How to Change the Text Size in macOS

How to Change the Text Size in macOS | All the Ways to Increase Text Size on your Mac in 2024

As someone who uses a Mac, I understand the importance of being able to adjust the text size to reduce eye strain and make reading more comfortable. That’s why I want to share some tips on how to increase the text size on your Mac.

One of the simplest ways is to use the Accessibility settings to increase the size of text system-wide. To do this, go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display and adjust the “Text size” slider.

Another option is to use the Zoom feature, which magnifies the entire screen or a portion of it. You can activate Zoom by going to System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom and turning it on.

Additionally, some apps have their own text size settings, such as Safari, which allows you to adjust the font size by going to View > Zoom In or Zoom Out.

Read on to learn how to change the size of your text in macOS.

How to Change the Text Size in macOS

How to Change the Text Size in macOS by Scaling your Display

Changing the text size in macOS can be a great way to make reading more comfortable and reduce eye strain.

One method to do this is by scaling your display, which will enlarge all on-screen fonts and interface elements by using a different display resolution.

Here are the steps to change the text size using this method:

For Retina Display Macs:

  • Step 1: Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences.”
  • Step 2: Navigate to the “Display” preference panel, followed by the “Display” tab.
  • Step 3: Select “Scaled” next to the “Resolution” box.
  • Step 4: When you select “Larger Text” from the available options, a pop-up message will appear asking you if you are sure you want to move to this scaled resolution.
    • Some applications may not fit entirely on the screen when using this scaled resolution, so choose “OK” to confirm that you wish to use the larger text size scaled resolution.

For Non-Retina Macs & External Displays:

  • Step 1: Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences.”
  • Step 2: Navigate to the “Display” preference panel, followed by the “Display” tab.
  • Step 3: Select “Scaled” next to the “Resolution” box.
  • Step 4: Select a smaller screen resolution from the list of available resolutions, which may include 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, or direct resolutions such as 1600 x 900, 1024 x 768, 800 x 600, 640 x 480.
    • To increase the size of on-screen text and other on-screen elements, aim for a smaller number, such as 720p or 1024 x 768.

By following these steps, you can adjust the text size on your Mac using the scaling display method, and make reading more comfortable and reduce eye strain.

How to Change the Text Size in macOS
How to Change the Text Size in macOS

How to Change the Text Size in macOS by Zooming in on your Screen

If you want to adjust the text size on your Mac but don’t want to change your display resolution, you can try zooming in on your screen.

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This is an easy way to increase the size of text and other elements in many applications. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Open the app or webpage that you want to zoom in on.
  • Step 2: Hold down the Command (⌘) key on your keyboard and press the Plus (+) key to zoom in. To zoom out, hold down the Command key and press the Minus (–) key.
  • Step 3: If you want to selectively target text, you’ll need to find the right setting for each app. In some applications, you can adjust the font size using the menu bar.
    • For example, in Safari, you can go to View > Zoom Text Only to adjust the text size without changing the size of other elements on the page.
  • Step 4: To adjust the zoom settings system-wide, go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom. From here, you can turn on Zoom and adjust the zoom options to fit your needs.
    • You can choose to zoom in on the entire screen or just a portion of it, and you can adjust the maximum zoom level as well.

By using these simple steps, you can easily adjust the size of text and other elements on your Mac to make it easier to read and use.

How to Increase the Sidebar Size in Finder

How to Change the Text Size in macOS

If you’re having trouble reading the small text in the Finder sidebar on your Mac, you can easily make it bigger. Here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
  • Step 2: Select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu that appears.
  • Step 3: Click on “General” in the System Preferences window.
  • Step 4: Look for the “Sidebar icon size” option and select “Large” from the drop-down menu.
  • Step 5: That’s it! The text size in the Finder sidebar is now larger and easier to read.

How to Increase the Text Size for Desktop Icons

You can change the default font size in just a few easy steps.

  • Step 1: Open Finder and click on “View” in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  • Step 2: Select “Show View Options” from the dropdown menu.
  • Step 3: Choose the text size that you want by moving the slider to the left or right.
  • Step 4: Click on “Use as Defaults” to apply the changes to all folders.
  • Step 5: You can also adjust the size of your icons using the keyboard shortcuts “Cmd + Plus (+)” or “Cmd + Minus (-)”.

