How can I make the text on my screen larger?

There are several ways to adjust the size of text and items on your screen. I'll discuss the commonly used wrong way and the right way.

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I am “old” <grin> … so I need to use a magnifying glass to read a lot of the screen words. I suppose that they are in a six or eight-point font. Can I make the screen text larger? Say to a 10- or 12-point font?

I know how you feel. My eyes aren’t all that they used to be either.

The good news is that it’s actually easy to make the fonts bigger, but the setting is hidden well.

The bad news is that it’s also easy to do the wrong thing and end up with something that seems better, but often isn’t.

The wrong thing

Changing the screen resolution is the wrong thing to do.

In the past, there was an approach that worked fairly well on CRT-style monitors. With the rise of the LCD screen, running at anything other than the screen’s native resolution can have unintended consequences.

For example, let’s say that your display is capable of handling a resolution of 1920×1200. That’s its native resolution and the resolution at which it works best.

To make things appear larger, you then change the resolution that Windows uses to 1280×1024. Either of two things will happen:

  • The 1280×1024 image will be stretched by the monitor to fill the 1920×1200 pixels that make up the display. You’ll note that that’s not an even multiple, so the display now has to “stretch” each pixel that Windows gives it across 1.5 pixels horizontally and 1.17 pixels vertically. Because there’s no such thing as a fractional pixel, the monitor just has to try its best – often resulting in images that are indeed “bigger,” but also significantly fuzzier.
  • The 1280×1024 image won’t be larger at all; instead, it will be centered by the monitor using 1280×1024 physical pixels on the screen and surrounded by a black border of unused pixels.

Neither effect is great and it often makes this worse instead of better.

Fortunately, there is a different approach.

The right thing: DPI

In Windows 7, right-click on your desktop and click Screen Resolution. No, we’re not going to change the resolution after all, but the link for the setting that we do want is there:

Windows 7 resolution options

Click Make text and other items larger or smaller.

Making text larger or smaller

As you can see, this setting will  increase the size of everything, including text.

For comparison, I’ve superimposed the screen at 150% on to the normal 100%:

150% to 100% comparison

You can see that images, such as the desktop, are unaffected, but all of the text and icons as well as the task bar and windows controls are now 150% bigger than they were before.

Note that when you make this setting change, you may need to logout and then log back into Windows so that it can apply it.

DPI Direct

If the options of 100%, 125%, and 150% aren’t enough, you can manually adjust the underlying setting.

DPI, or dots per inch, is what the setting above controls. The default is typically 96 dots (or pixels) per inch, but you can adjust it to almost anything.

Once again, right-click on the desktop and click Screen Resolution, and then click Make text and other items larger or smaller.

Windows 7, Set custom DPI link

In the resulting dialog, click the Set custom text size (DPI) link.

Windows 7 Custom DPI setting dialog

You can select a custom percentage by using the drop-down or typing in your own percentage value.

You can also click the ruler; hold and drag it to the right and left to make changes as well.

In either case, the text will be redrawn to show the effect of the proposed change.

Windows XP

Windows XP has the same concept for DPI settings, just in a different place.

Right-click your desktop and click Properties. Select the Settings tab. Click Advanced and then select the General tab.

XP Advanced display properties showing DPI

The DPI drop-down in XP has two settings, Normal and Large, but it also has a “Custom setting…” option:

XP Custom DPI setting

As you can see, it’s the same custom dialog that’s still used in Windows 7.

Caveats

This concept of using a “dots per inch” setting to scale what’s written to the screen has been a component of Windows for a long time. Applications aren’t supposed to ignore that and most do not. Most play by the rules.

Most.

Unfortunately, you may encounter an application where the DPI setting has no effect. Occasionally, you may even encounter worse – applications that use the setting inconsistently so that changing it making a mess of that application’s UI.

Blame the application; it’s not playing by the rules.

And finally, if you make things too big, you may get a warning from Windows that the setting may result in some things not being accessible. A great example is if things are zoomed in so large that a dialog box is too big to fit on the resulting screen and its OK and Cancel buttons aren’t visible. That’s something that you’ll simply need to compensate for one way or another – either by going back and reducing the DPI setting or by determining if there’s another way to accomplish whatever it is that you’re attempting to do without having things appear off-screen.

