Increase System Font Size - How?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RZetlin, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. peacetown macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2010
    Just so others can relate to this issue...try looking at a US One Dollar Bill and the size of the "WASHINGTON, D.C" located under the serial number. For me, this is quite uncomfortable and a strain to see.

    Those with Macbook Pro 17" high resolution screens may consider:

    1) First, take a One Dollar bill (this one is 2006). Compare the size of the "WASHINGTON, D.C." located just below serial number (right, front-half of bill), make a lengthwise fold either through or just above "WASHINGTON, D.C.".

    2) Next, in Safari, make a new bookmark(anything) in the Bookmark Bar and label it... WASHINGTON, D.C. (ALL CAPS). Remember this is just an exercise to compare user interface font size to something we see everyday so you may immediately delete when finished.

    3) Now, those with 17" high resolution screen in native 1900 x 1200 setting, hold dollar bill to screen and compare.

    Does anybody know what font point size this is?

    Is this a fair comparison?
  2. Gordon.DA macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    I agree there ought to be a sanctioned, easy way to change system wide fonts.

    It's possible that having trouble reading menus on a 27" monitor might be an indication that you're ready for new glasses.

    That helped me. It helped in the non-Jobsian world too, where I can again read small type on drug labels.

    Key commands are so much better than menus anyway.
  3. Gordon.DA macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    Brilliant. On my 17" set to 1920 x 1200 they are the same.
  4. myvinyl333 macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2010

    I just bought 17" Mac Book Pro and have had to change to to 1600X.... STRETCHED, just to be able to login in.... It is SO SMALL, @ 56 my eyes do not adjust well. NEVER had this problem on Windows 7 as I could adjust size...
    But this not too bad, little blur, but I got the machine for photo editing, not posting on forums... can always use my Windows machine for typing...


    Http:// my SITE:cool:
  5. pnplibi macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2010
    small fonts

    I am also a new convert from MS to Apple, as well as a long time linux user. I have a new 17" MBP, While I find the screen resolution fantastic, the colors great, the detail fantastic, the font size on all the programs windows, tool bars, etc. are extremely small. This is a serious drawback and requires squinting or leaning over my machine to "read the fine print". If the font size is point based, it should scale to the screen. I am guessing the font size is pixel based which Apple should have known would be an issue as screen resolution increases.

    I am pleased with my decision to go Apple and will likely remain so but, Apple, please offer a way to scale fonts.
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    We are not Apple and I have no idea if "Apple" reads this forum. Write to Apple, not to a forum.
  7. morfeas-dsl- macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2009
    any fix to this flaw? I dont want to change my imac resolution but the fonts are really small. Why cant i keep the same resolution and the fonts to be bigger? Zoom works ok but that is not a solution..
  8. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Um, read my other post just above yours.

    And, why, you ask? Because it doesn't work!
  9. yakapo macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    OSX's hamartia

    I was considering purchasing a 27" imac. But there's no way I can read that 7 point font. I'm currently using a 28" monitor with 1920 x 1200 resolution. I guess I'll keep my PC and get a Dell U2711. Oh well, at least it has a hdmi input.
  10. Argon21 macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Алейск, RUSSIA
    I have just boughted a Mac Mini 2010 2.4 ghz. It is for use with my television which is 1080p. I can watch the videos from it, looks very nice! But font size is impossible! Way to small to read! Even with my glasses on cannot read it from couch or chairs!! Have to walk up to the television and sit there to read any words. Very useless and annoying!! :mad:
  11. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Solution to modify Finder font size

    There IS a way, I did this once for my father as he has bad eyesight due to diabetes. It involved modifying a few strings in the Finder.plist file. I haven't done it in a while, but I'm going to research it online and find out the exact modifications.

    If you have access to your OS X install DVD, I strongly suggest you install Xcode, it comes in handy even for novices. The Property List Editor is great for editing plists, and I believe most applications contain strings for fonts in the plist (I could be wrong).

    Ok, so here goes:

    Set a larger font size for the Finder's various views
  12. samssf macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2008
    People just don't get it. Finder ≠ OSX.

    Changing the font size in Finder isn't going to help anyone since 1) the method of doing that has been posted before and 2) Most of the time people spend in OSX is not spent using Finder.

    What people want is a way to increase the font system-wide. If you don't care about that ability that's fine... but many do.

