Gray on Gray

I just downloaded Manager for Mac and am very interested in becoming freed from the decades-long yoke of Quickbooks! :slight_smile: So far, I like what I see. The problem is what I see.

My issue is with the display of the program itself. The type is small and the gray on gray is very hard on my eyes. I don’t want to change my Safari settings since I am happy with them and am able, with command-plus or command-minus to change the zoom on the fly. But those do not work inside Manager. Is there anything I can do?

I know I can swipe over gray-on-gray and highlight the shy text, but that doesn’t help since the text remains gray on pale green. I don’t want to change my highlight color for everything else, so anything? Suggestions? Plans to fix?


Manager is designed to operate across many platforms and browsers (with the same software). Therefore, you do not always see the same behavior or have the same flexibility you might with other programs. Your option is to change screen resolution.

The basic design philosophy is that important functions are in black, less important in gray. That probably is not going to change. Plans to fix? No, because nothing is broken. What you express is having different design preferences than the designer’s.


Well, actually, what I express is an inability to read text when it is grey background with grey text. It isn’t a preference. Funny, one of the thing I read about this program was how friendly the customer service was. You might not agree but I feel blown off. Not a great start for me.


I’m not customer service. I’m a forum moderator, another user. I’m sorry if you feel you were blown off. I explained a little about why Manager might not behave like other programs you use. And I shared a little of what I have learned over the years about the design philosophy.


You can open a Manger window from another web bowser then use that browsers normal zoom control. You could also buy a larger monitor so you can read your screen.

I like the amount of information put on one page so I don’t want larger text / less information visible on each page. I also like shading information typically not important to the main current task (the low contrast items are conveying valuable user interface design information in focusing user attention in what is typically most important), so I don’t want the user interface changed so everything in high contrast.

I had same difficulties and gave in - purchased a larger screen ! All is well now.

Do you have any issues with colour and contrast in other software? It might be worth checking your monitor calibration. Things like the gamma and contrast settings can have a big effect on the legibility of grey on grey, for example.

On one of my monitors I noticed that the pale yellow section header backgrounds in Manager’s Summary page were not visible at all except at extreme viewing angles. Calibrating the monitor improved the contrast in some of the more subtle shades and made the pale yellow backgrounds more visible.

Of course, you don’t want to calibrate your monitor just for Manager and throw it off for everything else. But what you’re experiencing could be a symptom of a monitor in need of calibration.

I couldn’t tell you how to calibrate a monitor in Mac OS, and it’s beyond the scope of this forum, but I’m sure with a little searching you’ll be able to find some tools to check your monitor and hopefully some methods to calibrate it if necessary.

@lydiaFT I fully agree and understand your point. Manager is not optimally designed in terms of colouring. The contrast between the background and writing does make it difficult for many people to see the words clearly and this should be changed. My mother also says she can’t read grey writing on a light background - it is actually a very common problem.

In actual fact, this issue has been raised before and it is a bit disappointing that it’s never been addressed because this is not simply a user preference. Many people struggle to see grey writing on a light background and I suspect it actually causes eye strain for a lot of people. I don’t know how people who have visual disabilities use this program because the contrasts are inadequate for clarity of reading.

I have no problems reading the text, but I would still prefer (and have asked) that the colours be changed because the contrasts are not optimal and it can be improved especially to assist people like yourself.

You will have to excuse Tut. He is a moderator and is very dedicated and he spends a lot of time supporting people on this forum as well as updating the help guides etc. In that respect he is very helpful and we all appreciate his hard work. However, I have very frequently noticed that he manages to miss the point the OP is making and it takes time for him to see the other person’s point of view. I don’t know why this is, but you are not the first to mention it. He is not deliberately being difficult, I just think sometimes he can’t see the wood for the trees. It should be obvious to anyone that this is about having difficulty reading the grey but apparently not!

Tut this not a user preference request. A lot of people struggle to read grey writing on a light background. Just because you personally don’t experience the problem does not mean that there is no issue. It is definitely an issue for a small percentage of the population. A lot of people complained about Office 2013 which had a similar issue.

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I want to thank everyone for taking the time to reply, particularly Dalacor. And thank you Tut, for apologizing. I do recognize that in the world of written communication, attempts at brevity can come off as dismissive when it is not intentional.

As for the problem, I have two high quality, large, high-res monitors (24 by 14 roughly) calibrated by my (adult) son who is a film maker :slight_smile: and using their default resolutions. I don’t have this problem with any other app I run. But then just about everything I use is adjustable and/or responds to the Cmd-plus and Cmd-minus key sequences to zoom in. Manager does not. And it is correct that I don’t want to recalibrate my monitors for one app. Is there a way to make this complaint formally to the developers? Manager might not plan to change but I don’t think my eyes are going to improve.

Thanks again!

Thanks, Patch, but are you referring to the web version? I am using the desktop version.

i believe you have the option in Mac to quickly change your contrast settings.

Reduce contrast Control-Option-Command-Comma (,)
Increase contrast Control-Option-Command-Period (.)