Update: CTRL+ and CTRL-

Many, many people have been commenting that they use the CTRL key and + or – to make text larger or smaller, respectively, or use CTRL plus the mouse wheel.

This is a very effective approach, when it works.

CTRL+ and CTRL- are application specific, they are not a part of Windows. Now, it just so happens that they’ve been implemented fairly consistently across most web browsers and many email programs.

Fantastic.

But they will not affect the size of text in, say, Windows itself, or many  if not most of the other applications that you might run on your system.

The techniques outlined in the article above are about making the text – all of the text regardless of what program you are running – larger (or smaller).

That being said, CTRL+ and CTRL-, and CTRL+wheel are very convenient if all you care about is the web page or email that you’re viewing.

(Update added 10-Sep-2013.)

This is an update to an article originally posted : November 17, 2004

There are 114 comments:

  1. auctionhugh Reply

    This does not work well if you have a laptop because laptops are kind of locked into the screen resolution. But if you have a desktop or tower PC you might want to also try changing the screen resolution to a smaller number.

    In Windows XP,
    Start
    Settings
    Control Panel
    Display
    “Settings” tab

    In the bottom left corner of the screen is the “screen resolution” slider. Slide the button to the left, or “less” side. For example if it is set to 1280×1024, try sliding it to 1024×768 and hit apply. If everything is still too small, try sliding it to 800×600 and hit apply. This will make everything much bigger onscreen. This solution solves this problem for 99% of users.

    A lot of today’s laptops are build with “native” resolution of 1600×1200 or higher, which makes everything so terribly tiny! This works really well for folks who want very detailed game screens when playing games, but it makes it terribly hard to do real work (in my opinion) for us old folks because the text and windows are so darn tiny! The “screen resolution” slider can help on laptops, but it also can cause everything to be kind of blurry once you change a laptop screen away from the built in “optimal” resolution. But worth a try!

    This is why when Kathleen and I bought our new dell laptops recently we stuck with XGA (or WXGA) resolution. We don’t play games and need our text crisp and large!

    Hope this helps,
    Hugh

    • Deano Reply

      I find it easier to hold down the Ctrl button and roll thr scroll wheel fwd to elnarge the fonts or backwards for smaller font. Works the same on very web page.

      Deano

      • Connie Delaney Reply

        Good suggestion Deano. However not everyone has a mouse with a scroll wheel. So it’s nice to know the keystrokes as well.

  2. jasper Reply

    With regards to browsers and not to pour gas on the fire but Firebird has a wonderful function that ignores the stylesheet and infinitely scales text (you can make it so one letter fills your screen if you like) with a quick [ctrl] [mouse wheel]. IE will not scale if font sizes are hard coded in pixels which leads me my next point and pet peeve. I urge developers and designers not to use pixel units for font-size and instead use ems which are based on percentages of user’s text size settings and not restricted by monitor resolution. As a former print designer I understand the frustration of web design never looking exactly as you intend across all platforms and browsers. But more the reason not to bother with trying to hard code font size especially with the popularity of Firefox taking off. I won’t even go into the 90s design craze of turning all text elements into graphics of miniscule bitmappy fonts. All that careful font hinting by typographers for naught.

    On the bright side web designers are wising up. For more info on the W3’s Web Accessibility Initiative http://www.w3.org/WAI/.

  3. Larry Osterman Reply

    Don’t forget about the accessability viewer – Hit Windows-U and it allows you to start the magnifier tool. The magnifier sits on top of the monitor and shows a magnified version of the screen around the cursor. It’s not perfect (and it recommends you get a professional mangnification tool), but it’s something.

  4. moe Reply

    Ever since i studily fiddled around with the remove and add programs section, i seem to have deleted some key functions of my computers appearance, everything seem visually larger, more hazzier, a bit irritating as well, as were all used to with the sharp crystal clear images and fonts.

    Please help me.

  5. Kyle --- Screwed Reply

    Hey, I need help Leo!

    I changed the Screen Resolution on my computer and now when I turn it on, it goes black, is there anyway to change it back?

    Please tell me there is a way…

    Kyle

  6. Leo Reply

    I believe that if you boot into safe mode, it will use a resolution that will work. You can then change the resolution that should apply when you reboot in regular mode.

