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Ask HN: Do you zoom in to read webpages?
11 points by tokenadult on Nov 26, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments
As a man d'un certain âge, I'm wondering how many of you read webpages at the default zoom setting of your Web browser, and how many of you zoom in on pages to make the text look bigger for easier reading. I think I am older than most participants on Hacker News. I almost always zoom in on webpages, from time to time discovering webpages that aren't designed to be easily resized. (Hacker News is well designed for zooming in.) What is your practice in reading webpages? Do you take every page with its default settings, and use your browser with its default settings, or do you resize pages?

I normally use Google Chrome as my main browser on my dual-monitor Windows 7 office computer, and it stores my preferences site by site. I usually zoom in on any given site until the main page text goes all the way to the edge of my screen, which typically is about a 175 percent zoom. I am designing webpages for a couple organizations right now, so I am testing on a variety of computers, monitors, and browsers, to make sure that what I design doesn't break with viewed with different hardware or software from what I habitually use. I've been reading up a lot about the latest advances in responsive Web design and the new versions of HTML and CSS. I suppose most of you are younger than people who need to adapt in this way, but I have become very conscious of middle-aged people with presbyopia as I browse websites, and I want to make sure the sites I build are friendly for them.

I use safari, and I use the "two-finger double-tap" all the time, which works the same as double-tap on iOS (zooms in so the double-tapped content takes the full width of the screen/browser)

I'm 26 years old, but I'm only going to read one thing at a time anyway, so why not make it easier on my eyes?

Same. When I'm coding I tend to lean in and have multiple things going on at once, so lots of small type is fine. Browsing is my opportunity to sit back and rest a little, and double tap is my preferred method as I can completely ignore the size relative to my page (it will just fill to the width). I just switched to FF/Pentadactyl yesterday and this has been the hardest thing to leave behind, so if anyone has any tips...

I frequently use Evernote's Clearly extension in the Chrome browser. I like Clearly better than Readability. Clearly both resizes the text, but also removes most of the ads. Sometimes it removes some images that belong with the content, but it's the best extension I've found for dealing with the current crop of websites with profoundly tiny text.

Mid fifties. I do sometimes zoom for size, but more often I end up turning off styles (Firefox: alt-V-Y-Nv) to work around the beautiful but unreadable low contrast text that many sites use. Your post right here on HN is a minor offender, where the text of an original post is lighter colored than the responses. But that's mostly readable; the web is full of cute, unreadable text, which I'm sure took a lot of work to get just right.

Funny, I have this problem specifically on my laptop since its a 15" screen with a 1080P screen. I got extremely annoyed over the weekend while I was trying to read documentation on my laptop for Django. I ended up giving up and not reading and switched to using my ipad the next day. Dumb, irritating etc.

Haha, 1080p on a 13" here.

I remember when web design was a topic. Hasn't been for a few years, and it shows.

I don't zoom my laptop-sized screen much; I usually have to run my minimum font-size at 20. Works fine on about 3/4 of pages; so long as I'm maintaing proper posture.

Poorly-designed pages use lots of small, fixed-size DIVs to segregate spoonfuls of text; because of my font-size they spill text all over. Worse still are the pages that use color:#666 or higher; I just turn away. Printers have turned to that, no doubt to save the cost of ink; otherwise it's a measure of the sanity of the producer.

Sometimes. More often now I use something like Readability to not only change the sizes, but also the typography and page layout at the same time.

I zoom all over on the iPad or use the built-in browser reading mode. Also on my work laptop when I'm confined to just the laptop screen. I have Readability installed on Chrome, but I use it more often to de-clutter the article I'm trying to read than just to resize the font.

I don't usually zoom in on Windows but I almost always have to on any phone or tablet.

I never used to, but I recently got a 1080p 13-inch screen. I don't like the OS-level scaling in Windows, or turning down the virtual resolution, because it makes the chrome take up more space. Chrome (the browser) doesn't respect Windows' OS-level scaling anyway. The combination of this and Sublime Text 2, which has word-wrapping good enough to use in code and makes it extremely easy to change the font size, has led to me zooming in a ton lately. I've found I actually enjoy reading text that's larger than what I was reading before the high-dpi screen anyway.

- I use GC as well so I don't zoom in. However, on my phone I do.

I'm a zoomer. I either do CMD+ to increase font size or, sometimes, do the Mac zoom screen thing (control two fingers)

I just got a 17" MBP and I'm amazed at how small the default text size is in Safari. Can't find a way to change that so I have to keep zooming in on most pages.

28 m - I zoom in or out depending on the monitor / display device I'm using.

Yes I zoom all the time for reading webpages. Ctrl++++ 4 times.

I zoom almost all the time on a 24" monitor even more when reading on a tablet.

I have a few bookmarklets munged up that singly or in various combinations disable, override, and/or adjust style including font, text size, text color, background color, etc.

A click or two, and I have a readable page -- without pumping my browsing history through a third party.

P.S. Google "bookmarklet", look for the old but last I checked (a while ago) still highly ranked site from... Joe, I think, and copy and adjust the relevant bookmarklets as desired.

The suggestions here to simply disable styles, via one or another built in mechanism or extension, are also useful.

P.P.S. For traditional on-screen reading, MS's Georgia and Verdana fonts are your friends. Pay attention as well to leading, and in some cases kerning.

Let me know if you want to see an (ugly) example bookmarklet -- they are very simple and safety is verified in a 5 second glance at them.

P.P.P.S. [I know...] s/Joe/Jesse/


Though mine differ somewhat from what's there.

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