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  • K Dubb Level 1 Level 1
    I had this problem with the first Mac I bought, about 6 months ago. Someone recommended a 3 party program to change settings called "Tinker Tool". I tried it and it was a god-send. Try it.
  • Rob PP Level 1 Level 1

    I have just had the same problem with the Macbook Air 11 inch and have now flogged it off on ebay after 4 weeks frustration.  Fonts too small creating the hassle of putting reading glasses on and off all the time. I tried everything mentioned above including Tinker Tools and all of these are band-aid fixes. High-res screens are for under 40s with 20/20 vision. Perhaps there should be better warning of this from Apple.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7

    vmm2010 wrote:



    I bought a new MacBook Pro 15-inch (Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display) and my resolution of 1680x1050 gives me very small fonts throughout, it's a headache -- literally.

    I noticed the MacBook Pro 15-inch Hi-Res Glossy Widescreen Display comes with a 1440x900 resolution option which makes the font bigger throughout.

    What can I do to increase the font size in my computer? Even when I increase it -- individually -- whenever I have the option, menus bar stays very small and difficult to read.

    I am starting to regret my purchase. Can someone please help me?

    Thank you so much.


    There are two issues with the screens, the glossy screens cause eyestrain and headaches from slightly out of focus relfections causing your eyes to do double the work, caucing eyestrain and headaches from muscle fatigue.  The anti-glare screens solve that issue.


    The other issue is not being able to scale UI type and window elements. Now that's probably a lot harder because like on Windows, it tends to throw everything out of shape and hide things like essential buttons down past the bottom of the screen.


    Web browsers like Firefox with the NoSquint add-on is great for adjusting the global and remembering per site scaling, however the browser has the advantage of scoll bars and center mouse button click pan scrolling. It's possible to have than on the OS with the Uinivseral Access settings, but it's a pain hte butt because the of the physcial screen dimensions. So a larger screen hooked up to the MacBook Pro would be called for.


    What happens when our eyes begin to go, it begins to gradually get worse. One has to get ever increasing levels of reading glasses or people tend to need ever increasing levels of type and UI elements, so you see it's a slippery slope.


    At first the tendency is to try to blame it on the computer, but really the adjustment needs to be made between the screen and the eyes.


    I have my anti-glare 17" set at 1920 x 1200 and have little trouble seeing the screen from about 3 feet back.


    If your portable with your MacBook Pro, my suggestion is to make a note of the viewing distance you prefer from your screen, then take the comptuer to the local drug store and try out various intensities of reading glasses.


    If you go to the 1440 x 900 glossy, your going from the frying pan and into the fire basically.




    If your at home or office most of the time, invest in a quality anti-glare third party display graphic professionals use.


  • eww Level 9 Level 9

    There are two issues with the screens, the glossy screens cause eyestrain and headaches from slightly out of focus relfections causing your eyes to do double the work, caucing eyestrain and headaches from muscle fatigue.  The anti-glare screens solve that issue.


    It's important to note that while some people complain about eyestrain when using a glossy display, many others do not. I've used my 1440 x 900 glossy display 10-12 hours a day for two and a half years and have no eyestrain problem whatsoever. I put off buying my 27" Cinema Display for many months, hoping Apple would release a nonglare version. When I finally stopped waiting and bought it a few weeks ago, I found that its glossy screen is a non-issue for me — it's no problem at all.


    It happens that I'm able to read the small, un-adjustable fonts on the 15" 1680 x 1050 and the 17" 1920 x 1200 screens comfortably at present despite my 62-year-old eyes, but I'm relatively unusual in that respect. More people my age have trouble with small print than with glossy screens, and as I age, I expect to find that I'm more and more like them — so I won't be replacing my MBP with a higher-resolution model unless and until Apple makes all the fonts resizeable.

  • Nina Tovish Level 1 Level 1

    Alas, my new MacBook Air with Lion has TINY system fonts. It's absolutely miserable for my middle-aged eyes, and there's no way to change it, apparently.