  7. joanne white Reply

    HI; I DID THE ABOVE AND IT WORKS ON SOME THINGS!YES THE PRINT IS LARGER ON SOME WEB SITES ; BUT NOT ALL! LIKE I READ THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE EVERY MORNING; NOW; (I DONT KNOW WHAT IT DID) BUT THE TEXT IS EXTREMELY SMALL! CANT READ IT!!! HOW DO I GET IT LARGER? I PRESS THE VIEW THING; AND IT’S ON LARGEST! BUT IT DOESNT TO ANYTHING TO THE TEXT ON THE TRIBUNE!!!! THIS IS ONLY ONE EXAMPLE; THERE ARE MORE! PLEASE HELP! JOANNE WHITE [Email Address Removed]

  8. Leo Reply

    The change DPI setting as outlined in the article should do it for you.

    Many websites do not support the font-size setting in Internet Explorer. But the DPI setting in Windows should still work.

  9. Rod Reply

    I have a Dell laptop. I can get a somewhat acceptable font, however, I cannot change the font on the AOl. The letter are extremely small and now even the “News” window (page openned to)have the letters extremely small.

    Thank you,

  10. johanna Tait Reply

    I am a senior lady of 86. I recently had a problem with my computer and had a couple of “experts” [friends] in to help me. I could do every thing but SEND. The last person filled my whole screen with the result that all the printing top and bottom is now so small I can hardly read it. Johanna Tait

  11. cindy Reply

    hello please help
    i changed the screen resolution and now my screen is blank when i start the computer back up.please help how do i get my screen back?

  12. Leo Reply

    Boot into safe mode, change the resolution there. When you reboot back into normal load, that new setting should take effect.

  13. Marie Reply

    I just bought an HP pavillion desktop media center PC. I’m having a problem with the text on all pages being too small. There has to be a way to make the writing big enough to read without all this eye strain. Can you help me? Iv’e gone to contro;l panel but there is no settings tab.

  14. Howard Reply

    My DPI setting is greyed out. I am running XP Pro SP 2 on an 32MB ATI Graphics Adapter.

    Please help, Can i change the seeting in the Windows Reg Program?

    Many thanks
    Howard

  15. Jennifer McCray Reply

    I know how to make my fonts larger , I did that the question is How do i get them small again ? I made them super big and now the box where I did it, is bigger than my pc screen so I cant change it back …. help
    Thanks you
    Jennifer McCray

  16. Pete Reply

    For older folk like me – right click on your desktop, click on properties, click on settings, move the slider control to 800 x 600, click ok.

  17. Bill Reply

    Once I visited a site that had small text, hard to read. There was a button on the screen to click if you wanted bigger text. I click the button and the fonts increased in size making it easier to read. All the text on the page was bigger. I wrote the site’s name down but lost it. I m now doing some web sites and thinks this would be a good idea if a person that had some site problem. I look at the view source and it looked like the HTML code made the text get bigger. At the time I could not understand it. So I wondering it there were two pages, one with small text and one with larger text. I was going to borrow the HTML code for the this text in-largement thing. Has any one see this or do you know how to do it or where I can find the code.

  18. diane Reply

    i had just bought a new computer and downloaded americal on line 9.0 security edition se, and hving trouble with my fonts, the fonts are not clear maybe you can see what i mean when you get this the leters are missing line connections. let me know also how to make my fonts bigger so ican read everything bette… thanks diane

  19. C. Baker Reply

    To increase the font readability: Start > All Programs > Accessories > Accessibility > Accessibility Wizard. In the Accessibility Wizard, click: Next, then choose the text size you desire.

  20. sue Reply

    i run karaoke and the karaoke text that display on the 2nd screen is very small i have increased the dpi but that hasn’t changed anything, i look forward to your reply

  21. jeyantha Reply

    hi leo,my screen not full in my monitor,i changed option have monitor.i checked already but i cannot get fuly screen please help me.

  22. Will Schmitt Reply

    I tried all that you suggessted. Some areas have improved, but the fonts in my email and web sites are still too small to read. (As is this that I’m typing now). I had the same problem on my Dell Laptop, but solved it by pressing 2 keys – FN F7 – I don’t see anything like that on my desktop.