Ooh. That led me to a bit of searching and I found two things: The contrast change apparently is no more, but you can set another zoom for on-the-fly use (Option-Command-=) and that one works in Manager. Which is a great help. I have NO idea why they have two different zooms (Shift-Command-+), but you have to enable use of the second one in Accessibilty options.

Thank you!

I want to add that if others are having a similar issue on Mac, you can go into the Accessibility Preferences for Mac and choose Zoom. There you can enable essentially a magnifying glass that appears over the spot you are having trouble with and zoom in. For Mojave, the commands are:
Option-Command-= (pops up the box and repeated pressing also enlarges text further)
Option-Command-- (Yes, that is Option Command minus to reduce size)
Option-Command-8 (Removes the box)

I marked this a solution, although I maintain that it does not address the fact that the areas that are pale gray on pale gray are, well, beyond the pale!

Thanks to all.

I use the desktop version on Windows 10 and have been using Manager for probably 6 months.
As has already been stated, it is a cross-platform package and my personal view is that the designers/developers have done a really good job in the design aspect. I am aware that there are regulations about colour use in programs and web pages and there are some pretty awful designs out there! Windows 10 has a high contrast mode - does an AppleMac have this? If so, it might help. It seems to be a trend at the moment to create Dark Modes and this may be available. Just a thought.

No, this can be done on all versions.

The details of how to open a Manager link in a new browser window varies with operating system but all versions of Manager and all operating systems support it.

The capability is useful to access browser specific features such as disability access, browser addons (eg for table copy) as well as having simultaneous assess to multiple parts of Manager.

Just been testing some possibilities and found that there is a difference between different browsers and that there is a difference between zooming and magnifying (by magnifying the place of the mouse on the screen is taken into account):

Using MacOS 10.14.6 Mojave
Zooming in Accessibility is NOT activated:

Firefox and Chrome:
[Option - Cmd - =] magnifying is not working
[Option - Cmd - -] magnifying is not working

[Cmd - =] is working, zoom + 10%
[Cmd - -] is working, zoom - 10%

[Option - Cmd - =] area magnifying is working, but no dependency to where mouse is situated on the screen.
[Option - Cmd - -] area magnifying is working, but no dependency to where mouse is situated on the screen.

[Cmd - =] is working, zoom + 10%
[Cmd - -] is working, zoom - 10%

Zooming in Accessibility is activated:

Firefox and Chrome:
[Option - Cmd - =] area magnifying is working, depending on where mouse is situated on the screen.
[Option - Cmd - -] area magnifying is working, depending on where mouse is situated on the screen.

[Cmd - =] is working, zoom + 10%
[Cmd - -] is working, zoom - 10%

[Option - Cmd - =] area magnifying is working, depending on where mouse is situated on the screen.
[Option - Cmd - -] area magnifying is working, depending on where mouse is situated on the screen.

[Cmd - =] is working, zoom + 10%
[Cmd - -] is working, zoom - 10%

Welcome to the world of choices…

I do agree with you that grey on a light background is not the best option.

The ongoing discussion in this thread mostly reinforces my original point: “…you do not always see the same behavior or have the same flexibility you might with other programs.” With Manager, you are literally running the same program no matter your platform. With other applications, when you switch platforms, you are actually using a completely separate program. And when you use either of the browser-accessible editions of Manager, you are running the same program, but accessing it through the filter of a browser that frequently differs from how other browsers would access and display the same data.

Many users are perfectly willing to condemn the program because it doesn’t necessarily behave like other programs they use. They overlook the remarkable fact that you can run it on and exchange data between multiple operating systems. For many users, that counts for a lot.

I can tell you this: the differences in behavior you see in Manager running on different operating systems are smaller than you see, for example, between Windows and Mac versions of the Microsoft Office programs.


I see your dilemma and doubt a “Theme” option will be add at any foreseeable future. Personally I’m OK with the design and color scheme. Although theming it would give it a better vibe or uniqueness for each individual.

Here is a solution for you until that day come. You will need to use the web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc) and a relevant add-on that support “Styling” or “CSS” or “Userstyle”. For Firefox you can use addon: Stylus for example"

If you know about HTML & CSS this will be simple for you. Otherwise there is tutorial website or “HTML” or “CSS” drag and drop or click this button type of website to assist you with that.

Starting out I suppose you just want to change colors of certain thing. Moving to more advance you can change the layout, the font, the size. (Can’t change function though, you would need Javascript for that).

If you just like to play around without too much hassle to learning at the moment. You can just right click somewhere and choose “Inspect Element” or “Inspect” and just change some setting in there. It will be temporary that a refresh or close tab/window will revert it back to original state.

Good luck. Be sure to post some screenshot if you did decide to delve down to this path.

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Sorry for late response. Yes gray on gray can be difficult, I currently use Win10 and use Logitech mouse M525 with center button zoom in/out easy on Manager. So I don’t have to use magnify glass to read any small print. Works nicely in Win10.

And still some can’t see the wood from the trees.
The basic problem is the programmes inbuilt default gray on gray, 0000000%20Bug%202 , that exists regardless of all the other excuse factors.