Safari: Zoom In on Text Only

There are quite a few ways to make text larger in Safari if you're having trouble seeing it. As I've discussed before, you can even use some special Universal Access features if you're really having problems.

There still are tons of other simple methods you can use, though. For example, if you've got a touch-enabled trackpad (or mouse), you can double-tap with two fingers to quickly zoom in, and then double-tap again with two fingers to zoom back out.

Similarly, you can pinch out with two fingers on a trackpad to more precisely control the level of zoom you get. (If these aren't working for you, make sure the features are turned on under System Preferences > Trackpad > Scroll & Zoom.)

You can also hold down the Control key and scroll up on your trackpad with two fingers. This is one of my favorite methods, as it'll zoom the whole screen! To zoom back out again, hold down Control and scroll down on your trackpad.

Still another way you can enlarge small text is to add a Text Size button to your Safari toolbar. Do this by right- or Control-clicking on Safari's toolbar and choosing Customize Toolbar (or by selecting View > Customize Toolbar).

When you get the Customize Toolbar window open, drag the Text Size button to where you want it to go.

Obviously, you'll click the right side of the button to enlarge the text on a page and the left side to make it teenier.

Finally, you can use keyboard shortcuts to zoom, too—Command-Plus and Command-Minus. These work in a lot of places around your Mac, and in some cases (such as when you've selected text in Mail's composing window), the shortcuts will actually increase or decrease the size of your font instead. Handy!

To be clear, almost everything I've mentioned here should work system-wide; I just find myself squinting in Safari more often than I do in Pages, for example. And now that we've gone over all of that, there's a setting in Safari that I'd like to draw your attention to. It is, after all, why I started writing this tip. Where am I again? Who am I, other than someone who goes into entirely too much detail? (I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to my editor.)

Yeah. OK, so the setting I'm talking about is under the View menu, labeled Zoom Text Only.

If you turn that on, Safari will change only the size of your text when you zoom using either the aforementioned keyboard shortcut or the Text Size button in your toolbar. Images on the page will remain the same. So here's a segment of one of my articles with an image:

Here's that same section magnified using the Zoom Text Only setting:

You can see that the text got quite large, but the image stayed the same. Love that!

I find this useful for enlarging text on pages that are graphics-heavy, especially those that have a bunch of ads. Just remember that this setting stays on until you turn it off, so if you need to zoom in on an image in Safari instead, either turn Zoom Text Only off temporarily or use one of the other methods mentioned above. The trackpad zoom choices will always enlarge everything on the page and aren't affected by that setting.

So what say you, TMO readers? Have I forgotten your favorite method for zooming in or enlarging text? Could this article have been any longer? Have any of you even read this far?