The goggles..., they do nothing...
April 8, 2007 12:17 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to increase the default display size of fonts in Safari - but not by using the Appearance tab in Preferences or by setting the minimum fonts size?

OK, so I got my brand spanking new 17" Macbook Pro and I am very happy with it. It was an upgrade from the 17" G4. A very nice change since the G4 is that the resolution now increases to 1680 x 1050. This adds a lot more screen realestate for programs and decreases the size for the Menu bar nicely as well.

Where it is killing my already far-sighted eyes, is the native resolution for websites in Safari.

Now, I know that you can change the size of the font in preferences, but this is often overridden it seems by different sites.

I can also limit the smallest font size (which does work), but it often screws up the formatting of the text on a page.

What works great is to use "Command +" to increase all fonts relative to each other. However, if I set a page like this, new pages are spawned incorrectly, sites that look good now are too big, and it doesn't stick after a restart of the application.

So, is there a way to adjust the font size that keeps the current font sizes relative to each other and works on things like the native RSS feed and other sites that limit the effect changes to Safari's preferences?

Basically I want to have the effect of using "Command +" on all the time.
posted by qwip to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I feel ya. Went through a similar thing when I got my new MBP a few weeks ago. Even posted a question on MeFi. (too lazy to link it).

But the general gist of it was that there really isn't anything that can be done about it, and it should be remedied in Leopard whenever that comes out.

In the meantime, I just use the Command + feature. I found a happy medium with all the sites that I go to so that none look too out of whack.
posted by ryecatcher at 12:26 AM on April 8, 2007


Have you tried Opera? There's a lot to drive you crazy about it, but you can "zoom" a page (by pressing 0) and it makes everything on it bigger - photos, flash, etc. If you don't like its interface, it's quite customizable. I tricked my own to make it look and behave more like Firefox, I'm so in love with the zoom thing.
posted by DenOfSizer at 3:21 AM on April 8, 2007


DenOfSizer, thanks, I realise that other browser have ways around this limitation, but I prefer to use Safari as it is ideal in many other ways (simple layout, integrated RSS reader, etc).

ryecatcher, thanks for the info. I was hopeful that someone knew of a plist edit or something in a resource file. I see from the link that you referred to that this has been thought about before at some length.

Still, I hold out hope for something other than waiting for Leopard!
posted by qwip at 5:26 AM on April 8, 2007


Have you tried writing a custom style-sheet to override all custom CSS?
posted by Remy at 6:10 AM on April 8, 2007


Have you tried writing a custom style-sheet to override all custom CSS?

I have not. What would said style sheet say?
posted by qwip at 6:18 AM on April 8, 2007


* { font-size: 120% !important } or similar?

The big problem with that is nesting (120% of 120% of 120% == big ass text).. but you'd need to use * to override pixel defined sizes on individual elements.. so I'm not sure this is a viable solution at all.

The real issue here is 19 year old Web 2.0 design wankers who think using 10 pt text on Web sites is a good idea, which is why I do 99% of my reading in an RSS reader and avoid all that ;-) Some sites like AskMe and BBC News have nice text sizes though.
posted by wackybrit at 6:45 AM on April 8, 2007


Note: You could also define all elements as having a certain font-size in pixels.. but then you wouldn't have any relativity..
posted by wackybrit at 6:46 AM on April 8, 2007


The css change does work, to a degree. Sites that are immune to changing the font size through the preferences are also immune to this change. Oddly, using "Command +" works fine on those sites and keeps everything relative.

Go figure.
posted by qwip at 7:14 AM on April 8, 2007


That's because cmd+ (and cmd-) tells the browser to enlarge (reduce) all displayed fonts relative to their current displayed size. A custom stylesheet tells the browser to alter fonts relative to their current definitions.

For example: If box_1 contains box_2, and box_2's fonts are defined as 120% of box_1's, here's what happens:

Unmodifiied:
box_1: font-size: 100%
box_2: font-size: 120%
Using cmd+:
box_1: font-size: 120%
box_2: font-size: 144%
With custom stylesheet * { font-size:120% !important; }:
box_1: font-size: 120%
box_2: font-size: 173%

The results can be even wackier if your custom stylesheet fully overrides an existing definition in the base stylesheet: Fonts will rescale disproportionately as they diverge more from the base font size, and you could accidentally shrink, rather than enlarge, some text.

Ultimately your problem (and it is your problem, even if it's their fault) is that there is no standard method of writing stylesheets, so there is no single way to work around them short of getting in the habit of hitting cmd+ and cmd-. (Firefox, at least, also provides cmd0, which reverts the page's text scale to default). This sucks, I agree. And I'll agree more as I get older.
posted by ardgedee at 9:13 AM on April 8, 2007


Let me try that again.

Given the following HTML:
<div style="font-size:15px;">
	Frank
	<div style="font-size:18px;">
		Jim
	</div>
	<div style="font-size:1.2em;">
		Bob
	</div>
</div>
The unmodified page has 'Jim' and 'Bob' the same size:
'Frank': font-size: 100% of 15 pixels height = 15px
'Jim': font-size: 100% of 18 pixels height = 18px
'Bob': font-size: 120% of its parent's font-size (15 pixels) = 18px

Magnifying the text on the page using cmd+ magnifies 'Jim' and 'Bob' uniformly, so they remain the same size as each other:
'Frank': font-size: 120% of 15 pixels height = 18px
'Jim': font-size: 120% of 18 pixels height = 22px
'Bob': font-size: 120% of 120% of its parent's font-size (15 pixels) = 22px

Magnifying the text on the page using the custom stylesheet * { font-size:120% !important; } makes 'Bob' larger than 'Jim':
'Frank': font-size: 120% of 15 pixels height = 18px
'Jim': font-size: 120% of 18 pixels height = 22px
'Bob': font-size: 120% of 120% of its parent's font-size (120% of 15 pixels) = 26px
posted by ardgedee at 11:31 AM on April 8, 2007


OK, so the 120% method in CSS is a poor subsitute for just magnifying the sheet in toto (a la "Command +").

There must be a way to set something in Safari that says "normal" = the equivalent of one press of "Command +", right? I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty and ruining everything. If, through this, we are able to make one child's html viewing that much better, than we've won.

It is so close I can taste it. And it tastes a lot like blueberries...
posted by qwip at 3:38 PM on April 8, 2007


have you tried using the system wide zoom? check in the accessiblity section of the system preferences. then a quick ctrl+scroll gives you a quick zoom.
posted by sxtxixtxcxh at 7:33 AM on April 9, 2007


have you tried using the system wide zoom?

Actually, yes. But that is a poor substitute for browsing. Great to look at embedded youtube vids and small graphics, but not so good for reading through text on a whole web page.

Good "outside the square" thinking though, so thanks for that.
posted by qwip at 2:46 AM on April 10, 2007


i do realize you're wanting a relatively permanent state of embiggened text. i use the system wide zoom when i'm at the desk, reclined and holding a sleeping baby. not quite the situation, but it works for me :)
posted by sxtxixtxcxh at 11:06 AM on April 11, 2007


i do realize you're wanting a relatively permanent state of embiggened text.

Cheers on the cromulent use of the word "embiggened".
posted by qwip at 8:23 PM on April 11, 2007


« Older Patch an EXE   |   Name That 1972 Tune Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.