  23. Adam Reply

    I know there is a ‘font size’ function in IE 6.0, but I am trying to implement a button on a web page to allow users to click ‘text smaller’ or ‘text bigger’ and have it automatically resize the text.

    Here’s what I have so far and I am by no means more than a ”decent” designer :

    same applies for “Smaller Text” except changes to -1 and value=”Text Smaller”.

    Is there a way to mimic the Internet Explorer settings implemented into the software and allow the scripting to be ran through the button?

    Thank you.
    Adam

  24. Adam Reply

    Sorry, here’s the coding for my previous comment (extra spaces have been provided to allow scripting):

  25. Jo Sheldon Reply

    and my 2and againstI read the article and I am thrilled that this can be done. I have Macular Degeneration and I am determined to use my computer.Yiy dud notmention “vISTA. willyour suggestions work on this or are there other things to do with it.My 2 sons ere against me buying a computer becaauase of my eyesight and I sure would like to show them that the font can be enlarged Thank yooooooooou for your hlp…I hope it can help mePlease excussse the typos)
    Jo

  26. Leo A. Notenboom Reply

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    Windows Vista has the same tools, though occasionally by different names and in
    slightly different location. The DPI setting is in the display settings still,
    though, and tools like Windows Magnifier are under Start->All
    Programs->Accessories->Ease Of Access.

    Good luck!

    Leo

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  27. karen Reply

    Does anyone know how to increase the font size in hotmail…EGGGHHHH!!!!

  28. Lisa Reply

    Thanks for being the easiest place to find the right answers I need. Everyone else I checked with kept telling me to go to “preferences”…thats not it! LOL.

  29. kim marino Reply

    help the font on my aol account is so small how do i enlarge it so i can read my mail

  30. William Crachy Reply

    I want to enlarge certain words and make them bold in my “E” Mail messages . I have Vista, what can I do to accomplish this action??

  31. Leo Reply

    —–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—–
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    Depends entirely on what email program you use to compose
    your email. Begin by making sure you’re using HTML or “Rich”
    formatted email, and most will have a toolbar that allows
    you to select the text and make it bold.

    But like I said, the specifics depend on what program you’re
    using.

    Leo

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  32. Elizabeth Reply

    I cannot read the font on this new Vista, I have it on Largest but it is still the same (smallest) which I honestly cannot read without hurting my eyes! I cannot find none of your options after I get to Properties there is nothing left to click to as you suggest?

  33. patience Reply

    my text are too small even if i type using font size 12. They are still very small not normal

  34. jan dietrich Reply

    the new screen has a column for hotmail, then a column for contents of message, except that column is so narrow cant read it properly and no way to enlarge that area. Our we stuck with this? It is certainly not an improvement.

  35. Helen Reply

    I have followed several suggestions on making th font larger, but they are still very very small on the computer screen. It was fine until a few minutes and I suppose I hit something and they turned tiny. What can I do?

  36. kelly Reply

    all i did to get my screen bigger was hold down Ctrl and + it magnifies the screen

  37. Brendan Reply

    DPI setting does not affect “everything”, least not on Windows XP up to SP3. Some programs just ignore it, leaving some small non-scaleable text areas to struggle on with (e.g. HTML messages in Outlook and Outlook Express). Is the only proper fix to change apps, e.g. Thunderbird and Firefox…?

  38. PHYLLIS A. SCENNA Reply

    Please tell me how I can enlarge my Text. Was able to the other day, but afgter downloading files that I was told gto download, when I went to VIEW,, where I usually enlarged my text, there was no work showing that said; as always; enlarge text. Could not do it at all.

    What do I do now to get the VIEW column as it was orginially!

    I await your reply and Thank You for whatgever help you can give me.

  39. Lorrie Reply

    I am subscribed to ”ask Leo”..but never asked this question. I would like you to e-mail me the answer if possible.I can make my fonts bigger to write a letter, and it also comes in an e-mail answer the way I set it. What I can’t change is eg: the game free cell….I can’t make it bigger ..it’s so small to see the cards..same with any writing besides e-mail..is not ok.. Can you understand what I’m trying to explain? Thanks…Lorrie

  40. andrea Reply

    Great !! I hit some wrong buttons yesterday and the text wasn’t fitting in my screen anymore…small fonts and the result was a headache, i have been searching in my PC for over an hour untill i gave up. AFterwards i just googled the probelm and i found the answer on your page CTRL +…that simple life can be ;-) thx a zillion

  41. Alexis Reply

    If you have a mouse that has the scroller thing in the middle, you can hold down ctrl, and then use the scroller thing to zoom in and out.

