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Changing the Font and Text Size

Most people use Microsoft Internet Explorer. I have instructions for Mozilla Firefox below. Before you start, you should know that the "default" is what the computer does unless someone tells it differently.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Users

Changing the text size:

Click on View -> Text Size

The current size will have a bullet point next to it. Select Largest, Larger, Medium, Smaller or Smallest. It takes a micro-second or two to change. If the size doesn't change, the web designers decided to use an unchangeable text size. You can force it to change anyway.

Forcing a page to change text size:

Click on Tools -> Internet Options -> General -> Accessibility

Check the "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages" box.
Click on "OK" twice - once in "Accessibility", once in "Internet Options".
Now set the text size to your liking, as above.

Opinion: Stupid web design.
You generally find unchangeable text sizes in expensive web sites. Some professional web designers with 20/20 vision, 19-inch monitors and no common sense assume the whole world is just like them. They don't realize some of us have to use glasses, a 15-inch monitor or both. The bank that administers my 401K plan, for instance, spent a lot of money on a site that lets me see my plan balances. It uses a small, unchangeable text size. Considering the fact that young people usually have great eyesight and little interest in retirement planning, while we old ones are just the opposite, this was a bad design choice. I won't embarrass the bank by naming it, but they were famous in the Old West and their corporate symbol is a stagecoach.

Changing the default font:
Some web sites set the font, some don't. This one doesn't. If the font here looks bad to you, it's because your default is set to an ugly font. You should change it. Default, in this case, is what the computer does unless the web designer tells it differently.

Click on Tools -> Internet Options -> General -> Fonts

There will be two choices, Web Page and Plain Text. Pick a font you like for Web page. Arial and Verdana are both clean, modern and easy to read. Times New Roman is elegant. Try a few and select one you like. Courier is usually the only choice for the Plain Text Font. Recasting the page in a new font takes a second or two. If that doesn't work, the page isn't using your default font. You can force it. Go back to the Accessibility window (above) and check "Ignore font styles".
Warning - if you do force the font, every page you visit will use the forced font.

Keeping the size preference:
Your browser will remember the size you had set when you closed it. So, if you want it to always start in the largest size, close all of your browser windows but one, set the text size to largest in that one and exit your browser.

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Mozilla Firefox Users

Changing the text size:

Click on View -> Text Size -> Increase or Decrease

You may also use CTRL+ to increase text size or CTRL- to decrease text size. On my keyboard "+" is a capital "=", but you don't use the shift key to change the text size. Hold down CTRL with one finger and press the "+/=" key with another. Mozilla has 16 size gradations, compared to Microsoft IE's five. Score one for the little guys! (Also, if your eyes are really bad, consider downloading Mozilla Firefox and enlarging the text to "billboard".

Changing the default font:

Click on Tools -> Options -> General -> Fonts & Colors

Choose fonts for Proportional, Serif, Sans-serif and Mono spaced. (A capital "M" and a lower-case "i" will be the same width in a mono-space font, different widths in the others.)

While you are in Fonts & Colors, look at the boxes labeled "Always use my |_| Fonts |_| Colors". They force the browser to use what you want, despite the choices some whipper-snapper tried to make for you.

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This page updated: June 21, 2014