  • joboston Level 1 Level 1

    Coming from the Windows world I've recently bought a new Mac Mini. Its extended purpose is to act as a media extension to the living room 46" TV. It seemed a perfect fit considering Apple's reputation as the "graphics and media" company. The more I was surprised for its shortcomings in the very most trivial things in comparison with Windows. The unability to change the fonts and icon sizes used by the system without changing the overall screen resolution is an incredible example.

  • eww Level 9 Level 9

    Icons can easily be resized. Finder > View menu > View Options > adjust icon size slider. In the same window you can adjust the size of the text that accompanies the icons.


    You still can't adjust the sizes of menu bar text, dialog boxes, or toolbars or tool palettes in many applications, though.

  • oxcart Level 1 Level 1

    So, we are now in September 2011 and Lion is here and, yes, there is still no way to increase the system font.  I too am very disappointed.  I bought a matt screen and then was shocked at the detrimental effect of the hi res.  Give us a standard res matt screen!


    Anyway, you may say that I should have been aware of what hi res means in practice, and that since I am an old time mac guy I should have known that you can't change the system font size:


    eww wrote:


    If you've always had Macs, then you're aware that you've never been able to adjust the sizes of the menu and dialog box fonts that are giving you fits now. Perhaps you never wanted to, but if you had, you'd have run into the same inflexibility that you find so annoying — at any time since the Mac was introduced in 1984.


    Now, I've been a bit unfair to eww in taking the comment out of context.  However, it highlights APPLE'S FAILING.  The selling point of Mac OS is that it is intuitive and the user is NOT AWARE.  Get it?

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7

    Firefox + Theme Font & Size Changer + NoSquint which has a global web page zoom setting, (and a cool contrasting persona picture), plus some ToolBar > Customize tweaks, produced this easy to read browser from about 3-4 feet away on my 17" high res anti-glare screen.


    (click on the picture to enlarge, or drag and drop on your desktop to open into Preview for a full version)


    Instead of suffering with the pain of Safari, at least one can do this and other things to attempt to relieve their suffering. hope it assists.


    Screen shot 2011-10-08 at 6.20.01 AM.jpg


    As a interesting side note, Steve Jobs was near sighted, meaning he couldn't see far away without his glasses.

  • amazingcomputer Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same problem. On my new MacBook Air 2011 everything is super tiny. I hardly can read. It hurts my eyes. How to make everything bigger, without getting it blury? (the zoom feature or changing resolutions is not an option)

  • eww Level 9 Level 9

    (the zoom feature or changing resolutions is not an option)


    On the contrary, those are indeed options. They're the only options for magnifying the non-resizable elements on your screen. You don't have to like them, but those are the tools available to you.


    Another option, for which it's now too late, but which you could have exercised, was to look carefully at what you were buying before plunking your money down. I'm amazed at how many people can't be bothered to do this when making a $1000+ purchase that they intend to use every day.

  • amazingcomputer Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, but these make the screen really blurry! That´s fine when somebody needs to quickly have a glance at some detail, but not an option for 8+ hours work per day.


    Yes, it´s a shame. Actually, the MacBook Air is 2000us$ in europe, not 1000us$.


    I had the MacBook Air 2009 for over 2 years now. It was the best machine I ever had. I thought I just upgrade for speed. I noticed the tiny things on the screen in the Apple store though, but somehow, indeed, I ignored it.


    Actually, now that I know so many people have the same problem, and Apple didn´t do anything towards it ... but introduced some 300+ features into Lion people did not ask so desperately for .... it´s a shame .... yes ...

  • saper Level 1 Level 1

    Last night at the Apple Store I tried changing the screen resolution of the Hi-res anti-glare MacBook Pro 15".  You can set it to a lower resolution and everything is bigger with only very slight line broadening.  Try it.  As for me I can't decide which to get.

  • eww Level 9 Level 9

    Why on earth would you pay extra to get a hi-res screen if you intend to use it at a lower, blurry setting? You'd get a substantially sharper image at a lower cost with a standard-resolution screen. Go back to the store and do a side-by-side comparison at 1440 x 900 on both machines — you'll see what I mean.


    The hi-res screen is capable of rendering finer detail and greater apparent sharpness, but only when used at its maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050. At any other setting, it's blurred.

  • SMPN Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks K Dubb, "Tinker Tool" solved my MBA 11" font size issues.

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