  42. Mia Reply

    This article was somewhat helpful to me; I tried the Custom setting and increased it from Large (125%) to 150%. But what I really wanted to find is if it’s possible to tell webpages that use serif fonts (like Times New Roman) that I really want them to use sans-serif fonts (like Arial). I find serif fonts much harder to read even when I increase the font size dramatically.

    BTW, I use Firefox.

  43. Marsha Nixon Reply

    You can get an add on for Firefox called No Squint. I had the same problem. Got tired of adjusting the size on every page. Now it’s all the same. Hope this helps.

  44. Christina Reply

    Thank you so much. Ha it was kinda simple to change the setting. I guess I just wasn’t looking good enough. Thanks again, now I can read up on National Geographic!

  45. Latresa Reply

    Hello….
    I have a laptop. Normally I lock my mouse pad, but I forgot that it was on. I use a wireless mouse 99.9% of the time… so now, somehow my hand and mouse pad has made my text on webpages extremely small. How can I fix this?
    Thanks! I am running windows 7

  46. frank milner Reply

    how do I make benbats(game on iGoogle homepage) larger there is no zoom index numb er in the right corner of my page today .It was there yesterday.

  47. arlene montgomery Reply

    i used to have a font or whatever there called at the bottom right of my screen, now its gone to where i can enlarge my desktop screen to make my words bigger, now when i try to enlarge my words the only thing that gets bigger is the icons how can i fix this i can barley read me e-mail

  48. Laurie Anderson Reply

    I have Windows 7 and all my text on the web pages is so darn small. The toolbar size is fine just everything underit is terribly tiny.

  49. josephus oaks Reply

    so simple . press ctrl and + & you can enlarge screen to huge proportions. To reduce just press ctrl and =. Hope this helps

  50. Mark Jacobs Reply

    @Josephus
    Ctrl+ and Ctrl- work for most browsers, some email programs and a few other programs, but they don’t work with all programs. For example, in MS Word Ctrl+ formats the text as subscript.

  51. John Reply

    Have made text size larger and the short cut was great for websites but still cannot read emails. The subject heading is large but the actual text message is tiny. Any suggestions very welcome

  52. Mark J Reply

    @John
    You’d need to be more specific about which email program you are using.

  53. Willem Heckroodt. Snr. Reply

    Dear Leo, Like many others my eyesight is failing. Your tip on how to enlarge text is just the ticket. I no longer cry eveytime I open my computer. May you be blessed.
    W. Heckroodt. Snr.

  54. Charlie Baker Reply

    i am unable to read my screen, and therefore wondering if you could help me make all items large

    Actually that’s exactly what ther article you just commented on describes.

    Leo
    23-Nov-2011
  55. HecateMoon Reply

    Wouldn’t a quick fix simply be to hold down ctrl and use the scroll wheel to increase/decrease font size on web pages?

  56. Mark J Reply

    @Hecate
    If the browser is the only application where you need a larger text then Ctrl and scroll wheel as well as crtl+/crtl- are good options for enlarging and shrinking the text.

  57. Lama Reply

    Well, I used to make big text with words on my computer screen, but now I forgot. It was easy, all I remember is typing [ and closing it ] but I don’t remember what to write in it. Do u know that trick?

  58. Jerome Bush Reply

    I’m sure I’m not the only one that knows this, but I just hit control and + or – to make the fonts bigger or smaller. May just be a temporary fix.

    That only works for certain applications, and only works within the specific application you use it in.

    Leo
    05-Jan-2012
  59. Albert T Stefanik Reply

    Re: Article C2226 – This is in response to “I am old . Me too (pushing 80), and the way I change the text size in Windows 7 is I click on the sunburst or whatever the heck you call it in the upper right hand corner. This brings up a window with Print, File, Zoom etc. I click on Zoom and at the bottom is “Custom.” You can then enter any number that’s best for your viewing. I find that 112 works for me. Hope this helps.

