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by Ray DeCosta

Q. A website that I visit occasionally has a horrible color scheme. It has maroon text on a blue background and I simply can't read it. What can I do?

A. Websites such as this should be banned from the Internet, but until that happy day arrives, there are a couple of easy ways of dealing with this problem. And you don't have to be a "techie" to be able to make a few simple temporary changes to your browser settings.

You might not think to look in your "Accessible" settings for this cure, but that's where the solution lies. Obviously these settings were designed to allow visually impaired people to also enjoy surfing the Internet but there's no reason you cannot take advantage of the control they offer to rectify your situation.

In Firefox, go to Tools -- Options and then the Content tab. At the "Fonts & Colors" section, click the Colors button. First, make sure that the "Use system colors" box is checked. Then uncheck the "Allow pages to choose their own colors, instead of my selections above". Click OK.

In Internet Explorer, go to Tools -- Internet Options -- click the "Accessibility" button then check the box labeled "Ignore colors specified on webpages". Click OK.

These simple changes will take away the inept web designer's poor choice of colors and turn the page into showing much more readable black text on a white background. You may leave the settings this way if you like, but you will find that all other websites will be very color-challenged or just plain bland. You'll probably be happier going back to the original settings after you leave this horrible site which deserves to wither away from lack of visitors.

Alternatively, you can also just print out the webpage or do a Print Preview. Both browsers will normally not print any backgrounds whether patterned or containing background colors, so the text will appear as it should.

Try out these approaches on a test webpage which was designed just for this purpose. Go here and follow the above directions which will be repeated on the page.

Published: Courier 6/3/12 - Page 3C