Windows 7 text setting gone suddenly tiny
October 23, 2012 9:53 AM   Subscribe

After restarting Windows 7 (SP 1) today, my chosen Small text setting (100% at 100 dpi on a 1920 x 1200 resolution) had been replaced by Medium (125%). Text everywhere looked huge. I switched back to Small, but now a lot of my system text (like title bar text and context menu text ) is extremely small, much smaller than before, and some other text, like the listing of subject headings in my Thunderbird email client and the tab text in Firefox, is also incredibly small. How to get back to my original Small appearance?

I'm sitting at Small resolution right now. I've checked and my dpi is still at 100. I've tried changing the size of the title bar text and other system elements in Window Color and Appearance, but this doesn't help with Firefox and Thunderbird. What else can I try?
posted by maudlin to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Looks like someone else has run into this issue before. This addon mentioned within might be able to fix your Firefox/Thunderbird profile. If that doesn't work, I'd try resetting your Firefox profile.
posted by dobi at 10:18 AM on October 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the pointer! I didn't look for a Mozilla-related fix because this is a global / random issue affecting some areas of Windows system text and some areas of apps text. Remember, it started with my machine suddenly switching itself to Medium text size. This isn't a problem that started with Mozilla.

For example:

- Windows : all title bar text and context menu text is too small, but the Start menu looks OK.
- Camtasia: title bar, menu bar and drop menus are tiny in Camtasia, but buttons and the labels in the interface are OK. (And I have to use this laptop to teach Camtasia tomorrow!)
- Captivate: the menu bar looks OK, as does the Adobe panel at the right, but the menu text (drop and context) is globally tiny.
- Word: ribbon text and context menu text are all OK.

If I have to do one fix for Windows and another for Mozilla, I will, but I'm still looking for a global cause and fix.
posted by maudlin at 10:43 AM on October 23, 2012

Oh, I didn't realize you were still having issues with the global text size.

You were correct in that the editing the font sizes under Window Color and Appearance should fix the problem. By default, the font should be Segoe UI, 9pt. You're not missing the font from the looks of it. Are you sure all of the fonts under this dialog are 9pt?

Have you tried a system restore back to when you know the text size was correct? This is probably what I'd try next.
posted by dobi at 10:48 AM on October 23, 2012

Earlier on I had changed Menus and Title Bar to 9, then changed them back, so I tried again and that has helped with all the apps except for the Mozilla tabs and email subjects headings in TB (also folders, to do list, buttons, calendar text, etc., which are still Lilliputian.)

I'm going through everything else with a font element in the dialog. Icon was still at 9: it never changed. Inactive Title Bar is at 9. And aha -- Message Box! Looks like a lot of stuff in Mozilla products piggybacks on that object. That did it. Thanks!

(I've gone in and also fixed Palette Title, even though I can't see a difference in any curreent app.)
posted by maudlin at 11:03 AM on October 23, 2012

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