    That works specifically in Internet Explorer, and only affects Internet Explorer. Other programs remain at their default size. Changing the DPI changes everything.

    Leo
    05-Jan-2012
  60. griffy2 Reply

    I totally agree with Mark and Jerome about making the text larger or smaller using the ctrl + or – keys or the ctrl and the center scroll wheel on the mouse. They are only temorpary while you have that particular browser up and running. Works the same with the MAC also.

  61. woodrose Reply

    sorry i have tried your way but there is a problem with programs and internet windows not displaying the whole page it is so much easier to change your font and images this way
    right click on your desk top click on peronalize,
    click on windows color, look down to the dtop down box and click on icon, change the number to what you want to see your icons at and then change the font size this way no problem with programs or the internet

  62. joan b Reply

    to Woodrose:
    I have Windows 7 and could not find the area you mentioned in your suggestion “how to make font larger”.

  63. Marye Boyd Reply

    I have read the article and would like to receive your newsleter.
    Thanks
    Marye

  64. John Jeffrey Larrett Reply

    I have a similar problem but not with my Desktop computer (XP) but with my Samsung Galaxy Tablet. But then not on everything only on some “Twitters” & some e-mails. Any suggestions?

  65. Bob Grot Reply

    I changed DPI in Vista rt clicking DT -> adjust font size -> DPI scaling. All the icons increased in size and wouldn’t fit the desktop. Reversed the change but now the icons are in different locations. This also occasionally happens after an update. Can I restore the previous arrangement with a file from my True Image Backup. Other than a complete image restore of course.
    Thanks – Bob

    Not that I’m aware of, no.

    Leo
    11-Jan-2012
  66. Olive Reply

    I’m running Windows XP Service Pack 3, IE 8. Under “View” there’s an option to change text size, from smallest to largest. If that isn’t enough, use the Zoom option to make text up to 400% larger.

  67. Laurel Goodrich Reply

    The only problem with following Microsoft’s procedure is that ANY choice other than “small” will, as MS itself admits, mean that generally some parts of the text will be too big and will become unreadable. In addition, text may be overwritten in some cases (they don’t mention that though) The only way I have found to fix this ridiculous problem ( especially pitiful on 13in. laptops) is bypass “themes” and choose the “Classic” screen. Eventually this will get you back to the setup one had in XP where the font of individual elements can be set. (Of course this thing is not fully functional!!)

  68. hemapriya Reply

    thanks for better knowledgable tips

    you know subject very well

  69. Fernando J. Cornejo Reply

    I.m trying to deal with this new-fangled OSX by Apple – iMac. I can’t get the letters larger. I’d like to keep everything larger all the time. It’s hard for me to see now that I’m older. Please advise. By the way, there’s going to be a million of us real soon!

  70. rebecca d Reply

    My screen size is set at 1366/768 This is recommended. I have it set at 125% yet the writing is very small and there is a border of about 2 inches at either side. It was always ok. How can I make screen bigger to fit. Would appreciate your help.
    rebecca

  71. Ray O Reply

    At age 85 I too have poor eye vision. I have a desktop PC with Win 7 and 23 inch LCD monitor which uses the normal screen resolution resulting in text which is too small. I also have a 17 inch lap top with Win 7 that uses the normal screen resolution of 1600 x 900. In both computers I use Windows Magnifier in Windows 7 Accessories/Accessibility which provides different levels of magnification. I have selected 150% and pinned it to the Taskbar on both computers for easy access. It works perfectly for me without making any changes to screen resolution or dpi.

  72. Linda Reply

    how can I make my text bolder instead of the blue which is not good when you dont see well.

    That’s not a global Windows setting that I’m aware of. You’d have have to choose one of Windows high contrast themes perhaps, or work with the specific applications that are giving you difficulty to see if they can configure their text characteristics.

    Leo
    30-Mar-2013
  73. Robert Waller Reply

    A couple of other ways, if you have a mouse with scroll wheel, the pressing CTRL and using the scroll wheel increases/decreases the font size, good for things that are smaller than usual.

    The other way is in the advanced settings of: Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Personalization\Window Color and Appearance where you can change the Font & Size for differing object on the desktop etc.

  74. Joseph Bruner Reply

    Changing the zoom level is easy with my Windows 7 OS, and (because of my eyesight) I normally use 150%. Yet in the newly-designed “Ask Leo” web site I can’t see all of RECENT ANSWERS using a zoom level of 150%.

