Website with Small TextYou’re on a website, and you can’t comfortably read the teeny tiny text they’re using. You strain your eyes, but you can hardly read the words on the page.

Take, for example, the picture to the left. This is a newspaper article about the explosion of the U.S.S. Maine before the Spanish American War. It’s a cool resource for a Modern U.S. History teacher, but the nitwits who designed the website didn’t give much thought to readability.

If only there was a way to make the text bigger! Well, it turns out there is. And it’s really, really simple.

Use Your Browser’s Zoom Feature

Every modern web browser has a built-in zoom feature. I’ll assume for the moment that you’re using Chrome. In the “View” menu, you’ll see an option to “Zoom In” and “Zoom Out.” By clicking “Zoom In,” you’re increase the size of everything on the page, making the text much bigger and more readable.

The picture to the right is the same webpage as above, after being zoomed in four times. The text column now takes up a wider portion of the screen, there is more space between the lines, and the text itself is larger. It is much easier to read!

In most browsers, you can press [Ctrl +] (on a PC) or [Cmd +] (on a Mac) to achieve the same thing. If you zoom in too far, use [Ctrl -] or [Cmd -] to zoom out. [Ctrl 0] or [Cmd 0] will also reset the website to it’s normal size.

These menu options and shortcuts are all the same in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. Your mileage may vary with other browsers.

It Works on Images Too

This same technique will typically also work with images. If you’re looking at a picture or a map on a website and you can’t quite make out a detail, try using the browser’s zoom feature to make it bigger.

This is a useful tip when I have my students taking a test on Schoology. If I embed a map in the test, some students may have trouble reading the key and the details. Anyone who can’t make out the small text can simply zoom in until it is a size they can comfortably read.