TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Do you have suggestions on how to make a PDF file easier to read on a computer screen? By this I mean anything which isn't changing the format and layout, as this has been discussed in other questions I believe.

I'm thinking of keeping the text in black while using a sand-coloured background. What's a good package for that?

share|improve this question
Perhaps the following rich discussion could be a start: stackoverflow.com/questions/498698/…. – Werner Nov 10 '11 at 0:02
Don't think it would be a duplicate, since it does not show this can be achieved, if necessary, in (La)TeX. – Werner Nov 10 '11 at 0:03
Have a look at this post – cmhughes Nov 10 '11 at 1:21
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Well, for me the combination


works best. Something closer to sand-color can be achieved by \pagecolor{yellow!20}

Another advice: whatever you do, do not use multicolumn layout! It is so frustrating to move the page up and down...

share|improve this answer
I actually started writing in twocolumn. I agree that it is annoying to have to scroll up and down, but the output will be landscape on a5paper, so the whole page should fit and be readable on an 11'' screen. – donkey kong Nov 10 '11 at 10:38

Some pdf viewers allow you to change the page background color. For example, in xpdf, you can use

xpdf --papercolor "#333333" file.pdf

to view the file with light gray background. (I believe you can also set the papercolor using Xresources).

Similarly, for sumatra pdfviewer you can use

 SumatraPdf  -bg-color 0x333333 file.pdf

to view the file with light gray background. I seem to remember that adobe acrobat also has this option, but I cannot check at the moment.

This method will work regardless of the software used to create the pdf. In addition, you can print the pdf without any changes as well!

share|improve this answer
thanks for the info – donkey kong Nov 10 '11 at 11:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.