Increase System Font Size - How?

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

  1. Mr Breeze macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2011
    so here I find myself reading this thread, after powering up my27" iMac for the first time about 5 hours ago. Reduced res from 2560x1440 to 1920x1200, that helped a little, but not happy about spending $2k and having this problem.:mad:
  2. slapple macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2008
    I also wish there was a way to increase the DPI on my hi-res 15" MBP.

    Apple is supposedly working on HiDPI in preparation for possible retina displays in the next MBP. But that would double the current font sizes, I think? That wouldn't help us - everything would be too huge on our non-retina displays. If they could make all the fonts around 25% larger that would be perfect, but I don't know if HiDPI would do that.
  3. lizw macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2012
    So, I spend over 2 grand on this thing and I can't read half the stuff on it and can't increase the font size across the board - only for some things, and individually. As far as I'm concerned, there is no point in having a computer, however good it is, if you can't read the screen. Nought out of ten, Apple.
  4. NewMacUser2012 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
    Totally agree lizw. I don't mind spending money on a superior product, and in many ways apple is superior. But this situation is like buying a sports car with a bad tire that can't be fixed. Why own a ferrari with a bad wheel... won't take you far.

    I don't care how well this iMac works. If i struggle to read the 72 dpi font and can't make it bigger... the entire computer is virtually useless to me. I thought i would completely enjoy owning a mac but unfortunately i have serious buyers regret.

    I do think apple will eventually fix this but jeesh... I have been increasing the UI font size in Windows for like 10 years. Will i have to wait a year, 2 years or more for apple to make my nearly $2000 investment work for me? annoying!!!
  5. lugesm macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2007
    Anyone know how to send this thread to a RESPONSIBLE person in Apple?
  6. NewMacUser2012 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
    Well i sent a very detailed email to apple technical support 5 weeks ago. no response.

    They either can't fix this problem, don't want to, or are working on it. Lord knows which is reality.
  7. ifmihai macrumors newbie


    Feb 12, 2012
    same situation here

    I've completed the feedback form,
    I even put this forum thread's link there,

    I hope much more people will give negative feedback about this crappy thing


    sorry for caps lock :D
  8. blow45, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    Don't apologize for the caps, they should be apologising for not fixing such a long standing issue, and acting like little kids ignoring the problem for so many users.

    We don't care about inner politics in apple, or for whatever reason resolution independence is getting stuck all the time (I am aware of technical reasons and there have been countless threads discussing this but here it's not relevant). The horrible excuse that now os x is hdpi capable while there not being hdpi screens available yet is unacceptable.

    As is unacceptable the fact that come lion they have not added yet ANY workaround such as selecting larger font for the finder, other than the max 16 points they have now and they 've been having for ages. Instead they opted to grey out itunes and the finder so they could appeal to even more ios users completely messing up basic usability for hundreds of thousands of users.

    I have been a longtime apple user and feel utterly dissapointed with this. For the first time in more than 8 years I am just about ready to ditch a few 1000s of dollars in apps plus my whole workflow and ecosystem and switch back to windows because of this. I 'd rather do that than keep spending money for the optometrist.

    It's unthinkable to me, that in 2012 the world's "most advanced os" does not have some way to customize fonts, ANY way, across apps and make them larger and more legible.

    Someone over there has to get it in their thick sculls that either .7.4 brings a decent workaround to this or some people who have for a long time been supporting apple, who have been suggesting their computers to their friends and family and have made them very rich and very powerful, will soon become their arch detractors because at some point people's patience is exhausted. Then they 'll find out the hard way how easy it is to burn all that money in the bank and be back to the brink of bankruptcy.

    Having said all that, The only way to change this is to keep sending feedback to them.Please do so, our venting out here means nothing to them. They should start facing their responsibilities towards users, and coughing up the money to hire more people developing towards that goal, instead of paying enormous amounts to lawyers to sue everyone left right and center in the industry. Our eyesight is not something they should be effing about with.

    p.s. workarounds from my long, long time researching solutions for this: try tinkertool for changing some default font sizes (but not many) for the os, and for itunes search the thread I commented recently on tweaking the plist file to get large font. And let's keep our fingers crossed that soon to come sandboxing of apps will not soon disallow apps such as tinkertool to run. Yet another workaround is menueverywhere and menupopup what will give you just that but with larger customizable fonts (i.e. menu bars on top of windows, and a menu bar popping via a hotkey). Also please insist on a per app basis for both apple and non apple apps to have options for larger fonts and font customizability. Go to google and ms and leave feedback and insist that chrome and office get customizable fonts on their interfaces as much as they can.

