How to Modify Text Size in the Safari Browser on a Mac

You don't have to squint to read web pages in Safari

If you're viewing a web page in the Safari web browser for the Mac, you may find the text and screen contents too small to see comfortably, especially if you're using a small-screen laptop. In other situations, you may even find the screen contents too large.

Luckily, Safari makes it easy to change the font size and zoom level of web pages so that you can view web pages comfortably.

These instructions apply to Safari versions 13 through 9, covering macOS Catalina through OS X El Capitan.

detail of neon signs depicting zooming in on a Safari web pate
Takashi Kitajima / Getty Images

Change the Font Size in Safari

To make your text bigger or smaller, adjust the web page's font size.

  1. Open the Safari browser on your Mac and go to a web page.

    Open Safari and go to a web page
  2. To increase the font size, press Option-Command-Plus (+).

    To increase the font size, press Option-Command-Plus sign (+).
  3. To decrease the font size, press Option-Command-Minus (-).

    To decrease the font size, press Option-Command-Minus sign (-).
  4. Alternatively, to increase the font size, go to View, hold down the Option key, and select Make Text Bigger.

    Go to View, hold down the Option Key, and select Make Text Bigger
  5. To decrease the font size via the menu, go to View, hold down the Option key, and select Make Text Smaller.

    To decrease the font size via the menu, go to View, hold down the Option key, and select Make Text Smaller.

    Websites will stay at the font size you set. To return everything to its original state, go to the History menu item, select Clear History, and then select Clear History again.

Change the Zoom Level in Safari

Changing the zoom level on a web page is a little different from changing the text size because the tool increases or decreases the size of both text and images. Here's how to change the zoom level on a web page in Safari:

  1. Open the Safari browser on your Mac and go to a web page.

  2. Go to the View menu at the top of the screen and select Zoom In to make all content on the current web page appear bigger. Repeat to make the content even bigger.

    Safari on a Mac with the Zoom In command highlighted

    Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Command-plus (+) to increase the zoom level.

  3. To make the web page content display at a smaller size in Safari, select View > Zoom Out.

    Safari on a Mac with the Zoom Out command highlighted

    Or use the keyboard shortcut Command-minus (-) to make all content appear smaller.

  4. To reset the zoom, go to View > Actual Size, or use the keyboard shortcut Command-zero (0). This command won't be available until you zoom in or out on the page.

    Safari on a Mac with the Actual Size command highlighted

Add Zoom Controls to the Safari Toolbar

Add a zoom icon to your Safari toolbar to make zooming in and out even easier. Here's how:

  1. Go to View and select Customize Toolbar.

    Safari on a Mac with the Customize Toolbar command highlighted
  2. In the pop-up window, select the pair of buttons labeled Zoom and drag them to Safari's main toolbar.

    Safari on Mac with the Zoom Toolbar item highlighted
  3. Select Done to exit the customization screen.

    Customize Toolbar window in Safari with the Done button highlighted
  4. Two new buttons will be on your toolbar. Select the small letter A to zoom out, and select the larger letter A to zoom in.

Enlarging Safari Pages on Macs With a Trackpad

Macs with a trackpad have more ways to change a web page's size. Place two fingers together on the trackpad and then spread them apart to make a Safari web page bigger. Pull the two fingers back together to reduce the size of the webpage.

A double-tap with two fingers on the trackpad zooms in closely on a section of the web page. A second double-tap returns the page to standard size.