Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Sometimes it is convenient for reading the computer screen if only the reading region is brighter then the rest of the screen.

share|improve this question

I saw some monitors that have that option but it was accessible only from monitor's menu and not from operating system. I never saw this on notebook's screen but only on stand-alone display.

I had this on Samsung SyncMaster 740N and it was called MagicZone. Personally I used it maybe twice - it is just too annoying to adjust boxes via OSD menu.

share|improve this answer

Technically the answer would be No.

From a hardware perspective this would not be possible since brightness is controlled for the entire display area. This is by design.

Although there are software to control brightness for the whole screen available, I can't find any that will allow you to only select a portion of the screen.

share|improve this answer
This answer is true for most monitors out there: the brightness of the display is the brightness of the backlight. However, if you're willing to pay, you can get a display with multiple backlights. I don't know how much software exists that can tune them selectively (the primary purpose of multiple backlights is to have a more uniform brightness). – Gilles Aug 23 '10 at 21:16

I've got an LG W2361V monitor, and it's drivers/software provide a "cinema mode" icon in my system tray - I click that, draw a box and voilà the rest of the screen dims (to an adjustable amount) and that bit stays lit until I click outside that area.

It's actually quite a nice trick. But, it's not a hardware function, but probably some clever transparent overlay work. Taking a screen shot with Prt Scr results in the outline being visible in the screen shot.

The point is - there's proprietary software out there that will do something like what you ask, so it's possible. Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions of non-proprietary that can do this, anyone?

share|improve this answer
propitiatory software? meaning software that appeases? =P – Claudiu Oct 20 '10 at 22:37
@Cladui Thanks for that. We'll chalk that one up as an "opps". – DMA57361 Oct 21 '10 at 7:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.