    And of course we have to do all these workaround because the os x development team is too far up their behinds to get it that ios looking crap is not what the user base is after but real usability features.
  9. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    No guys it isn't fine, the text is fuzzy, tft screens are supposed to be run in native resolution mode otherwise the text is fuzzy, maybe with your eyesight it's not as much, but your eyesight will soon be seriously degraded because of this.

    Who has been posting this blatant lie? It wasn't implemented in leopard, it didn't get implemented in sl, and it's not there in lion.

    (much apologizing for the consecutive posts, I was under the impression the forum just adds it to the previous one by default...)
  10. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    This blatant lie has been spread by the lying liars at Apple, Inc.

    According to their shameless falsehoods, it has been possible to turn on resolution scaling ever since Tiger using the developer tools.
  11. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    Post me internet archive page of said document not an 05/2011 version.

    You are coming here trying to be snarky wrt a real usability problem people are facing and you are embarrassing yourself I hope you realise:

    from apple:
    from an online review:
    Maybe resolution independence is there, and we can actually increase font size universally but we just can't see it, can we... or maybe we are not prepared to go delusional to back apple.
  12. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    What would be the point? The feature has been there since 2005. Disbelieve me if you like, facts seem to have little relevance to you.
    Believe me, I agree that this is one of the greatest usability problems on the Mac platform. I think that Apple has been lax in not forcing this issue with new and updated applications.
    That's absurd. What do I have to be embarrassed about? I was snarky, yes, because that's the way my sense of humor often turns when people make foolish statements on the Internet. I have a "sarcasm" smilie :rolleyes: in my signature for that very reason.
    That is exactly what jimla said, and you accused him of lying:
    See what I said earlier about foolish statements. Calling something a "lie", and by extension accusing someone of posting a lie, is a serious charge and extremely offensive. Especially when what they say is absolutely correct: this feature has been implemented in every version since Tiger, and most applications have not been updated to handle it properly.

    The only one in this thread that has embarrassed themselves is you. It seems you don't respond well to good-natured corrections, so let me drop that for a moment and say what I should have said: Your post was out of line, and you were incorrect.
    And here, again, with the inappropriate language. Firstly, I'm not backing Apple on this, because as I've said they've dragged their heels and haven't put nearly enough pressure on developers. But even if I was, the word "delusional" is not appropriate.
  13. NewMacUser2012 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
    back to the font/dpi topic please...

    A software developer responded to an email i wrote his company with the following. Not sure what he writes is accurate?:

    "Unfortunately, it is not clear why you are asking the same question once more.
    I can only guess that you might not have understood Apple's concept of HiDPI.

    Apple current implementation of HiDPI is based on 144 ppi, i.e. HiDPI needs
    4 screen pixels to show a single user interface pixel.

    To display 2560 x 1440 HiDPI pixels, you will need to connect a monitor
    capable of displaying 5120 x 2880 screen pixels. The hardware of the iMac
    is not capable of providing such a resolution, however.

    Your iMac screen has 2560 x 1440 actual pixels, so it is capable of displaying
    a HiDPI resolution of 1280 x 760 pixels."
  14. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    This is a complete lie, this "feature" has always been broken and setting dpi via quartz from tiger onwards never worked and made the interface typeface look like crap.

    I would be embarrassed if | claimed other people made foolish statements but I were making them instead... well, at least you understand this is a major problem in the os...

    It's not an application issue it's an os issue. I am sorry you felt offended with the word lie, but it is one.

    Good natured corrections by being by your own admission snarky and calling up others for making foolish statements?


    He is accurate.
  15. fondy44 macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012

    Count me among the newbs. I just bought the 11" MBA last night, my first Mac. This wasn't an impulse buy. $1,000 for what essentially is a high quality netbook is a lot of money, especially for someone in my income bracket.

