Making Yosemite Readable

I resisted the upgrade to Yosemite, even though I have a pretty new mid-2014 MacBook Pro, because I’d rather let someone else beta-test things before I upgrade. When I finally did upgrade, I noticed a problem: my eyes were killing me.  Granted, I’ve put a few hundred thousand miles on my eyeballs over the last few decades, but this was a sudden and marked problem.

I think there are a few things going on here, but the big two are the layout and the font. There’s a lot more brightness and transparency in the general look and feel of the layout. And Yosemite switched system fonts, from Lucida Grande to Helvetica Neue. They’re both sans serif fonts, but for whatever reason, the Helvetica taxes my eyes way too much.

I was reluctant to do anything. I hate customizing my system, because then when I change computers, I have to re-remember everything I configured, and I don’t want to be one of those people that has a freaky version of Windows 8 that’s customized to look like Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with a yellow on pink interface and the fonts in Papyrus, and if I can’t get that, I can’t work.

But, anyway, here are a few fixes I messed with:

  1. Select System Preferences > Accessibility > Reduce Transparency (This is true by default if #3 below is also true. This can also allegedly speed up UI lag.)
  2. Set System Preferences > General > Appearance to Graphite
  3. Select System Preferences > Accessibility > Increase contrast.
  4. I don’t do this, selecting System Preferences > General > Use dark menu bar and dock might be to your preference
  5. Change the system font back using this: https://github.com/schreiberstein/lucidagrandeyosemite