Night Vision Mode

Selecting the Night Vision Mode command from the Display menu (or clicking the Night Vision button) redraws the display in red to minimize loss of dark adaptation. 


On the Mac, turning on Night Vision Mode will show the entire desktop, and all other applications that are running, red.  Turning off Night Vision Mode, or exiting TheSkyX restores the screen colors.


Under Windows, by default, turning on Night Vision Mode reddens only TheSkyX’s main window.  To change the color of the desktop, you must configure TheSkyX to use a Windows Theme.  See the “Night Vision Setup (Display Menu)” below for details.

Night Vision Setup (Display Menu)

TheSkyX for Windows allows you to change screen elements or both screen elements and the Windows theme to red.  (You can learn more about Windows Themes by searching Windows help.)  Each method has advantages and disadvantages.  Together they can provide an effective way to minimize screen brightness that should satisfy even the most discriminating astronomer.


The Night Vision Setup window lets you configure how colors are changed when entering and exiting Night Vision Mode.


Figure 154: Night Vision Setup window (Night Vision Setup command, Display menu, Windows OS only).

When the Change Windows Desktop Theme checkbox is off and the Night Vision Mode button clicked on, TheSkyX’s screen changes to red.


Note that when the Change Windows Desktop Theme checkbox is turned off, the options to set theme names are disabled.


Figure 155: Sample Night Vision Mode Screen using the standard Windows Desktop Theme.

When the Change Windows Desktop Theme checkbox is on and the Night Vision Mode button is clicked on, the selected Night Vision Mode Theme File Name is loaded. 


Themes are changed automatically under Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Night Vision Mode Theme File Name

Click the Choose button to select the theme file name to load when Night Vision Mode is turned on.

Standard Windows Theme File Name

Click the Choose button to select the theme file name to load when Night Vision Mode is turned off


Before you can choose a theme file name, you save one to your hard drive. 

Saving a Theme File (Windows 7 and 8)

1.      Click Start > Control Panel.

2.      Click the Change the Theme link under Appearance and Personalization.

3.      Under the Change the Visuals and Sounds on your Computer window, select the desired theme.  The easiest way to save a theme file under Windows 7 is to modify an existing theme, then save it.  (There’s no other obvious way just save a “supplied” theme.)  For example, after selecting a theme to use, click the Window Color icon at the bottom of this window and then modify the color’s intensity before clicking the Save Changes button.  The now “modified” theme appears in My Themes.

4.      Right-click the modified theme, then click the Save Theme for Sharing command.

5.      Enter a name for the “theme pack file” (.themepack), such as My Theme, and then click OK.  The Windows 7 default location to save themes is the Libraries > Documents folder.  Remember this folder name.

Windows 7 Starter Edition and Themes

If you are using a Netbook computer, chances are it runs Window 7 Starter Edition.  Windows themes on this “streamlined” operating system are very limited and cannot be saved to a file, or restored from a file.  These limitations make TheSkyX’s Night Vision Mode less than ideal.  To best preserve dark adaptation when using Windows 7 Starter Edition, we recommend covering the computer screen with a sheet of red velum, which is available at most hobby stores.


Once you’ve saved the theme file, to select it in Night Vision Setup window, click the Choose button next to the Standard Windows Theme File Name, then navigate to the folder where the file resides, and double-click the theme pack name.  TheSkyX will now load this theme when exiting Night Vision Mode.