Control Text Size in Safari

Modify the Safari Tool Bar to Control Text Size

Woman needing bigger text on computer
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Safari's ability to render text puts it ahead of most web browsers. It faithfully follows a web site's style sheets or embedded HTML text height tags. This means that Safari consistently displays pages as their designers intended, which isn't always a good thing. There's no way for a web designer to know what size monitor a site visitor has, or how good their vision is.

If you're like me, you might sometimes wish a web site's text was just a little bit bigger. I occasionally misplace my reading glasses; sometimes, even with my glasses, the default type size is just too small. A quick click of the mouse brings everything back into perspective.

Changing Text Size Via the Menu

  1. Select the Safari View menu to see the available options for altering text size.
      • Zoom text only. Select this option to have the Zoom in and Zoom out option only be applied to the text on the web page.
  2. Zoom in. This will increase the size of the text on the current web page.
  3. Zoom out. This will decrease the text size on the web page.
  4. Actual size. This will return the text to the size as originally envisioned by the web page designer.
  5. Make your selection from the View menu.

Change Text Size From the Keyboard

  • Command + + To increase text size using your keyboard, simultaneously press and hold the command key (the key with the cloverleaf symbol) and the plus (+) key.
  • Command + 0 To return to a page's default text size, simultaneously press and hold the command key and the 0 (zero) key.
  • Command + - To decrease text size, simultaneously press and hold the command key and the minus (-) key.

Add Text Buttons to Safari’s Toolbar

I tend to forget many keyboard shortcuts, so when I have the option to add equivalent buttons to an application's toolbar, I generally take advantage of it. It's easy to add text control buttons to Safari's toolbar.

  1. Right-click anywhere in the Safari toolbar and select ‘Customize Toolbar’ from the pop-up menu.
  2. A list of toolbar icons (buttons) will display.
  3. Click and drag the 'Text Size' icon to the toolbar. You can place the icon anywhere in the toolbar that you find convenient.
  4. Place the 'Text Size' icon in its target location by releasing the mouse button.
  5. Click the ‘Done’ button.

The next time you come across a web site with painfully small text, just click on the 'Text Size' button to increase it.

Published: 1/27/2008

Updated: 5/25/2015