Aging eyes and tiny type on the web and in Safari

Darn, this getting older is not much fun! Back when I turned 40, I began to notice that small type was getting harder and harder to read. That was just a few years ago, but sometimes I land on a web page that must have been produced by someone with unbelievable visual acuity!

Sometimes it is not the whole site, but just a particular section:
Darn, this getting older is not much fun! Back when I turned 40, I began to notice that small type was getting harder and harder to read. That was just a few years ago, but sometimes I land on a web page that must have been produced by someone with unbelievable visual acuity!

Sometimes it is not the whole site, but just a particular section:



Safari 3.1.1 (The version that is included in Mac OS X 10.5.2) has several tools to handle text size.

The first way is to modify the toolbar at the top of the Safari Window. To do this, go to the View menu and choose Customize Toolbar…



In the next window, drag the Text Size icon to the Safari tool bar and then click the done button.



Now you will have a way to increase or decrease the text size in any window. That may be enough for you. However, it increases the size of all of the text by the same percentage, in every case (except where the text is really not text, but instead it is a picture of text). Sometimes the result is unacceptable. Sometimes it it is frustrating to have to keep resizing text every time you open a new window.

Apple should have made a way to make the change permanent, and there ought to be a way to just affect the smaller text without affecting the whole page! Well, they did, and there is!

To change the minimum size that text can be displayed, we need another tool. Go to the Safari menu and choose Preferences…




In the Preferences dialog box, choose the Advance tab.



Click on the Universal Access box to place a check in it and then choose the smallest font size you want to display. In my case, 12 is adequate, but you can choose a larger number if it is needed. Then close the Preferences window.

While this change will not affect text size in a few instances, it will make text much easier to read most of the time!

By the way, there are a few more icons that I have added to my Safari toolbar using the View > Customize Toolbar command. I have also re-arranged the icon order.

Before:



After:




While you are in the Customize Toolbar window, you can add, remove, and change the order of the icons to best suit your needs. Remember, you are a Macintosh owner and Apple gives you many opportunities to make your computer look and act just the way you want it to.

One of the things that we at Bob LeVitus Consulting can do is to help you make your computer easier to use if your eyesight is not as good as it used to be. We can help you make changes in the system, and individual programs to make the screen easier to read. We can also show you how to use the Universal Access System Preference to your advantage.

Why not give us a call at 408-627-7577 or send a request for a training session to urgentrequest@boblevitus.com and we can help make your Macintosh computer easier to use!

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