Changing fonts styles and sizes

Many modern browsers allow you to set default fonts for websites. Below are instructions on how to achieve this for various browsers.

Firefox for Mac / Windows
  1. For a Mac, go to Preferences » Content (Tools » Options » Content in Windows)
  2. Under Fonts & Colours, select Advanced... A menu will appear allowing you to select various font sizes and styles. Once you have selected your preferred options, uncheck the box that says Allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of my selections above, and then click OK.
Safari for Mac / Windows
Although there is an option to set default fonts in Safari, there seems to be only one option to over-ride site-defined styles, which is you can setting a minimum font-size. For instructions, see the Safari section under Changing only font sizes. To change font styles, your best bet is to define a user style sheet (see Changing site styles).
Internet Explorer for Windows
  1. Firstly you'll need to tell Internet Explorer that you want it to ignore fonts defined by a website. To do this, go to Tools, Internet Options and then select the General tab, and then the Accessibility button.
  2. Under the "Formatting" heading, you will find checkboxes allowing you to ignore font sizes, colours etc. Check the options you want to define yourself, and then click OK, but stay within the Internet Options menu.
  3. Also on the General tab is the Fonts button. Click on this to modify your fonts to the ones you require.
Internet Explorer for Mac
  1. OK, for IE Mac select Explorer » Preferences. Then select Web Content
  2. Uncheck the option Page specify fonts, and then from the main menu select Language / Fonts. Define your preferred fonts and font sizes here, then click OK.
Opera for Windows
Looks like the only option for Opera users is to define fonts that are undefined by the website. Opera seems to prefer its users to create a user style sheet, as this option is well catered for in the content menu.

Changing only font sizes

There are quite a few quick methods for scaling font sizes up and down according to preference. The CommmerceTuned website has been built in such a way as to allow font sizes to be scaled for all browsers. Here are some instructions on how to do this. Note: Some sites are built with absolute font sizes, so you may have trouble using these methods elsewhere.

Firefox for Mac / Windows
There are a few ways you can scale the fonts on the page. These work regardless of whether a website has relative or absolute font-sizes.
  • From the View menu, you can select Text size and then choose to increase or decrease.
  • You can also use keyboard shortcuts for the above method. Hold the Ctrl key (or Command for a Mac users) and the + or - keys.
  • If you have a mouse with a wheel, you can hold the Ctrl key (for both Windows and Mac) and wheel up and down to scale the text size.
Safari for Mac / Windows

In Safari for Mac you can use the text size buttons next to the address bar to change text sizes. In addition you can use Command and + or - . On both platforms you can change sizes by selecting View, then either Make Text Bigger, Make Text Smaller or Make Text Normal Size. The Control and + - function does not seem to operate correctly at the time of writing.

In addition to these methods, users on Windows and Mac platforms can also set a Minimum Font Size, by selecting Safari (or Edit in Windows) » Preferences, then the Advanced section. Finally check the box that says never use fonts smaller than the selected size, and choose a font size from the menu.

Internet Explorer for Windows

You can scale font sizes by selecting View, then Text size. You then have five relative sizes to choose from: Smallest, Smaller, Medium, Larger and Largest. You can also use the mouse wheel method of resizing text outlined in the Firefox for Windows section above, for IE6 and below.

In Internet Explorer 7, there is also a 'zoom' feature, which scales the entire site rather than just the text. This can be activated by a control in the bottom right corner of the window. The mouse wheel method of scaling activates this zoom feature rather than scaling the font size.

The chief drawback with the zoom tool is that it doesn't function particularly well with fixed-width sites like, and also scaling the images makes them render in a rather untidy manner.

Internet Explorer for Mac
Select View then Text Zoom. You can then choose to increase font sizes incrementally, or via a percentage value. Users can also use the Command and + - method to alter sizes.
Opera for Windows
Opera doesn't allow users to scale just the font, and uses the Zoom feature similar to that of Internet Explorer 7. If you want to just change text size, try creating a User Style Sheet.

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