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Menus and fonts on the 27" are SO SMALL!!

24509 Views 49 Replies Latest reply: Sep 26, 2010 5:25 PM by babowa RSS
  • hank28 Calculating status...
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    Aug 13, 2010 12:36 PM (in response to WPLJ42)
    Got my imac 27 a couple of days ago, replacing an older imac 24 inch. I like it except for this very issue, and I'm glad i'm not the only one that considers this a real problem - I've left feedback for apple just add another vote for system wide resolution independence (which i believe to be the only true solution.) Hopefully this will be in the next version of the OS, which can't come soon enough. Very ironic that this is the largest computer display i've ever had and yet it's the least legible.
    imac intel, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,060 points)
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    Aug 13, 2010 2:18 PM (in response to hank28)
    Higher resolution = smaller pixels = better quality, but smaller fonts, but that can be adjusted. Have you tried my earlier suggestion of adjusting (1) the resolution and (2) the font sizes in Finder and the applications? I just did it and it works great.
    27" 3.2 GHz iMac i3, 4 GB RAM, 13" white early '09 MB,, Mac OS X (10.6.4), LaCie d2 DVDRW, 2 LaCie ext HD (1 Quadra), Wacom tablet, Epson Artisan 810
  • h011y Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 14, 2010 11:30 PM (in response to silence2-38554)
    Just chiming in to say I'm having the same trouble on my brand new 21.5" iMac. "System" font size is uncomfortably tiny (for an old Mac user since the Apple II), or bigger and uncomfortably fuzzy.

    Sure hope Apple is counting up these posts.
    iMac 21.5", Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • cyvi937 Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
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    Aug 15, 2010 1:20 AM (in response to silence2-38554)
    Safari is too annoying for me without using a custom style sheet. Just create a text file with this code in it:

    body {
    zoom: 127.5%;
    }

    The zoom percentage can be higher or lower - anything you want. Save the file and give it a CSS extension. Then go to Safari's Preferences - Advanced - select the CSS file where it says Style sheet.

    This zooms everything (not just text) to the given percentage every time you open Safari.
    20" iMac 2.4GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2.26GHz Apple TV, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • yakapo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 19, 2010 6:21 AM (in response to AdrienneA)
    I would really like to purchase a 27" IMac. However there is not a chance that I can read that tiny text. The only alternative is to keep my pc and get a Dell U2711. This is OSX's tragic flaw. What happens when displays go even higher res?
  • lunchmeat317 Calculating status...
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    Aug 19, 2010 11:08 PM (in response to silence2-38554)
    I saw this thread and felt compelled to respond, as I'm in the same boat.

    Open Terminal and use the following command:

    defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.5


    You can choose whichever scale factor you'd like. 1.5 works for me. This is likely similar to what someone else mentioned, but there's no blurriness. I think they used "-g" instead of NSGlobalDomain, which may have had a different effect?

    I have bad vision and I'm working on a 25" monitor. When I got this system and saw the size of everything, I thought I'd have to return it, but this has worked for me very well.

    Note that there are some graphical artifacts - I just live with them, personally. Additionally, certain programs may not tolerate scaling very well, and positioning for a lot of popup items and menus is currently broken (if you hover over an object, the popup will appear in a different location due to broken positioning; this breaks some applications). However, this makes the system usable, at least for the scale factor that I currently use. Going over a certain factor may cause problems.

    Also note that the Dock doesn't actually resize - at least, not graphically. Hovering over the Dock will reveal that although it hasn't gotten bigger, its space has changed - the popups will appear in the wrong places. To fix this, I manually set the Dock to use a scale factor of one using the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.dock AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1


    And voila, the popup menus are fixed. You can set the scale factor per application using this command, if you know the application's callname, which will fix any problems you may encounter with specific apps that don't play well with scaling. (The application plist files are in the Library/Preferences directory of your home drive; find the name of the application you're looking for and follow the command convention above.) It's pretty useful. Don't forget to use sudo - it's necessary for this, if I remember correctly, but these changes will only take place for your user account (...if I remember correctly).

    This has worked for me and I'm pretty happy. Best of luck, guys - and remember, if you break it, you can always run the command again and set the scale factor to one.

    Message was edited by: lunchmeat317
    Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • susato Calculating status...
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    Aug 24, 2010 12:58 PM (in response to necronym)
    +1 Thanks Necronym. The View Options menu (right click on desktop background) was just what my middle-aged eyes needed. A little change in font size made the system text on my 25.5" Samsung monitor BIG and CRISP.

