Zoom! Zoom!

Most of you younger folks won’t have to worry about this for a few years, but…

… it’s a reality of life that as you get older, your eyes don’t work as well as they used to. Case in point: when you’re reading those websites with that minuscule font size, you have to grab your cheater glasses to see what’s going on. Unfortunately, not all website developers are nice enough to use a #16 Deja Vu Sans font for us older folks.

In cases like that, there are options. In Firefox, my browser of choice, I can go to Menu: Edit –> Preferences –> Content –> Fonts & Colors – Advanced button and set my font styles and sizes the way I want them to be. This is how I used to do this for many, many years now. However, last night, while poking and prodding FF a bit here and there, I found a neat way to set fonts that don’t affect every website.

The problem with forcing font sizes and types globally in FF is that many web pages, this one right here on wordpress.com, for example, will not display certain characters properly. A while back WordPress, and Photobucket, too, started using these cute little html graphics to identify buttons and menu items. Well, if you’re forcing Deja Vu Sans in FF, those little images show up as weird Greek-looking icons that make no sense whatsoever in relation to their actual assigned purpose. That was beginning to annoy¬† me, particularly at Photobucket, so I stopped forcing fonts and sizes in FF, which allowed the browser to display the websites as they were designed.

Great! Just one problem. Now we’re back to the little font sizes again and the need for me to scramble around in the semi-darkness in the cave here feeling around for my cheater specs. They’re only 1x, but nice to have when you want a little boost in acuity. ;)

Hmm… what to do?

Well, anyone who has used Firefox for any length of time knows, or should know, that you can zoom text and images or just text alone on any web page just by using the combination of CTRL and the + or – keys on the keyboard. You can also do it by holding CTRL while rolling your mousewheel, if you happen to have one. Cool, huh? Here’s my problem, though. I visit many different websites every day. I don’t want to have to be zoom-zooming every time I go there. That’s why I had the global settings set as I did before.

Now for the OH, WOW! moment from the You Learn Something New Everyday department. I found that FF will actually remember zoom setting for individual pages even after you close the browser, log off your system, and climb into bed with hopes of pleasant dreams involving interesting book discussions on a desert island somewhere in a grass hut with a half-shell of coconut wine and this young lady by your side…

Er… but I digress.

Anyway, it’s very cool that FF remembers the zoom settings for individual pages. I haven’t tested it, but my guess is that if you toss your cookies or clear out your site preferences using the Clear Recent History tool, you’ll probably lose all those individual zoom settings and have to set them all over again as you visit the sites. Still, it’s COOL. I’m glad I found out how to do this. Now I don’t have to force fonts and sizes in FF and all the little weird characters makes sense again.

Ain’t technology wonderful?!

Later…

~Eric

Image credits: reading glasses clipart courtesy of http://www.clker.com/

Island girl courtesy of http://island-girl-boutique.com/ – used without their express permission, but hopefully they’ll cut me some slack on that because I’m posting a link for their fine establishment here on my very popular 500+ million hit-a-day blog site. ;)

 

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5 Comments on “Zoom! Zoom!”

  1. lilbambi says:

    Hadn’t thought to make permanent changes to the settings and I see on SNF that there is discussion about a addon for FF as well for that.

    I just use the CTRL + and CTRL – as needed for the page and area of the page I need larger.

    Sadly my situation is that my eyes get too tire over time and I have to adjust it differently depending on the day.

    • Changing font settings is an old habit for me going back to Windows/IE days. I don’t like serif fonts as much as sans fonts. To me, the latter are easier on the eyes. For years in IE and other browsers in MS Windows, I used to force the Verdana or Arial font instead of that crappy Times New Roman that MS used to default to back then. When I started using GNU/Linux, fonts were not very high quality. The Deja family were about the best, so I started forcing fonts to Deja Vu Sans in Konquerer and later Seamonkey and Firefox.

      I still don’t like serif fonts on the computer, but I’m learning to tolerate them. Without forcing font style/sizes in FF now, I do get stuck with whatever the websites have coded on their pages; most use serif. Oh well. At least I can make them bigger. That helps somewhat.

      This whole exercise was spurred on by these cutesie little character icons that many websites are using nowadays. They’re all over your WordPress dashboard and Photobucket. When you force Deja, there are no Deja equivalents to these icons, so they display as strange gobble-de-gook icons. If they’re not set by the web dev’s to have a hover tool tip, you’re screwed when trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do.

      So much of standardization in website coding and browser display engines, huh? :(


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