Yes and no.
Firstly, as I see it, there are 3 different new MacBook Pros as of Mid 2012.
1. The standard one
2. The HiRes screen version, which is also available with a matt screen, which I chose due to my working environments.
3. The Retina version which only has a glossy screen (which I didn't want) and has no DVD drive, which I do need.
Secondly, it appears that the Retina version is the only one which allows adjustment for a larger font system-wide.
The link you supplied is informative and explains the way Apple decided to go. You must judge for which reason. Unfortunately it has now annoyed an avid Mac user, who had until recently sworn to friends that he would never return to the more commonly used OS.
Unfortunately the ability to adapt a computer to ones own requirements seems to have disappeared in the latest versions of OS X. Since discovering this, I have read than many others have been experiencing the same problems for quite some time. This is regretable.
There is a fix!
I have a 30 inch monitor running at 2560 x 1600 with my Mac Mini and the outrageous $99 adapter from Apple. (Found it new for $60 on eBay.)
My menu bars and Google Chrome's tabs and bookmark bar were both way too small - like 4 point!
TinkerToolSystem, (not TinkerTool) allows you to go into hidden preferences and re-set to "HiDPI." Afer making the adjustment which doubled my DPI, I had to choose half the resolution 1280 x 800, but with no loss of real resolution! Things did get bigger elsewhere but I was able to adjust most of them. Hooray! GL!
Download the Evaluation copy of TinkerToolSystem. You get to open it 5 times for free.
About halfway down, under "Screen."
For Snow Leopard
By default, Mac OS X assumes that the display screen is rendering graphics with a resolution of 72 pixels per inch. This policy was taken over from the classic Mac OS. While this basic assumption was true when the Macintosh was introduced more than 20 years ago, today's display devices often have a much higher resolution. The pixels have become smaller, so your screen may actually use e.g. 100 pixels per inch. In practice, this means that graphical elements, for example fonts, will be displayed too small, so a 12 point font selected in an application might no longer match the actual size of a 12 point font printed in a book when you compare screen and book side by side.
To accommodate these changes, Mac OS X is capable of using arbitrary display resolutions. TinkerTool System allows you to change the resolution between 36 and 216 pixels per inch. If the screen display stays the same, the screen contents will be displayed larger when you set a higher resolution, and smaller when you set a lower resolution.
For Lion and Mt.Lion
Apple has removed the feature from the operating system that allowed to control the physical resolution of screen output by an infinitely variable factor. As of 10.7 or later, this function was replaced by the feature HiDPI (High Number of Dots per Inch) which allows to double the physical resolution only. This means you can select between the discrete values 72 ppi and 144 ppi (or 288, 578, … ppi in the far future). Other magnification steps or scaling down are no longer available. The HiDPI strategy allow OS X to be used on ultra-high-resolution screens (“retina displays”).
Enabling the HiDPI feature requires two steps. The first step is to unlock HiDPI mode via TinkerTool System. The second step is to select one of the HiDPI display resolutions on the pane Displays of System Preferences. Perform the following steps to work with HiDPI display modes:
- Select the item Screen in the pane System.
- Switch between the two possible modes Hide HiDPI resolutions and Display HiDPI resolutions.
- Log out to let the change take effect.
When you log in again, you can launch System Preferences, go to Displays and choose one of the HiDPI settings shown in the table Display > Resolutions.
WARNING: The display resolution is a very critical setting. If you set the resolution too high, the windows can become so large that they no longer fit on screen. This means you can no longer see or control all parts of some applications which can make your system unusable!
To use the system with 144 ppi, a screen with at least 2048 x 1536 pixels is strongly recommended, because OS X applications are designed by the rule that they can expect windows to have a minimum size of 1024 x 768 pixels at 72 ppi.
The Retina Displays may lead to a software update and then we will all be happy.
I think Moutain Lion fixed this issue. I have a couple friends with Mt. Lion and the same setup as me and they do not have the problem.
My post above works fine for those of us who have not upgraded yet.
Did you try System preferences > Displays > Resolution > best for built in display? With "best for air play" selected your menu bars, widows etc will be tiny and barely readable. Worth a shot hey
i am too disappointed and frustraded with apple ,back in the day when Mac just works, was simple, this company is going downhill and trying to add to many bells and whistles, Jobs kept it simple, i'm a lifetime mac owner but am now seiously considering my options, theres no excuse for this, itunes is way too small and to have no fonts to increase the size is unacceptable, mac fail!!
I complained pleanty when I first got this high res anti glare screen on my mbp. However, I seem to have got used to the small font. This has happened because I was forced to deal with the fact that after having perfect eye sight all my life, I now need reading glasses.
Regarding the screen resolution: to my mind that's not really a fix for small system fonts. Postscript solved the issue of variable font sizes in printed document decades ago. So, why is it so difficult to change the system font size without pixelating the resolution? I suppose it must be difficult, otherwise apple would have done it. Clearly, there must be a reason but I don't know if it is technical or has to do with the overall aesthetics of the interface. Take Firefox for example: it's OK but the overall appearance of the thing is not as aesthetically pleasing as Safari. Perhaps if Apple allowed a variable font size it would spoil the look of the OS. It might be as simple as that. The triumph of form over function.
Based in South Africa, we dont have Tinkertool as an App (for some reason, we are starved of games and other Apps and i am not inclined to sign up under false pretences to another countries store). Any new ideas on the font issue that dont involve an App?
Nah, too easy. The problem is that it does not work in the finder.
I complained bitterly about the hi res/small font problem. But I seem to have gotten used to it. I think it was getting more powerful reading glasses, which were probably overdue, that was responsible.
Of course you can change the size of the menu bars every window, every thing on the screen and the Apple menu. Just change the screen resolution. Unless I'm missing something this should do the trick. Did it for my mom and now she can see evrything. Of course the larger you make things the less sharpness you have.
Turning on the HiDPI worked like a dream. Thanks to those that posted the solution. My 27 inch iMac is much more eye friendly now and is crystal clear at the lower HiDPI resolution. Apple should include this feature on all it's Mac's to allow newbies like myself the ability to increase the size of our tiny UI's without sacrificing clarity. Awesome!
I have a Macbook Air OS X 10.8, and found a solution that works well for me especially when connected to my external monitor.
1. I use Tinker Tools to adjust my browser settings. This works great with Chrome. I did not have great results with FireFox and Safari has NO change. Therefore, Chrome is now my default browser.
I also picked a new darker colored "Theme" in Chrome ( found under Chrome>Preferences>Settings>Appearance>Get Themes - so the TAB writing was clearer)
2. I stumbled onto this great Mac system fix. At the top of EACH window ( e,g. Finder, Documents, Downloads, Desktop) - sorry if I am using the wrong lingo), there is a "View". Go to View>Show View Options and from here there are options to change the font size and icon size!
Hope this helps someone since I was on the verge of cracking until finding the view option ;-)
Can someone who found Tinker Tools successful at solving the font size issue explain which of the font sizes they changed within Tinker Tools? There is a full list of options. I would like all fonts that I see to be a larger standard size than the computer shows.
There's a simpler solution to this issue - at least for the new MacBook Pro retina display. If you go to Displays (in network settings), you will find an option to set the display resolution to "best for retina display". If you hit this button, the size of the native font on screen goes up dramatically, with no reduction in clarity at all. I was overjoyed when I found this, so thought I'd share it