would be a good idea.

In an earlier comment on reddit, you wrote[0]:

"Safari version is not open source yet, but it did pass a manual review too."

which implies it would be open sourced at some point. Have you changed your mind?

> There was a long discussion regarding this review...

Thanks for the heads up. I'm sorry they didn't include the full context, including my comments; the links I shared above do.

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/9n1eiq/mojave_dark_mod...

When the amount of donations will be enough, then I would be able to publish the source code of the Safari app. But currently it is the major source of revenue and it lets me continuing the development and spend as much time as possible.

Install the extension (in a throwaway Chrome profile), review the code, then repackage it (small modifications needed to package.json) and install it in developer mode. And/or put it up as a repo if you wish (and license allows it).

That's a valid concern. Certainly an easy way to Target an audience to get at a rich set of data. But who's to say Chromium isn't doing this already anyway?

This app is a godsend for people with eye floaters.

I was about to post this. My office has way too much fluorescent light so I can see all my floaters. This extension keeps me sane.

The results are really impressive, but any large page is very noticeably slower to load.

What browser are you using? I've been using this extension for a couple years and I notice that it is much slower on Firefox compared to Chrome.

Firefox on macOS Mojave

I have used this extension for the past few months, and I couldn't be more pleased, it takes a huge strain away from my eyes. Highly recommend! And thanks to the author (cheers)

I use this extension on both Firefox and Chrome. I sometimes disable it on some sites just because I'm too used to their original design like Google, but it works nicely on a number of sites. We needed something to override the color scheme of an internal instance of Confluence / BitBucket and I found this plugin and it worked out well, at least 2 other team members use it after I suggested it.

This looks to have a more polished GUI than Dark Background and Light Text (on Firefox, particularly on mobile), but I'm not sure it offers the same flexibility of multiple ways to achieve color changes. I've run into a few sites where one method didn't work well but another did and having all that built in is handy.

Really awesome extension. I am just waiting for the developer to fix Dark Reader breaking sVim link hinting on Safari. It makes link hints unreadable and thus I can't use the extension yet although I really wish I could.

A hotkey to turn on/off the dark mode is also coming soon and with that the extension will be perfect.

I'd love to have the dark theming off by default, and enable it on a per-site basis. I prefer black-on-white, but there are some sites that benefit from being the other way around. Currently, I have to basically disable theming for every website except the ones I want darkened, which is a bit inefficient, or turn the extension off completely.

Also, since Safari users have to pay for the app, I wonder if it's possible to add some Safari-specific features. I'd really love iCloud sync to keep my custom site theme settings across my Macs. I'm not actually sure to what extent this is possible with apps that provide extensions to Safari, but some minor value-add like that could be nice.

This is really neat! Have left it going all day and it’s quite an improvement.

That said, what it’s really done for me is remind me of how much I miss Nocturne: https://github.com/strider72/blacktree-nocturne (but originally from Blacktree, the original publisher of Quicksilver). Even the Github version linked there is long abandoned, so hard to try on for yourself—but the monochrome inverted night mode was far and away the best late night coding environment I’ve tested my eyes on.

How long will it likely be until the automatic dark mode toggling is available in Chrome/Firefox? I'm not a fan of Safari.

Does it require Chrome and Firefox to implement prefers-color-scheme first?

Unfortunately Chrome and Firefox API has no this feature yet. Time Settings (ability to set active hours) were implemented recently and soon will be published.

This extension so far is neat to try with the day to day sites I visit.

The security settings do seem to be concerning, but I'm not sure if it's due to how much Firefox, Safari and Chrome have locked down their worlds.

Edit: One unintended side effect is copying and pasting text into an email (like an address from a google search) copies the text with a black background. I could do a plaintext copy, but it would be nice if text was copied in the original formatting if possible.

1994: trust the browser for presentation

1997: geez the browser makes some dull or terrible decisions about presentation and we want to control our site's presentation

2005: OK but semantic web and CSS tho'

2013: JavaScript all the things!

2015: whoever thought the semantic web was a decent idea, the browser is THE VM, CSS is teh sux0rs, when can I just treat it like a compile target like every other kind of development

2018: oh hai what if we invented some way to let users control how they see the content of a website

Also GreaseMonkey for user customized javascript

There's the Stylish extension since 2005

Now with added spyware. :(

This is one of the reasons that I'm a bit wary of using extensions for handling these kinds of needs. It might be different if there were a permissions model that didn't seem to require "Read and change all your data on the websites you visit" for most useful extensions.

Better user stylesheet support in the browser seems safer.

