Reading/Web/Accessibility for reading/Frequently asked questions

All Accessibility for Reading features edit

How do I change the font size or enable night mode? edit

  • On the mobile website (e.g. nl.m.wikipedia.org), visit the settings page. Our new settings are available there.
  • On the desktop website, use the radio button in the "Appearance" sidebar (which is also hidden under the glasses icon when collapsed).
  • You can force the night mode feature on a certain page. Add ?vectornightmode=1 (for Vector 2022, the desktop skin) or ?minervanightmode=1 (for Minerva, the mobile skin) to the URL.

Will it be possible to choose the settings globally across all wikis? edit

Will you work with any communities as pilot wikis? edit

Yes.

We intend to initially pilot the night mode. Currently, this feature is available on a few wikis. We want to make sure we have uncovered any hidden challenges that we may not have been initially aware of. In the second wave of the pilot wikis, we will work with more communities including English Wikipedians.

For more details, see the table below.

Will the new features be available on mobile or desktop? edit

The features will be available for both mobile and desktop.

For more details, see the table below.

What skins will the new features available on? edit

Both typography improvements (font size options) and night mode will be available on Vector 2022 and Minerva skins.

We aren't planning on making them available on Vector legacy or Monobook. It would be significant work, and it wouldn't have impact on the main audience we're building for – the readers.

What is the timeline of this project? edit

We don't have strict dates in mind. Instead, we'd like to go in phases listed in the table. Some of them may be changed:

Deployment User type Wikis Type
1   Done Typography improvements for Minerva (mobile) Logged-out and logged-in All wikis Default
2   Done Night mode for Minerva part 1 Logged-in Pilot wikis group 1 (approx. 5) Opt-in feature, default to day mode
3 Typography improvements for Vector 2022 (desktop) Logged-out All wikis Default
Logged-in All wikis Opt-in feature
4 Night mode for Minerva part 2 Logged-in Pilot wikis group 2 (approx. 20) Opt-in feature, default to day mode OR automatic
5 Night mode for Vector 2022 Logged-in All wikis Beta feature
6 Night mode for Minerva Logged-in All wikis Automatic
7 Logged-out All wikis Automatic
8 Night mode for Vector 2022 Logged-out and logged-in All wikis Automatic
9 Typography improvements for Vector 2022 Logged-in All wikis Default

Typography improvements edit

How did you choose these three options? edit

  • Small – this is the default font size before our changes. We keep it available for both logged-in and logged-out users who would like to avoid seeing any changes.
  • Standard –
  • Large –

Will the font size options be customizable on a per-wiki basis? edit

Short term: no. We have made sure that we will not be decreasing the font size across any current wikis. Wikis which had a larger than default font size of 15 pixels will be given the new standard font size of 16 pixels.

Long-term: communities will be able to customize on a per-wiki basis using the Community Configuration tool.

Will this affect the design of articles? edit

Some article layouts might be affected by changes in font size. We have tried to limit the number of articles affected significantly. We wanted to make font size proportions consistent across pages. We have also introduced a default "small" size that will be applied to various elements such as navigation, special and action pages, and more.

Will you increase the columns widths in Vector 2022 to account for the increased font size? edit

Users will be able to increase the column width from the new menu on an individual basis.

I want my font to be larger or smaller than the provided options. What do I do? edit

In this scenario, we would recommend that you change settings within your local CSS or that you use built-in browser functionality in order to achieve this.

Night mode: Basic terms, and how to enable or customize edit

What is the night mode? edit

Night mode provides users with an option to enable a darker color scheme. It makes it easier to read articles in low-light environments and can automatically match your devices' light/dark mode settings.

What is the difference between night mode and dark mode? edit

There is no difference.

It's just a matter of words used in the interface. The feature is widely known as dark mode. In the interface though, we're not using the word "mode". Without it, "dark" would look confusing in different languages. Instead, we're using the language "Color: day/night", which is why we refer to it as night/day mode.

See also:

Can I customize the night mode settings? edit

No.

At the moment, night mode settings and colors are not customizable. However, we may consider adding customization options in future updates.

Will night mode be the default setting? edit

If you enable night mode on your device or operating system, then you will receive the night theme automatically. However, most users have a "light" theme enabled on their device by default. The day mode will remain the default for them.

Why did this take so long? edit

The night mode feature was widely requested by Wikimedians. In the recent years, there were several wishes submitted on the Community Wishlist Survey. But the feature was blocked for a long time for several reasons. You may read more about them on our blog post "Dark mode is coming". In short, the Foundation first needed to introduce so-called design tokens, preferences for logged out users, and general improvements to the skin architecture. We intentionally resolved some of these blockers during the Desktop Improvements project.

Night mode: Compatibility and scope edit

Will this work with my operating system preference? edit

Yes.

If you're using night mode in your operating system, you'll automatically see night mode on the wikis.

Will night mode affect the appearance of images and other media? edit

Night mode is designed to primarily affect the color of background and text. It should not affect images and other media.

The situation with templates is more complex. We would like to invite editors to ensure templates are compatible with night mode. If you'd like to help us, kindly make sure that "meaningful colors" are not affected. Meaningful colors are colors that are essential to an entity, such as colors associated with sports medals and teams, political parties, flags, geological periods, infographic legends, etc.

See also:

Are there any known issues or limitations with night mode? edit

Yes.

  • Night mode will not be available on skins other than Vector 2022 (desktop) and Minerva (mobile).
  • Initially, we'll be focusing on the reading experience (articles and main pages in the reading mode). The editing features for these pages will be adjusted later.
  • Night mode will not be available on certain pages, such as the history and talk pages.
  • There may be minor issues on older browsers or devices.
  • Night mode is currently incompatible with browsers that do not support CSS variables or where we do not support JavaScript.

Does night mode impact the functionality of the wikis in any way? edit

No.

All features will continue to work as usual, but they will appear in a different color scheme. In some cases, features may not appear in night mode and instead appear in the default light color schema. If you see any problems, please let us know.

Why didn't you just re-use the English Wikipedia gadget? edit

 
When applying a CSS transform to the Pantone article, the result is misinformation.

The gadget inverts all colors including colors which themselves portray knowledge. The main problem is that inverting all colors leads to misinformation. A good simple example is the Pantone article where the Color of the Year samples are changed. As a consequence, we needed to build something different which would change the colors selectively.

Will night mode work if I have the gadget enabled? edit

No.

If you have the gadget enabled and our night mode on at the same time, the two will cancel each other out and produce a distorted light mode. If you wish to test our feature, first disable the gadget. If you wish to keep using the gadget, then keep the day option in our menu.