    I 'really' noticed this at first boot when trying to browse over the EULA at startup. OMG! I spent all evening reading the manual, looking through System Preferences, etc. I cannot believe this option does not exist, or hopefully it does and I'm just not smart enough to figure out how Apple addresses it differently. Though as an iPod user who has been complaining about the lack of 5-band graphic EQ for the past 7 years, I must say I'm not hopeful.

    Looking at the Macs on display at the store, I must admit the fonts did seem unusually small at the time but the same can be said for a stock install of Windows. I just assumed there was a similar way to tailor it to one's needs.

    FWIW, I have tried increasing DPI on my Win7 desktop (24", 1920x1080 monitor) and it causes the text in iTunes (specifically, the iPod's summary screen) to spill out of the boxes they're in. iTunes seems to be the only application that I've seen this problem with on the Windows side. Which leads me to ask: Are vision tests part of the interview process for Apple's HR department? But seriously, is it possible that there's just nobody in the Mac department at Apple who knows how to fix this? After all, they do appear to have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment.

    Anyone know where I can find a 10"x5" magnifying glass?
  16. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    They are inexcusable for not applying some sort of resolution independence so far in their os, or some font customization in the dock or os apps. The latter could be easily implemented. Their high res models such as the airs the high res pro, and the 27" imac have come to have unbearably small fonts They will only opt for resolution doubling once ultra high res screens hit the market, which will mean the new airs (all old ones don't stand a chance and apple won't fix the issue there) will not have such shrunk font system wide - that has been ever shrinking as the res have increased, but that still won't allow for user definable dpi, or at least some custom font sizes. It's unbelievable how they've let their fonts shrink and shrink even more with every increase in resolution and screen real estate.

    The only (poor) workarounds you have now for the menu is menupop and menueverywhere which has user set font sizes, and you can also change some font sizes (not the ones that matter though) via secrets pref pane, there's also a tweak somewhere for itunes... all poor workarounds for such premium devices... they are really offloading the problem on the user...Zoom doesn't work or running in lower res because both make font blurry for different reasons.

    Windows on the other has that for a long time and it works pretty well the user defined dpi settings for fonts, with the exception of itunes where apple hasn't bothered to abide by windows standards in their UI.

    Please by all means leave them feedback, as they still don't seem to be listening.
  17. StrudelTurnover macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    Just fresnel sheets. ;)
  18. danipatagonia macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    Menu font Size

    I´m writing from argentina, ´ve been trying to change font size on the menu bar for hours. Mac over here cost twice as much as in the US over here is worth 3 of my full salaries. So I saved $ for 6 months to buy it and now I have a really hard time reading the menu font.
    Really guys, after all this years about Mac this and Mac that, It freaking sucks.
    Cool pad, cool keyboard, cool screen. Crap, crap, crap.

    Thank you all for letting me rant about this.
  19. Slogan macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2008
    Purchased a U2711 (2560 x 1440) for use with my MacBook Pro and for the two days I've been using it, I've been rocking an underlying headache from eye strain. I have pretty good vision and I was somewhat relieved/disappointed to find this thread. If there were any signs that Mountain Lion was going to provide a solution I might keep it on the strength of that but it's not looking too good. :(
  20. blow45 macrumors 68000

    Jan 18, 2011
    I feel you buddy, same here with headaches and eye strain. Apple are categorically not working on resolution independence, either full or dpi settings for fonts and some ui elements. This is an onerous task (one they have been implicitly promising they will finally deliver for 12 or so years) and they do not have enough resources in their software development teams to take it up )unlike say Microsoft), what with ios having taken up a lot of the internal development over os x and apple having kept almost the same programming teams. Anyway nowadays the dixons guy to manage their store will alone cost them 60 million and their lawyers don't come cheap either... And it's not like they are the richest company in the world to afford to assemble a 20-30 people strong team say to focus on resolution independence.