Stylus seems OK.

Ouch!! Didn't know that!!! I used Stylish years ago, good thing I'm not using it now!!!

Since there's quite a few of these dark mode extensions with very variable features and compatibility/robustness, I feel like there's space for a comparison chart type thing. With side by side screenshots of how they handle certain websites and how they influence performance (that might be tricky). If someone want's to steal that idea go ahead, otherwise I might whip something up somewhere over the next weeks.

Dark Reader provides all 3 possible modes: - Static: simple and fast. - Filter: simple, but uses GPU very much and usually inverts already dark parts. - Dynamic: complex, but tries to achieve the best visual results. There are some known issues and the work on it is in progress.

Here are some more details https://darkreader.org/help/en/#theme-generation-modes

A question for anyone that knows. With this extension I like to keep everything in light mode with Brightness, Contrast and Sepia off, and Greyscale to 100%. While I like dark mode on macOS all the time I don't really like the web content on dark mode, but with this greyscale setup I feel my eyes relax while keeping images in color in the content. Long term is this setup good or bad for the eyes?

Monthly sponsor of this for $2.

My late night tired eyes, thank you - now I can browse without waking my partner :)

The white sheet of paper metaphor of black on white text is to my sensitive eyes really a shining bright light in my face - I always try to reverse, invert, darken to white on black text - but black borders and black bars ( android buttons grrr ) then annoying flip to white !

Many thanks this is really good.

Do the URLS you visit get uploaded in any way to the author of this extension? I saw you have to give it read permissions.

No. You can locate the files of the extension and ensure that it doesn't make anything severe, the code is not obfuscated.

Been using this for months (in Chrome) and mostly it's great. My few gripes are: -- Google Sheets will put text in light grey instead of black -- The CPU usage shoots up a bit now and then -- Sometimes I see a website flicker in white for a moment first

Been using using it for a couple month (on chrome), very happy with it. The only thing I wish would be for the the "theme preference" (sepia, contrast etc.) to be on a website per website basis. I don't have the same needs on say HackerNews and Google Maps

You can already use per-site settings https://darkreader.org/blog/custom-site-settings/

I seriously just started using this extension a few days ago, after getting tired of toggling my Chromebook's invert colors setting on and off several times a night.

Thanks for building a great extension! I plan on keeping this installed for a long time :)

This is a beautifully done extension. Using it both in Safari and in Firefox Nightly right now.

Stylus + some of the general dark themes solves it for me.

I don't see why a separate extension is needed.

I purchased and like the Dark Reader Safari extension (despite already having the paid Dark Mode extension).

Thank you and kudos.

My only question is with the promotion of a paid Safari extension whether the developer is concerned about a possible trademark infringement suit.

I'm an author of both Dark Reader and Dark Reader for Safari.

Bless you!

I am sure this will mess up some sites, but for the VAST majority of them this is awesome!

I like it, but in permissions it says: "This add-on can: Access your data for all websites"

This doesn't sound good, I wouldn't like to allow an extension to access my data in bank websites.

I've developed a few Chrome extensions myself - it needs that to work. The only way to make it work is to injecting a script into your current webpage, which changes the appearance. Unfortunately there is no way to also disable the network connections of that script so it could hypothetically contact another website and leak your data - note it cannot leak cookies if they are HTTP only, but this depends on your sensitive website's web developer being competent.

You must also trust the dependencies of the application as well - refreshingly there is only one called malevic [0], which itself has no dependencies.

My impression is that the author of this extension is genuinely just trying to make something good for the benefit of the community but it's not as though Chrome extensions haven't been purchased before. Also we must trust that the published extension is the same as the extension in the Github repository, I don't know of a way to verify this.

The only way to probably be safe is to audit the source code yourself and install it in development mode. Or just use a different profile for truly sensitive stuff vs just casual browsing.

[0] https://github.com/alexanderby/malevic

I always found managing all my Stylus/Stylish styles too cumbersome and then I found this a while ago. Instantly donated. It's amazing.

The only gripe I have is that it is a biiit heavy on the resources.

On firefox, when you're turning off dark mode, you have to do it individually for each open tab. That is painful. It'll be good if that toggle is global.

Web pages are slow to load after installing this extension.

I'm always so leery of "random extension x". But if it's featured it can't be too bad in terms of trust, right...?

You guys might like the app I've been working on - Polar:


It's a document repository for caching HTML content offline, managing PDFs, annotating and creating flashcards on the documents you're managing.

