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Changing Browser Font Sizes

All visual browsers allow you to increase or decrease the size of the text on web pages, although the methods vary according to the browser and the operating system.

All modern visual browsers allow you to change the size of the text in two ways:

  • You can enlarge the whole page, both text and images.
  • You can enlarge the text alone, leaving the images at their normal size.

One of these will be set up by default. To change from one to the other, go to the menu at the top of your brower, and select View. The precise option will vary depending on the browser you are using, but it will normally be called something like Zoom or Page Zoom.

The standard method is:

  • Windows and Linux users: press CTRL and + to increase the size, CTRL and - to decrease the size, CTRL and 0 [zero] to return to the default size.
  • Macintosh users: press APPLE and + to increase the size, APPLE and - to decrease the size, APPLE and 0 [zero] to return to the default size.

Further Options

Some web browsers also give you the option of setting a minimum font size, and some out–of–date or obsolete web browsers had their own methods of allowing you to change the size. Here you can find specific instructions for the following browsers:

To find out which version of your browser you are using, go to the ‘Help’ menu at the top of the screen.

For further options and general accessibility information, see the BBC website’s comprehensive accessibility section.

Firefox version 1.5 or higher for Windows

To set a minimum font size for your current session only:

  • Either:
    1. View (or ALT and V);
    2. Text Size;
    3. Select the font size using the mouse wheel or arrow keys.
  • Or CTRL and + to increase the size, CTRL and - to decrease the size, CTRL and 0 [zero] to return to the default size.
  • Or CTRL and turn the mouse wheel up or down.

To set a default minimum font size for all sessions:

  1. Tools (or ALT and T);
  2. Options (or O);
  3. Content (or use the arrow keys) — in earlier versions, General;
  4. Under Fonts & Colors, go to Advanced (or ALT and D);
  5. Minimum Font Size (or ALT and O)
  6. Select the size;
  7. In earlier versions, activate Always use my: fonts.

Internet Explorer for Windows

Version 7 introduced a zoom feature: CTRL and + to increase the zoom, CTRL and - to decrease the zoom.

To set a default minimum font size for all sessions:

  1. Tools (or ALT and O);
  2. Internet Options (or O);
  3. Accessibility button at the bottom of the page (or ALT and E);
  4. Tick Ignore font sizes specified on webpages (or ALT and Z);
  5. Return to the main menu;
  6. In IE7, Page (or ALT and P) — in IE5 or 6, View (or ALT and V);
  7. Text Size (or X);
  8. Select the font size.

Netscape for Windows

To set a minimum font size for your current session only (version 7 and above only):

  1. View (or ALT and V);
  2. Text Zoom (or Z);
  3. Select the font size (or use the up and down keys).

To set a default minimum font size for all sessions:

  1. Edit (or ALT and E);
  2. Preferences (or E);
  3. Appearance;
  4. Fonts;
  5. Go to Minimum Font Size near the bottom of the page;
  6. Select the font size;
  7. Remove tick from Allow documents to use other fonts.

Opera 8 & 9 for Windows

To use the zoom feature:

  • + or - (some versions require SHIFT and + or SHIFT and -).
  • Or:
    1. View (or ALT and V);
    2. Z for zoom options;
    3. Use the up and down arrow keys.

To set a default zoom size for all sessions:

  1. Tools;
  2. Preferences (or CTRL and F12);
  3. Web Pages (or CTRL and Tab repeatedly);
  4. Page Zoom;
  5. Select the zoom size.

Opera 6 & 7 for Windows

To use the zoom feature, + or -.

To set a default zoom size for all sessions:

  1. File;
  2. Preferences (or ALT and F);
  3. In the left column, Page Style;
  4. Default Zoom (or ALT and Z);
  5. Select the zoom size.

Firefox version 1.5 or higher for Macintosh

To set a minimum font size for your current session only:

  • Either:
    1. View;
    2. Text Size;
    3. Select Increase, decrease or normal.
  • Or APPLE and + to increase the size, APPLE and - to decrease the size, APPLE and 0 [zero] to return to the default size.

To set a default minimum font size for all sessions:

  1. Firefox (or CTRL and F2, then the right arrow);
  2. Preferences;
  3. Accessibility button at the bottom of the page (or ALT and E);
  4. Content;
  5. Under Fonts & Colors, go to Advanced;
  6. Next to Proportional, select the font size;
  7. Make sure Allow pages to choose their own fonts is not ticked.

Safari for Macintosh

To set a minimum font size for your current session only:

  • Either:
    1. View;
    2. Near the bottom of the list, select Make Text Bigger or Make Text Smaller.
  • Or APPLE and + to increase the size, APPLE and - to decrease the size, APPLE and 0 [zero] to return to the default size.

To set a default minimum font size for all sessions:

  1. Safari;
  2. Preferences (or APPLE and comma);
  3. Appearance (or CTRL and F5, then right arrow);
  4. Next to Standard Font, select Select;
  5. Under Sizes select a size (or CTRL and F6, then CTRL and F7, then TAB, then TAB, then type the font size).

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