  75. Germaine Reply

    On my PC, I have always been able to enlarge the font and text on almost any page by doing a Control and + at the same time, and do it as many times as needed to get the page as large as I need it. I count how many times I do it so that when I am done looking at whatever it was I can then do a Control and – to go back to normal. No adjusting the settings and then going back to find the settings to reset them.

  76. Alfred Grech Reply

    Hold the Ctrl button down and turn the mouse wheel down or up.

  77. Valdi Reply

    Sorry Leo but what you said is bullshit, changing resolution was and is still the best option. But changing just the size of the text especially in windows 7 make problems with display in many applications especially i do lots of programing in java and javascript and i always have to strugle with this when i use them on different text size while if the resolution is changed everything work fine. I want to remind you that there are still many people use computers for advanced things and not just for stupid facebook but microsoft think we’re all idiots and do only chats online

  78. Paul M Reply

    Easiest thing in the world: Hold down the CTRL key and use your mouse wheel to increase or decrease the display size. Don’t know about a Mac, guess you’ll have to get a PC.

  79. Craig Fearing Reply

    For those who use “control” plus either the + and – key, or with the scroll wheel (or “petting” the scroll area of their touchpad), I’d like to suggest that returning to “normal” from a modified view is normally just a matter of using control plus “0” (your zero key).
    Also, it looks like Firefox (and maybe others) remembers these zoom modifications on a site-by-site basis. This is nice if you find you need more magnification on some sites than on others.
    A final point — using F11 will make more reading space available for larger text.

  80. Glenn Reply

    For a quick fix in Firefox i use CNTRL + or CNTRL – when i want to zoom in our out, probably works in other browsers too.

  81. Frank Reply

    Maybe I am missing something, I hold down Control and click plus or minus to change the display.

    • Connie Delaney Reply

      Frank,
      You are thinking of changing the size an individual window only; that’s the part that is missing. CTRL along with + or – will change the size of text in a browser, and also in many program windows. Many people have also suggested using the scroll wheel on a mouse, and actually there are numerous other ways of getting a particular ‘window’ to display text larger. However, a person might want to make text on an entire computer larger… hence the article on those options.

    • Mark Jacobs Reply

      That method is great for browsers and a few other programs which have enabled zooming with ctrl+ and ctrl-, but not all programs have that feature.

  82. Russell G Reuben Reply

    Just wondering if you answer questions about a mac rather then a WINDOW based question,i do understand of course that your background is Window based,
    But if you know anything about an old emac or indeed any mac i would pay for finite coffee’s within reason,i have an old really old e-mac BUT it works really well so am reluctant to upgrade as yet, so if you have any knowledge about the os that runs the mac that would be really cool! how can i send you a voucher/money/coffee for your help Help me please,
    I will explain my problem if and when you reply,
    Thank you Leo you are a mine of information and appreciate any help you can give me,will explain
    the problem if you get this message
    Russell

    • Leo Reply

      Unfortunately I’m particularly clueless on older Macs (and not that great a resource for current ones, though since I’m typing this on one I can field a few issues). Sorry. I’ll send you to my pals at http://macmost.com/forum

  83. Toone Elzink Reply

    If a document is opened by browser then ( for me using Mozilla) Ctrl + always works.
    If somebody sends you an email with the text so small it is hard to read then just
    start by (pretend) forward the email. In the forward mode you can now edit the email
    so simply enlarge the text to easily read it.
    Good luck.

  84. Mike Hersh Reply

    I have a program called “Magnifier”. have had it for many many years and have no idea where I obtained it. Adjustment in degrees from 100% to 1500% and it works perfectly.
    I hope someone can find it for you all.

  85. Paul Reply

    Extremely easy way to increase or decrease font size on any internet site using Firefox, try a free add-on called NoSquint. You can right click on any website and set the magnification in 5% increments and Firefox remembers it when you open that site again. Also, you see the magnification in the status bar at the bottom. I use it every day.

