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Permanent grayscales in a π bistable twisted nematic-liquid-crystal display have been demonstrated. This display can be switched between the -22.5° and 157.5° twist states by a combination of a strong in-plane electric field and a vertical electric field for creating both planar anchoring breaking and an electrohydrodynamic backflow. The switching of the twist states during the Frederiks transition is sufficiently inhomogeneous such that domains of -22.5° and 157.5° twisted states can coexist permanently. The ratio of these domains can be controlled by the vertical electric field. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.