We looked at adding dark mode but it didn't work exactly like I would have hoped so I'm going to take a look at this extension and see if they used any tricks I didn't think of.

Great job. Install it and instantly love it.

i'm nearly incapable of reading light-text-on-dark-background (i get visual auras and nausea). can this extension be used selectively to invert sites that are naturally dark ?

from the github:

> This extension inverts brightness of web pages

i guess a related question is can it be activated for individual pages (as opposed to for-all-pages)

You can whitelist or blacklist. There's a toggle to make it invert listed sites only, or don't invert the sites on the list.

So you should be able to use it that way round.

i made a similar extension some years ago -- it tries to be fast and injects very little code. i'm curious to know how the performance compares:


Your code is based on CSS filters. Dark Reader provides this mode too, but also allows users to fix and share wrongly inverted parts https://github.com/darkreader/darkreader/blob/master/src/con...

Dynamic mode is slower at start, but has no impact on performance after all the stylesheets were analyzed.

nightlight is "dynamic" by using a simple heuristic after pageload to deinvert if necessary. but the crowdsourced filter is a great idea! might borrow it :)

does your extension run on android? there are two motivations for nightlight aside from its obvious purpose:

1) be fast on android 2) keep source code simple as possible so everything the extension does is obvious. when i wrote nightlight it was difficult to evaluate the safety of the other extensions at the time, something important to me for a plugin which has full access to all browsing

Yes, it works in Firefox for Android and in Yandex browser. The only issue with Firefox is white user interface and white default color.

Of course it will be cheaper. When you take some code from the original Dark Reader, obfuscate it, add some features, then you can put a $2 label.

Dark Reader is free, this does not seem cheaper.

With dark sites coming back en vogue with and even entire blogging platforms like After Dark[0] now available is the 90's all over again. Hopefully these new sites eschew the mistakes we've made harvesting data in the past.

[0] https://after-dark.habd.as

using it right now, have been for a while :) sadly certain sites with lots of dynamic content or tabular data (zendesk comes to mind) chokes the browser, i have to turn off the dynamic mode which imho is the best feature of the plugin.

It seems free on Chrome and Firefox but £5 for Safari... :( Why?

One reason might be that you need to shell out $99 every year to be allowed to publish official Safari extensions.

It is, theoretically, possible to distribute without the App Store, but users need to activate Developer mode and do quite a few manual steps. It's not a click (or drag and drop) like FF and Chromium Based browsers.

The quick answer is: it makes it possible to work on project full-time. Only 1 of 2000 makes a donation https://darkreader.org/blog/500k-users/

I agree about selling the product. My question was about Safari, and why only on Safari users have to pay. Isn't it a bit like having your website say "works better in Chrome"? Don't get me wrong, I am still grateful that the extension is available on Safari, but it just seems a bit unfair

I'm trying different approaches. The crowdfunding was not very successful, so I decided to try making the app paid for Safari, since the platform is technically different and users count is low. App Store makes its best in selling the apps.

At the same time Chrome Web Store is not suitable for paid apps, today it looks like a big dump: it is filled with outdated and poor made extensions. Raking system makes good apps hardly discoverable. Also paid Chrome extensions work only in 36 countries. Dark Reader owes its popularity to Hacker Vision extension that became paid some day. Maybe that's the reason why some developers prefer monetizing their extensions by selling users browsing history.

My thought process:

Apple is the only place I have to pay to develop. Apple is a luxury product. Apple users can pay luxury prices for my time.

Sweet, thanks! Just got it and checking it out :)

works great on opera as well.

The newest Opera has some changes, to make the extension work on Google Search you have to open Extensions page and click "Allow access to search page results".

Doesn't work on Chrome Canary.

Just checked, it works on Canary too.

While it is nice, there are more lightweight and snappy ways to achieve a dark background (or desirable styles in general) -- such as setting a global CSS, using built-in color overriding (at least in FF it's available, along with font overriding), using web browsers that don't apply CSS. Some people even use system-wide color inversion. Each method has its pros and cons though.

Stylus is one of the handy FF extensions, which allows to switch between CSS themes quickly/easily.

Dark Reader also offers static CSS support https://darkreader.org/blog/stylish/

Global CSS will work well on text websites. For many others it will break up the coloring and make page parts hardly distinguishable.

Any plans to implement proper UserStyles.org support where themes can auto-update like with Stylus? Some of the most popular style sheets update quite frequently.

Stylus already does it well, so I think you could use Stylus for such websites. UserStyles.org is still owned by SimilarWeb, so I would stay away from it. What is planned is to add some static themes for popular websites.

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