How to Enable Adobe Reader’s Dark Mode and Read PDFs in a Dark Theme

PDF is a popular file format that you can work with frequently. Therefore, it is a pity that not all PDF readers have an easy-to-use dark mode.

If you set the rest of your system to dark mode — with light text on a dark background — opening a PDF at night can shock you by its sheer brightness. This is a particularly annoying problem if you often read PDFs at night or for long periods of time, such as with PDF textbooks.

We’ll show you how to use Adobe Acrobat Reader in dark mode for a better viewing experience.

How to Use Dark Mode in Adobe Reader

To toggle dark mode for your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader, follow these steps:

  1. Open Adobe Reader and access Edit > Preferences (use Ctrl + KY keyboard shortcuts if you want).
  2. There, select Accessibility from the left sidebar.
  3. Next, search Document Color Options section at the top. Inside this one, check out Replace document color check box, then select the radio button for Use high-contrast colors. Don’t choose Using the Windows palette; even with dark mode enabled in Windows, this option didn’t work in our testing.
  4. Selection White text on a black background from the drop-down box next to it High-contrast color combination. This theme is the equivalent of dark mode and is easiest on the eyes. If you want, you can also try Green text on black backgroundlooks like an old school terminal.
  5. Now click ALRIGHT to leave the Preferences window. You’ll immediately see that any opened PDFs now show up in dark mode. Any PDF files you view in the future will also use this dark theme.


Note that this only affects text, so it won’t change the colors of images and other content. This can make it difficult to see some items on the page after the conversion, so take a look around and make sure everything is fine before you enable dark mode in Adobe Reader all the time.

You may need to turn it off depending on your file. To adjust how dark mode is applied, consider toggling either or both of the checkboxes here: Change only the color of the text or the black line art and Change the color of the line art as well as the text.

If you are not satisfied with how your PDF looks in the dark theme, you can adjust the color scheme on the same Accessibility options page mentioned above. Try using Do-it-yourself color scheme option to set your own Background page and Document Text color. For example, a gray background instead of black might be easier on your eyes or reduce distortion on certain PDFs.

And if you ever open a PDF in Adobe Reader and don’t want to use dark mode, you can disable this setting. Just open it Edit > Preferences again and uncheck Replace document color box to clear settings.

How to change Adobe Reader’s theme to Dark Mode

In addition to changing the colors of the actual PDF files, Adobe Reader includes two themes for its other elements (like the home page and menu bar). By default, these themes follow your system’s theme settings, but you can change the Adobe Reader theme if it doesn’t automatically display in dark mode.

To do this, visit View> Display Themes in the top menu bar of Adobe Reader. There you can choose from Greyish and Gray Black option. Gray Black closer to dark mode; It is not completely black, but is the best choice for fans of dark mode. If you frequently change your operating system theme, select System theme this.

This is independent of the option above, so you can use a dark theme for PDFs while keeping a light theme for menu elements, if you want.

Best ways to get PDF in dark mode

With these two little tricks, you can give Adobe Reader a pretty cool dark mode. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than blinding you with bright elements on the software.

If you don’t like Adobe Reader’s dark theme, why not try another PDF reader? Some other PDF software also support dark mode. You can also open PDF files in your browser and use a dark mode extension to invert their colors.


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