Microsoft KB Archive/101091

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PPT: Light-Colored Text Disappears with 16-Color Video Drivers

PSS ID Number: Q101091 Article last modified on 05-16-1998




The information in this article applies to:

  • == Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows, versions 2.x, 3.x, and 4.0 ==


If you format text in one of the lighter colors in the Genigraphics color palette in PowerPoint (YW7 or BG6 for example), text may appear as white when displayed using a 16-color display driver. This causes text to disappear when displayed in front of a white background.

16-color video drivers cannot dither text color. As a result, if you have text set to a color that is not one of the 16 “pure” VGA colors, the text appears on screen as the closest “pure” color to the one you have chosen. Because the closest color to your selected light color is white, the text color remaps to white and is no longer visible.


Dithering is a technique used in computer graphics to create the illusion of varying shades of gray (on a monochrome display or printer) or additional colors (on a color display or printer). Dithering relies on treating areas of an image as groups of dots that are colored in different patterns. Dithering takes advantage of the eye’s tendency to blur spots of different colors by averaging their effects and merging them into a single perceived shade or color. (This definition was obtained from the Microsoft Press “Computer Dictionary.”)

If you format text to be the same color as the background, whether intentionally or due to the video’s limited capability, you won’t be able to see it. The standard VGA video driver cannot dither text so text colors get remapped to the closest match in the driver’s palette.

Additional query words: 2.00 2.00e 2.00x 3.00 mix color colour winppt vanish invisible can’t see cannot can not characters letters not macppt visible ppt30 ppt40 ====================================================================== Keywords : kbdisplay kbgraphic Version : windows:2.0,2.0e,3.0,4.0 Platform : WINDOWS Hardware : x86 Issue type : kbprb ============================================================================= Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1998.