QuickTip: Make text larger on your screen

As time goes on, I’ve found that I have a harder time reading small type on screen. Fortunatey, it only takes a couple of steps to make the screen easier to read. This is possible on both Windows and Macintosh systems.

There are two things you can do. Each has its pros and cons.

You can either increase the size of text on a single web page, or increase the size of text (and everything else) on the entire screen – text, icons, the menubars, the task bar or dock at the bottom, desktop icons – really, everything.

To increase the size of text when you’re on the web, you can simply select the larger text option. For Windows,From the menu, choose view, then look for Text Size, then click Increase Font or Decrease Font. For Mac, look for the View Menu, and Zoom In or Zoom Out. If you are using FireFox, look for View -> Zoom -> Zoom In or Zoom Out.

This method requires repetition each time you visit a new web site or open a new browser window. It does, however, offer the most flexibility, as you can fine tune it fairly easily on a page-per-page basis.

If you don’t want to adjust text size in individual windows, you can change the size of everything on the screen.

On the Mac, click on the Apple Menu in the upper left corner, click on System Preferences, then on Display. Here you’ll find a list of sizes. Those with small numbers at the top of the list fit less stuff on screen, making everything appear larger. Those with larger numbers fit more on screen, making everything smaller. The highest setting has the smallest text, but it is usually the clearest and sharpest. Lower numbers make things larger, but sometimes more fuzzy.

On a Windows PC, you can get there through Control Panels from the Start Menu at the bottom left corner of the screen, and look for Personalize Settings or Display, then for Screen Resolution. Alternatively, you can right-click on an empty portion of the desktop, then choose Properties-> Settings (XP), Personalize -> Display Settings-> Screen Resolution(Vista), or Screen Resolution (Windows 7). Either way, move the slider towards the smaller numbers to make things larger,or vice versa.