How to change the font size when viewing websites

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It’s the weirdest thing – as I get older, a lot of websites have decided to make their print size smaller and more difficult to read. So rude of them! But in Chrome (and Firefox), I have the option to make the words bigger.

chrome font size

 

I get this request fairly often from clients. Sometimes they think they’ve figured out how to do it themselves. But that’s only temporary.

They’ll open Chrome, click on the 3 dots, and spot the menu item that says “Zoom” with a percentage next to it. They’ll adjust it to 125% or 150% which makes everything on the page larger (including any images), and it all looks great. Problem solved, right? No – it only changes the appearance of that one website. When a different website is opened, it will be reset back to the standard 100% and everything is back to small size again.

But you CAN adjust the size of what you see on the screen, and have it stay that way for every website you open with Chrome. You just have to get into the Settings section.

So you need to click on the 3 dots in the top right, then click on Settings.

Scroll down a little to the “Appearance” section and you’ll see a couple of places where you can make this adjustment:

Chrome font size

 

If you want, you can change just the font size. The options are:

  • very small
  • small
  • medium
  • large
  • very large

So you can experiment with it, and see which one you like the best. For some people, this is the only adjustment needed. If you’re reading a blog, or an online article, or your Facebook news feed, you might only need for the text itself to be larger. This will solve that problem.

The other option you can see listed is page zoom. You can zoom out (meaning everything on the web page gets smaller) or you can zoom in (everything gets larger). Again, this is something you can experiment with to see how you like it. You have options ranging from 25% of the normal size, all the way up to 500%.

Once you have these things set to your preference, just close the Settings tab (there’s no “Save” button to lock in your choices). Now you can close Chrome, or even restart your computer, and when you come back you will still have those Font Size and Page Zoom settings the way you like them.

And what if you’re using Firefox and need to make these adjustments? You have the option there as well, although it works a little differently.

Firefox font size

 

For page zoom, you can click on the 3 horizontal lines in the top right corner, and in the menu that drops down you’ll see Page Zoom percentage options. You can change the settings here, but you can only change this on a page-by-page basis. So if you want to adjust Page Zoom on a different website, you’ll have to go to that website and make the same adjustment.

For font size, you can make that change and have it in effect for ANY websites you visit. Just click the 3 horizontal lines, then click Options. Scroll down to the “Language and Appearance” section and choose the font size you want:

Firefox font size

 

For both Chrome and Firefox, you also have the option to change the actual font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.). I wouldn’t recommend this in most cases, unless the font being used by the website makes the text too difficult to read.

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Bob Lilley
December 4th, 2017

I use CTRL-plus and minus to zoom in and out quickly, and CTRL-0 to return to 100% or no-zoom.

Seems to work well on Chrome, IE and Firefox. Current zoom factor is shown in the location bar for Chrome and Firefox, and in the status bar (at the bottom right) in IE.

I did not check whether zoom is temporary or site-dependent on the three browsers, but the keyboard shortcuts are easy and quick, and in my case, the need for zoom comes and goes…

Bob

Scott Johnson
December 4th, 2017

You can also hold Ctrl and scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.