    Your mac will, with a certainty of 100% not benefit with mountain lion wherein they plan to just go with pixel doubling a la iOS, and only future macs with high resolutions as well as external screes will. And these still won't be able to set dpi for fonts and customized fonts per the user's requirements, they just won't have impossibly small font to read. Such high resolution panels for laptops are expected next year but apple might surprise us positively, for a change, by making them available with the upcoming MacBook pro updates. Maybe production problems for such screens are the reason we are seeing delays in the Mbp's being launched

    External screens will take even longer to produce. Their parts provider Sharp has already claimed 10" and 27-32" ultra high resolution panels with the igzo technology but apparently from failing to meet iPad screen criteria so far their production lines are not up to scratch. I am sure if they can meet the production criteria they'll provide panels for apple, I am not so sure if apple plans to use them on the macs or the rumoured tv set though. In any case your mbp won't be able to run with its current gpu such demanding external panels.

    I would suggest you return your external screen or install windows on your mac if that's a viable option for you. The situation with font customisation in os x is a sordid mess and apple hardly have any excuse for it anymore. Pixel doubling in high resolution screens will provide an excellent incentive however for people to purchase more macs to have this basic functionality, so it's win win for apple, no extra developers needed to be hired and focused on ri and by not solving this usability problem people will be forced to purchase from apple in the future.
  21. Slogan macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2008
    It's pretty disappointing from a consumer's point of view. I had heard of resolution independence before but nothing much beyond that. Following the last couple of days in research, I'm all too familiar with it now.

    This is a user experience issue, bordering on an accessibility issue. There must be a significant amount of customers who would like a 27" iMac but can't have one (or returned one) because of this issue. I could go down the whole 'Universal Access' route but my eyesight is actually fine.

    Had a play with Windows Vista on VMWare Fusion to see if it was the same story. Everything was absolutely tiny by default. Opened the control panel, went into the appearances settings and upped a simple DPI setting. Restarted and the problem was fixed.

    I'm not going to rant and rave too much about it. The display was bought as an extension to my desktop and I don't particularly need it for anything work-related, which I'm thankful for.

    The situation just seems to be half-baked and the switch in resources from OS X to iOS does seem to be pretty evident in the quality of products we're getting. Nice little changes and tweaks here and there but I would guess it's been a long time since Apple really sat down and looked at OS X and what they could do with it, without being distracted by their more profitable products.
  22. fondy44 macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    I've been resisting the urge to order a mini displayport to hdmi adapter to see how the MBA would look on my 24" monitor. My primary reason for buying it in the first place was for the long battery life and portability, so tethering it to a desktop monitor kind of defeats the purpose.

    This weekend I came across an old chart someone posted in an article on Cnet about recommended resolutions and screen sizes. I think it was written before LCDs became really mainstream but it was still an interesting read. The author claimed that the manufacturers he consulted recommended to prevent eyestrain from small fonts, a 15" monitor's resolution should not exceed 800x600 and a 17" monitor's res shouldn't exceed 1024X768. I almost choked on my coffee! Here I am squinting at an 11" screen with a 1366X768 res!

    I tried playing around with different resolutions knowing full well that sharpness would suffer. I was surprised to discover that adjusting resolution only seems to shrink the width of the desktop - it didn't enlarge anything.

    At one point I grabbed the wife's iPad and did a side-by-side comparison of Safari. The bookmark bar's fonts were actually bigger on the iPad despite the MBA's screen being slightly wider.

    I must say that once I get used to it I think I'll like OS X better than Win7, and the MBA's trackpad is better than any laptop trackpad I've ever used. It's just a shame that I'm forced to spend my time squinting at the screen when reading anything outside of Safari. Basically, Safari's ability to zoom in on text, and a cheap magnifier app called ZoomIt are the only things keeping me from returning this thing to the store.
  23. Briangus macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2012
    eMac resolution

    I have just got an eMac with a bigger screen than my iMac, I can change the font size of my icons but I would like to reduce the screen resoution so everything looks bigger. Any suggestions whether / how I can do this ?
  24. DataMiner macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2012
    So Mac does not have any feature to help people with vision impairment? I admit I did not read all posts in this thread but what is Apple's rationale for this font scaling issue? Is it "we know better than you" or is it something technical that would undermine other aspects of the OS? Both?

    If I had read this thread before jumping into the Mac world recently I might have thought twice about making the switch from a PC.
  25. slapple macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2008
    The latest rumor from last week is that the next version of Mac OS X will have 3 size options - small, big, and optimal. Hopefully this is the resolution independence we've all been waiting for.

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