How to Make Your Computer Screen Easier to See

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If your eyes are like mine, things on the computer screen seem to keep shrinking and getting harder to see. Also, the high resolution displays of today can make text harder to read. Fortunately, Windows has a variety of ways to enlarge the objects on the screen and here are some steps to make things easier on your eyes.

How to change text size quickly

If it is text that is too tiny, a quick and easy way to resize text is available in browsers and many other applications. Hold down the Ctrl key and run the mouse scroll button up or down to control text size.  (Suggestion from reader ikyguy)

Another way that works in many cases (but apparently not with Microsoft Word, for example) is the keyboard combination of holding down Ctrl and pressing the “+” key in the numeric pad. Conversely, the “-“ key can be used to reduce text size.

How to change the operating system text size

If you wish a larger text size for the system, the procedures below show how to do it. These procedures also change the icon size. They work by adjusting the “dots per inch” (DPI) setting.

Windows XP

  1. Right-click the desktop and select “Properties”.
  2. Click the “Settings” tab.
  3. Click the “Advanced” button.
  4. In the “DPI setting” drop-down menu, select “Large size” or input a custom number.
  5. Click “OK”. Depending on your system, you may get a message about installing fonts.
  6. You’ll need to log off and on for the changes to take effect.

Windows Vista

  1. In the Start Search bar, enter “personalization” (without quotes).
  2. Click "Personalization".
  3. On the left side of the dialog box that opens, click “Adjust font size (DPI)”.
  4. Click “Continue” in the UAC permission box.
  5. In the dialog box, select “Larger scale (120 DPI)–make text more readable”.
  6. Click “OK”
  7. Log off and on.

Windows 7

  1. In the Start Search bar, enter “resolution” (without quotes).
  2. Select “Make text and other items larger or smaller”.
  3. In the dialog box, choose the desired size.
  4. Click “Apply”.
  5. Log off and on.

Windows magnifier accessory—Windows also has an accessory for magnifying all or parts of the screen and that will be the subject of the next tip.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs a Windows blog called The PC Informant and also operates a computer education website.

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