    Sure wish Apple would mention View Options in OSX Help or in the Accessibility Options preference screen (search terms "system text size", "finder text size")... and that the font size would go even higher than 16 point.
    Mac Pro dual quad, early 2008 -- so quiet, so fast, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Running Folding@Home for Team MacOSX: ask me!
  • super_monty Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Sep 10, 2010 10:43 PM (in response to susato)
    I have having similar problems with the 27", i the problem is far worse that with the smaller models also the poor refresh rate is causing terrible headaches after only 15 mins of use.
    27" IMAC I5, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Rnbnoud Calculating status...
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    Sep 19, 2010 10:43 AM (in response to lunchmeat317)
    It works, Lunchmeat, but unfortunately not perfectly: after I used your command I can' t watch youtube-video' s (and all Adobe movies) anymore. Do you have the same problem? And do you (or anyone else) have a solution for this?
  • pedro de la vega Calculating status...
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    Sep 21, 2010 8:48 AM (in response to silence2-38554)
    same here..it's a shame that you can change the default size of system font at least. I switch to 1920x200 and now it's ok but it's not a 27" anymore. I tried the resolution independence but it does not work well in a lot of program (eg photoshop cs4).
    Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • WPLJ42 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Sep 22, 2010 4:58 PM (in response to pedro de la vega)
    Not that my intent is to be sarcastic, but I've returned to a PC running Windows 7. I have an HP All In One using an 18.5 inch screen. The resolution is 1366 x 768. Unfortunately, this was the only choice for my needs. Unless Apple makes big changes in future releases of the OS, I won't be coming back. Yes, Mac OS rules, and Windows drools, but that is the way it has to be. Once in a blue moon Steve, you loose a mostly happy user. I suppose that doesn't matter, if that person is replaced. I want to thank everyone here that gave me advice, especially Barbara.

    Jim
    HP MS235, Windows 7, 1.6 GHz AMD Athlon II - 4 GB RAM
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,060 points)
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    Sep 22, 2010 5:38 PM (in response to WPLJ42)
    Thank you - appreciate it! But I am sorry that you had to switch to the "dark" side...
    27" 3.2 GHz iMac i3, 4 GB RAM, 13" white early '09 MB,, Mac OS X (10.6.4), LaCie d2 DVDRW, 2 LaCie d2 Quadra ext HD , Wacom tablet, Epson Artisan 810
  • WPLJ42 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Sep 24, 2010 8:45 AM (in response to babowa)
    Well Barbara ... I can see the screen on this machine without ANY modifications! For me, that's all that matters. People like yourself were suggesting I might not be pleased with a mini and an HDTV. My visual situation is probably one in a million, but others are not excited over the fonts used in the big iMac.

    I know this is an Apple site, not an MS site but, the other side isn't so dark these days. <grin> Also Barbara, what if you could not lower the resolution on your iMac? Then what?

    Jim
    HP MS235, Windows 7, 1.6 GHz AMD Athlon II - 4 GB RAM
  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,060 points)
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    Sep 24, 2010 9:42 AM (in response to WPLJ42)
    +Also Barbara, what if you could not lower the resolution on your iMac? Then what?+

    Ugh, horrors upon horrors, I'd certainly try to come up with something because Windoze is not an option. I am a Mac - not so much because of the cool design, but mainly because of the OS.

    FWIW, after tinkering a bit lowering the resolution and increasing the font sizes in Finder, menus, browsers, etc., the result is absolutely perfect without any noticeable difference in quality (for me)!
    27" 3.2 GHz iMac i3, 4 GB RAM, 13" white early '09 MB,, Mac OS X (10.6.4), LaCie d2 DVDRW, 2 LaCie d2 Quadra ext HD , Wacom tablet, Epson Artisan 810
  • WPLJ42 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Sep 25, 2010 10:11 AM (in response to babowa)
    Barbara, I ran out of options. My HP screen is also a matte finish. I would not be able to see Mac OS on it though. To me, the difference between Mac OS X and Windows 7, is like driving here or in England. They are opposites. I am not missing the problems trying to see my iMac screen. If Apple fixes the situation, I may return. I'm going to go out on a limb, and wonder if you have used a Windows PC lately, or are you just accustomed to bad mouthing it? I used Mac OS X for 33 months, and can't see where it is any better than Windows 7. Too bad I can't show you my mouse pointer. It is something I can actually see, without a ton of jaggies. Steve Jobs appears to be near-sighted. He lifted his specs to demo the iPad. I suspect the Mac will not improve until his eyesight goes South.

    Jim
    HP MS235, Windows 7, 1.6 GHz AMD Athlon II - 4 GB RAM

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