    Hopefully Apple is working on resolution independence and hopefully it'll be in their next OS. The dot pitch on 30" screens with 2400 x whatever resolution is just insanely small, and writing apps that use 10pt font (without an easy way to adjust it) make it difficult for people who don't want to sit 7" away from their screen.
  13. MACagba macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2010
    System-wide FONT SCALING

    Workaround to system independent resolution issues answered here -

    look at reply of lunchmeat317 for more details:

    "Open Terminal and use the following command:

    defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.5

    You can choose whichever scale factor you'd like. 1.5 works for me. This is likely similar to what someone else mentioned, but there's no blurriness. I think they used "-g" instead of NSGlobalDomain, which may have had a different effect?"
  14. pindraak macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2010
    I tried that Terminal scale factor fix on my Mac Mini with 10.6 and lots of things went bonkers. Desktop icons could not be put on the right side of the screen, but seemed to want to bleed off the top of the screen. There were "trail" redrawing errors in the top of each window making the options unusuable, and weird jerky behavior in window sizing. I undid it before I discovered anything more.
  15. danwolkenfeld macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2009
    System-wide FONT SCALING

    I'm sure Steve Jobs has thought about this by now, with the release of the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod Touch which both use the "retina" display. They had to have tweaked iOS somewhere to make sure the UI text was still readable with the same apps as the iPhone 3G and iPad.

    So, Apple engineers, bring us another parameter in the Appearance Preference Pane for Global Font size, please! This parameter needs to apply to everything that is not influenced by the Command +/- control. That is, the Menu Bar, the floating text on the dock, the Title Bar and all tool bars on each application window, all of the OS dialog text and sheet text, and all application dialog and sheet text, default widget scale factor and font size, and the default Finder text size and icon scale factor. Of course, there needs to be appropriate upper limits on font sizes for each display resolution (especially low resolutions at or below 1024 x 768) so that nothing will get cut off and everything will be displayed as designed.
  16. ycagwyw macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    I'm in the process of setting up a new Mini to use with my 42" 1080p LCD and I had to set the resolution to 720p in order to read the menu bar from my couch about 10 feet away. I'm a long term Mac user, three in the house at the moment, but I've never thought about looking at a screen from more than a couple of feet. If Apple truly wants the Mini to be the new center of home theater, they need to fix this. And yes, I will write to Apple, too.
  17. K Dubb macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    I "switched" about 3 months ago from PC to Mac. About 1 month ago, I loaded Windows 7 in Bootcamp only because of the small fonts. I have been switching back and forth between the operating systems lately. When I'm on the Mac side, I can't stand the small fonts. Windows lets me change the fonts size and the percentage size of everything in the OS.
    Now, I am using Windows 7 exclusively. So, I guess I double-switched. If Apple every allows modification to the system wide font size and theme, I will triple-switch back to Mac...but only after they allow users to set their own viewing experience.
    This really sucks for me because I like OS X.
  18. brandonnodnarb macrumors newbie


    Jul 9, 2009
    possible partial solution?

    If you click on the finder button, and then click View->Show View Options, you get a dialogue for that one window. If you click somewhere in your desktop space you will see quite a different dialog. This dialog allows you to set icon sizes (top scroll) font size, etc. for your desktop.

    I'm still looking for a way to increase the font size on the top menu bar, but maybe this will help some of you.

  19. lPHONE macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    I think you got it backwards. Mr. Jobs is too busy with iWorld to care about OS X
  20. tonka2 macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2007
    Syhstem font size

    Have any of you tried going to Safari/Preferences/ Advanced and increasing font size to 18? It works for me. It has no effect on the Menu Bar, however, but does increase all text size.
  21. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    The funny thing is that he is of an age and eyeglass prescription that he would know exactly what we are complaining about. Have you noticed how often he takes his glasses off when he is playing with hid iPhone 4?

    Have there been any new developments, or a good, proved hack for system font size since this thread was last active?

    Thanks very much for any help you can provide.

    -via iPad, since I cannot focus on my new Macbook Pro. :)
  22. soch macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    Changing code font size in XCode.

    Changing code font size in XCode:

    XCode Preference -> Fonts & Colors -> Select Color Theme as Presentation.

    Sets to font size 18.

    I made a copy of the scheme & selected all the items and changed the size to 14.

    Since most of my time is in front of XCode, this works for me.
  23. gusjohnson macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2010

    I recently took the plunge and bought a 27" iMac and I have to say - I'm a little shocked that there is no way to set the font size system wide. Never really noticed this as an issue on my 13" MacBook which I mostly use for web browsing -- but it's glaringly apparent on the 27" display that the fonts are too small in a lot of cases. I have trouble believing that Apple hasn't noticed this.

    One case in particular - iCal is really driving me nuts. Is there no way to make the font bigger for iCal? The default fonts are just absurdly small.
  24. jimla macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2010
    I have had the same experience and I'm extremely disappointed with the lack of system font scaling in OS X. The menu text size on my new 13" Macbook is way too small and I have no way to increase it without getting fuzzy. On my Toshiba laptop with Vista/Ubuntu dual boot, I can customize the screen layout in both operating systems for sharp readable fonts. I plan to install Ubuntu on the Macbook and use it as my primary operating system until Apple fixes this problem.



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