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Change Your Font or Text Size for Reading on the Web

You may choose to change the default text size or font when you're browsing the Web (the default is what the computer does if no one tells it differently). The instructions below are for some of the most commonly-used internet browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Netscape), and include information about how to override designer-set font and text sizes in favor of your choices.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

Change the Default Text Size

  1. On your browser menu, choose: View -> Text Size
  2. Select one of the five sizes (Largest, Larger, Medium, Smaller or Smallest).

You can do this as often as you like, as you surf from site to site. If the size doesn't change, the web designers have used a fixed text size; in this case, you can change your settings to ignore specified fonts or text sizes (see below).

If you have a wheel on your mouse, you can hold down the CTRL key and turn the wheel to change the text size.

Your browser defaults to meduim, but it will remember the last text size you used. So, if you want it to always be set to the Largest setting, close all of the windows but one, set the font size to largest, then exit the browser. The next time it comes up, it will be set to largest.

Change the Default Font

  1. On your browser menu, choose: Tools -> Internet Options -> General -> Fonts
  2. There will be two choices, Web Page and Plain Text. Arial and Verdana are both clean, modern and easy to read. Times New Roman is elegant. Try a few and select one you like. Courier is usually the only choice for the Plain Text Font.

Force Internet Explorer to Use Your Font and/or Text Size

  1. On your browser menu, choose: Tools -> Internet Options -> General
  2. Select the "Accessibility..." button.
  3. Select the check box next to "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages" and/or the check box next to "Ignore font styles specified on Web pages".

Mozilla Firefox Users

Change the Default Text Size

  1. On your browser menu, choose: View -> Text Size -> Increase or Decrease

You may also (with your keyboard) use "CTRL" and " + " to increase text size or "CTRL" and " - " to decrease text size. On some keyboards the "+" is a capital "=", but you don't need to use the shift key to change the text size. Hold down "CTRL" with one finger and press the " +/= " key with another. The two keys must be held down together; pressing one after the other won't work.

Mozilla has 16 size gradations, compared to Microsoft IE's five. (If your eyes are really bad, consider downloading Mozilla Firefox and enlarging the text to "billboard.")

Change the Default Font

  1. On your browser menu, choose: Tools -> Options -> General -> Fonts & Colors
  2. Choose fonts for Proportional, Serif, Sans-serif and Mono spaced. (A capital "M" and a lower-case "i" will be the same width in a mono-space font, different widths in the others.)

Force Mozilla Firefox to Use Your Font and/or Text Size

  1. On your browser menu, choose: Tools -> Options -> General -> Fonts & Colors
  2. Select the check box next to either or both: "Always use my: __Fonts __Colors".

Netscape Users

Change the Default Text Size

  1. On your browser menu, choose: View -> Increase Text Size or Decrease Text Size

You may also use "CTRL" and " ] " to increase text size or "CTRL" and " [ " to decrease text size. The two keys must be held down together; pressing one after the other won't work.

Change the Default Font

  1. On your browser menu, choose: Edit -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Font
  2. Choose your default fonts from the Variable Width Font and Fixed Width Font. For the Variable Width, Arial and Verdana are clean, modern and easy to read. Times New Roman is elegant. For the Fixed Width, Courier is the only real choice.

Force Netscape to Use Your Font and/or Text Size

  1. On your browser menu, choose: Edit -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Font
  2. Select the box next to "Use my default fonts, overriding document-specified fonts."

For more information contact access @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

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