How to Change the Font Size in Web Browsers

If you find that the font size in your browser is too small or too large, you can change it to a size that is more comfortable for you.

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Here are the steps for changing the font size in the three most popular browsers: Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

How to change font size in Safari

How to change font size in Safari

To change the default text size in Safari, follow these steps:

  • Step 1  Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced.
  • Step 2 Check Font size is never smaller than in the Accessibility section.
  • Step 3 Set the minimum font size required.

How to change font size in Google Chrome

To change the default text size in Chrome, follow these steps:

  • Step 1 Click on the main menu (three dots) and select Settings.
  • Step 2 In the side menu, click Appearance.
  • Step 3 In the Font Size section, select the option you want.

How to change font size in Mozilla Firefox

To change the default text size in Firefox, follow these steps:

  • Step 1 Click on the main menu (hamburger) and select Settings.
  • Step 2 Scroll down to Language & Appearance.
  • Step 3 Adjust the size in the Fonts and Colors section.

How to Change the Font Size in the Mail App

This may be used to reduce or increase the font size in the Mail app, and the method is the same regardless of whether the version of Mac OS is installed on the Mac.

  • Step 1 Open the Mail app if you haven’t done so already
  • Step 2 Optional but recommended: open an email message to see a live preview of the new mail font size.
  • Step 3 Select “Preferences” from the “Mail” menu.
  • Step 4 Choose the “Fonts & Colors” tab and alter the following:
  • To modify the font size of an email message, click the ‘Select’ button next to “Message Font,” and then use the Size indication to increase or reduce the font size – the default is size 12.
  • To modify the font size of the email inbox list, click the “Select” button next to “Message list font” and set the size as needed.
  • Step 5 When you’re finished with the change, exit Mail Preferences.

A change in font size can make a significant impact on readability in either direction, especially if a user’s eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’re merely trying to minimize eyestrain and spend a lot of time sending and receiving emails.

How to Change the Font Size in the Messages App/y

The keystrokes are similar variations of the + and – keys, just like the keyboard shortcuts to increase or decrease the text size in Safari, Chrome, TextEdit, Pages, and many other apps:

  • Increase font size of Messages: Command +
  • Decrease font size of Messages: Command –

Yes, that’s a plus symbol (+) and a minus sign (-). Tap each repeatedly to navigate to the maximum or minimum text size, depending.

You can also change the text size of message discussions in the Preferences panel by using the “Text Size” slider or the pull-down menu, depending on your macOS version:

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It’s worth noting that the text size slider and keyboard shortcuts both have the same maximum and minimum font size limitations. The smallest font size appears to be around size 6, with the greatest font size appearing to be around size 18.

How to Change the Text Size in macOS using the Terminal 

The default font size used by the Terminal app in OS X can be fairly small if you’re utilizing a large-resolution display.

While you can modify the font to fit your preferences and increase line spacing to improve reading, another simple way to improve readability is to simply raise the text size displayed on the screen while visiting the command line.

The Command and Plus or Minus keys are the simplest and quickest way to increase (or decrease) the text size presented for Terminal software.

This changes the display font size for the currently active terminal session, but it does not change the default font size for new terminal windows or sessions, thus it is more of a quick fix for when you need to boost readability.

  • Increase font size of Terminal: Command +
  • Decrease font size of Terminal: Command –
  • Return to Default Font Size: Command+0

If these command keyboard shortcuts sound familiar, it’s because you’ve probably used them previously to adjust the font size in browsers like Safari, Chrome, TextEdit, and a variety of other apps. This, like the instant Preferences shortcut, is not entirely universal. Still, so many apps use the Command+ and Command- tricks to adjust the visible fonts that it’s nearly universal for performing that function.

How to Change the Text Size in macOS – Conclusion

The font size on your MacBook Pro might mean the difference between straining your eyes and viewing the contents on your screen pleasantly. By adjusting various app settings, you can change the font size with keyboard shortcuts.

The method is quick and simple, whether it’s all text or only icon text. We hope this guide on How to Change the Text Size in macOS was helpful. On your Mac, what font size do you prefer? Please let us know in the comments!

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