Make Text or Font Size Bigger or Smaller on Your Screen

Use simple keyboard shortcuts to quickly change the size of the text

man with glasses having eyesight problems with laptop
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The text on your screen has become so tiny that you have to hunch over your laptop to read it. You find yourself squinting just to see the letters. The fix is fairly simple if you learn a few keyboard shortcuts that will allow you to quickly increase or decrease the text size on most computers. There are some specific and important differences, however, depending on what kind of computer you are using as well as the operating system. You can even use your browser to accomplish the trick. Read on to see how.

PC vs. Mac

The most important distinction to know is what kind of computer you are using, in particular, whether you have a personal computer or a Macintosh. The Mac vs. PC comparison comes down to software, according to Intel, the world's largest computer chip maker.

Both types of computers allow you to quickly change font size, but the keys you need to hit are different, and if you don't know which keys, that can lead to some frustration. Here are the keystroke directions for increasing and decreasing font size:

For a PC: Type "Ctrl +". Generally, you'll find the "Ctrl" (which means "control") key on the lower lefthand part of the keyboard. The "+"  (or "plus") key is a bit trickier to find, but generally, it's located near the top right-hand corner of the keyboard.

For a Mac: Type "Command +". On a Macintosh, the "Command" key may include a symbol that looks like this ("⌘") according to Apple Support. You'll find it toward the bottom left corner of the keyboard, but the exact positioning depends on the model of your Macintosh computer. The "+" key is generally near the top right-hand corner of the keyboard, similar to the configuration for the PC.

To decrease the font size, use the same process, but substitute the "-" key for the "+." So, to make the font smaller on a PC hit "Ctrl -" and on a Mac, use the "Command -" keys.

Windows Font Size Changes

You can also change the font size on your computer by using software commands, but it will take a bit more work. To change the font on your desktop or folders in Windows 10, Windows Central describes the process:

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select "Display settings."
  2. Use the slider to change the size of the text.

"If you want to temporarily enlarge a portion of the screen, use the built-in magnifier," notes Windows Central. "You can quickly open it by using the keyboard shortcut Windows key and the plus sign (+) to zoom in and minus sign (-) to zoom out. Use Windows key and 'Esc' to exit the magnifier. "

Boost Font Size for Individual Items

If you don't want to change the size of everything on your desktop, you can change the text size for specific items. To do so:

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select "Display" settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap or click "Advanced" display settings
  3. Scroll down and tap or click "Advanced" sizing of text and other items
  4. Select the item you want to change in the drop-down list and choose the text size. You can also check the box to make it bold.

Browser Font Size Changes

You can also use your browser to increase the size of the font, depending on the type of browser you are using, as follows:

  • Firefox: Select tools -> options -> content -> font and color. Here you can change the default font size for the browser. Note that some websites have their font size set and the browser can’t always change it.
  • Internet Explorer: Select menu -> view -> text size. Or, depending on the version, there may be a slider in the bottom right corner you can move to increase the page size, much like zoom.
  • Google Chrome: Select customize button -> advanced settings -> web content -> font size.