5 Tips to Help you See Web Pages Better

10 Dec 2014 by Lee Snow

How to Make your Browser more Accessible: Sight

There are several settings, tips, and extensions all users can employ to make browsing the web a better experience. Web Browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox (the two best browsers out there) come out of the box ready for most people, but definitely not all.

So we are providing 5 Tips to Help you See Web Pages Better for those hoping to make the Internet easier to use on a daily basis. The only downside to some of these solutions is the design on the website can change and sometimes break. Too many Web Designers don’t design for accessibility!

It’s no secret that we are living in a futuristic world where technology surrounds many of us day and night. We rely on computers, smart phones and tablets to do a lot of work for us. Making life a little easier. Technology has also opened many communication doors for those with disabilities or other needs.

We all have different needs that need accommodating. Your browser should accommodate you, too.

Before going through this list – I encourage users on Internet Explorer to download a new browser! IE is prone to security flaws! Chrome or Firefox are the friendliest, easiest browsers out there. And they’re free!

For those that don’t know what a Browser is, it’s what you’re using right now! Any application (think App!) on your computer or phone that can view websites is a browser!

Text on Websites is too small to read!

1. Zoom In

Sometimes websites have incredibly tiny text. Luckily, browsers have a built in Zoom function that will make all items on the website much bigger. This allows for not only text to get bigger, but images as well.

Easiest, shortest way: Hold Ctrl or Command(Mac) while tapping your Plus key. The Plus key is to the left of the Backspace or Delete(Mac) key. You do NOT have to hit Shift to activate the Plus key. Just Ctrl and +.

Yes, You’re really hitting the Equals ( = ) key because you’re not hitting shift. But associating Plus with Zoom In is much easier to remember than Equals. 

CHROME: Click on 3 lines in top right corner. Move mouse to the word Zoom between Print and History. There are plus and minus signs on either side of the 100%. Click the plus sign to zoom into the website.

FIREFOX: Click on 3 lines in top right corner. Below that button is a 100% with a plus ( + ) and a minus ( – ) on either side. Click the plus sign to zoom into the website.

OLD BROWSERS: If you don’t see the above options, look for the word View at the top of your screen. Click on View, hover over Zoom, then click Zoom In.

2. Enlarge Text

Making JUST the text bigger while images stay the same size is also a built in feature of your browser!

CHROME: This is not on a Page per Page basis here. Must set it for all pages in the settings. See below!

FIREFOX: Tap (do not hold) ALT or OPTION(Mac OSX) key. This will bring up a menu in the top left corner that says File, Edit, View etc. Click on View. Then Zoom. Then select Zoom Text only. 

3. Enlarge only the small text 

Don’t want to always readjust your browser every time you open it? Maybe not every website needs to be enlarged for you? Set a minimum font size for all websites so only the websites with tiny text are affected.

CHROME: Click on the 3 line button in the top right corner. Click on Settings. Then in the new tab that popped open, click on Advanced Settings at the bottom. This will make your settings page longer. Scroll down until you see Web Content. Then change the Font size from Medium to Large or Very Large.

FIREFOX: Tap Alt or Option to bring up the traditional top menu, click Tools, then Options. OR click on the 3 lines at the top Right. Click on Options. Click on the Content Tab in the new window that popped up. The second panel is titled Fonts and Colors. You can choose a new Sans Serif Font like Arial or Helvetica (These are easier to read) And adjust your text size to a larger number. Like 24, 30, or 36.

Then Click on Advanced and uncheck “Allow pages to choose their own fonts”

Can’t tell the difference between text, images, and the background?

4. Use a High Contrast Theme!

Contrast is the difference between one color value to another. This black text you’re reading is on a white background. Therefore the contrast is High, because the amount of dark and light in each color are opposite of the other. Black has 100% Darkness and 0% Lightness. White has 0% Darkness and 100% Lightness. But not all websites are designed the same. Using a high contrast theme will exaggerate the differences in colors on websites, to make it easier to see images and read text.

CHROME: Just install a High Contrast Theme. Click on the 3 horizontal lines at the top right. Click on Settings, which will open a new tab in your browser. Then click under Appearance, click on Get Themes. This will open a Google Extension WebStore. Select Themes below the search box on the Left. Then search for High Contrast. The second option called Contrast from Daniel J. Hakimi will work!

FIREFOX: First you must turn this on for the entire computer. Then you can turn it on in your Browser.

To use a High Contrast theme on a Windows XP, Vista, or 7 PC, go to Start Menu, select Control Panel, then Accessibility Options, finally Display and check the Use High Contrast option.

On Windows 8?

TOUCHSCREEN: Swipe from the Right side of the screen to the left. You’ll find a Search icon. Tap that search icon. Type in Control Panel. Tap on the Control Panel option and follow the previous instructions for Windows 7.

NO TOUCHSCREEN: Hit your Windows button so you can see all of your Tiles. Then click on the top right Search icon and follow through the steps above to get to the Control Panel.

Once you have turned on High Contrast for your entire computer, Click on the Options Panel from the 3 lines at the top right. Click on the Content tab. Then Colors on the Right. Uncheck “Allow pages to choose their own colors other than the ones above”.

My Screen is too bright!

By following many of the steps above, you can have full control of the colors on your browser. However, there are some other options for you.

5. Get a dark colored theme

Black backgrounds, Yellow links. White text. All of this is much easier on the eyes.

CHROME: Click on the 3 line button at the top right. Click on Settings. Then in the Appearance panel, click on Get Themes. Then search for and install a theme called Hacker Vision.

Look through Chrome’s Accessibility library for more options!

FIREFOX: You can easily install this dark Firefox theme called FT Deep Dark. Just make sure you are in Firefox!

This is an original article written and published by Lee Snow, Media Director of Jason’s Connection.