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Making computer text larger

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Making computer text larger

I'm not going to wax poetic, or even clinical, on our loss of visual detail definition over time. It happens. We know it. Move on.

Many people seeking to see computer monitors better believe that by using a bigger monitor, the text will increase in size. This is not so. Instead, a larger monitor will let you see more. Think bigger window rather than binoculars.

Luckily, you can increase your text size in both Vista and Windows 7. Here's how:

Windows Vista

To increase the font size in Windows Vista, you need to increase the Dots Per Inch (DPI). You change this by following these steps:

  1. Click the "Start" button
  2. Click "Control Panel"
  3. Click "Personalization"
  4. Look on the left of the Personalization window. Here you will see options for adjusting font size.
    Vista Personalization
  5. Clicking on "Adjust font size (DPI)" will bring up a menu to change your scale. You can choose "Default", "Larger", or choose a "Custom DPI…"
    Vista DPI
  6. Make your choice and click "OK"

You will have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Windows 7

Windows 7 makes this whole thing easier. You start the same way:

  1. Click the "Start" button
  2. Click "Control Panel"
  3. Click "Appearance and Personalization"
  4. Click "Display"
    Windows 7 Text Increase
  5. Here you have the option of changing the screen to 125%. This normally is enough, but if you need an even larger font, click "Set custom text size (DPI)" in the left-hand column of the "Display" window
  6. You will have to log out or restart to see the effect


How do you know which you're using?

Because it is such a dramatic move, most people know if they have moved to Windows 7. However, if you need to be sure, click the "Start" button. Right-click on "Computer" and choose "Properties". The Properties Window will tell you which operating system you are running.