  86. Ed Reply

    I wasn’t having any display issues until I installed the latest Win 7 updates this morning. I have an HP laptop with an Nvidia display adapter. I’m using 1920×1080 resolution with text set at 150%. Now, for example, when I start Quicken, I get a low resolution warning message and the text size is not what I should be seeing. I’ve tried adjusting the display settings several times to shake things up but I’m still unable to change Quicken. When I boot the computer the icons on the logon screen seem smaller but then the desktop seems fine. Should I restore my Macrium backup from yesterday or try something else? Thanks.

  87. JJF Reply

    God bless you Leo. I am cursed with low vision and have fiddled with screen resolution for years without success. I applied your suggestion and can now see things on my screen much more easily.

  88. Rick Reply

    I just uploaded Maverick for a Mac and now cannot find much. Now my text is really smaller than before. I am tired of clicking the zoom button all the time to adjust it. The kid at the store showed me how to permanately adjust it but he did it too fast and I cannot remember. He went into System Preferences and clicked on General. I did this and there is nothing there. I don’t know what he did and i am going blind looking at my screen with the small print.

  89. Holly Reply

    You have saved me hours and hours of trying to figure this out. Worked perfectly!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

  90. James Rodgers Reply

    Before re-installing XP I had somehow gotten rid of that annoying ad space to the rt. of my Hotmail window and had a full pane . I have no idea how I accomplished that , but have read that it is impossible and must purchase the paid version . It can be done !

    I had to change zoom to 75% to see all of these comments on this Ask Leo ! I see no scroll bar at the bottom .

    Thanks

  91. Christopher Reply

    I believe the author of this article to be incorrect in implying that “screen resolution” adjustments are improper or second class or cannot work with LCD screens. In the past, with Windows XP I successfully used “screen resolution” adjustments to make things easier on the eyes. Now, with Windows 8 I find that (as described in the article) reducing “screen resolution” merely results in a reduced image surrounded by a black frame.

    This article also implies that with some setups it is possible for “screen resolution” to enlarge everything. However, instead of telling how to get that effect, this article dismisses that method.

    The DPI setting suggested in this article is almost worthless because it only affects what you see on the desktop and browsers–which easily and more precisely could be adjusted in other ways. If you do online trading or use other software, the DPI setting probably will not help.

    I am now using the “magnifier” setting on Windows 8. It is a shabby substitute for changing “screen reslution” that should be available–and used to be available. I have to set the “magnifier” on “full screen” and “follow text insertion point.” And the magnified text has exactly the pixellated effect that the author of this article claims to be the drawback to adjusting “screen resolution.”

    This article is helpful but mainly in the sense of informing us of the narrow-minded attitude of increasingly non-user-friendly programmers who seem blandly to assume that the needs of people should adjust to the needs of computers as decided by computer programmers.

    Many people have worsened eyesight from using computers. Ever-larger screens should have mitigated this problem. In the past, they did. In the past, I have adjusted “screen resolution” on LCD screens and successfully gotten large, crisp text. Now, seeking “help” because I can no longer do this, I find an article blandly assuming that this never could be done and certainly not thinking that perhaps it should be a capability. Rather disappointing.

  92. F.E. Bergeron Reply

    Two weeks ago I bought a new Dell laptop computer and my local cable company set it up for me. However I am like others on these posts in that the font is very small. I am 82 years old and although I have another computer this one is confusing. I can’t understand why computers cannot be set up simply, so anyone can at least get started using them. All the fixes recommended about enlarging the fonts don’t seem to apply to my setup. Why is there not a zoom menu that shows different settings as I have on my Dell desktop. Too simple maybe?

  93. MARION HOWARD Reply

    I am getting lots of pop up ads which were not there until the last few weeks and although Norton tried to help with live chat they are still there and make viewing websites hard and drive me crazy. Is there any easy solution without using a perhaps unsafe website ?

  94. MARION HOWARD Reply

    Sorry forgot to post last question on the Question page so it IS unrelated to the discussion! Due to poor sight age 75. Good for my age the optician said pityingly- LOL .
    However I obviously have deteriorating eyesight and was looking at the advice on enlarging text. I want to get BOLD text in emails and it is unbelievably hard to do this it seems. I found a place on control panel of my Sony Vaio laptop where different fonts are shown and you can choose one but cant get it to work on my computer. Why do they make it so hard – in fact impossible? I asked my tech. helpline but they also said it was not advisable as it could mess up my computer! Help!

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