Step-by-step Make websites easier to read
Quick resizing 1
The easiest way to make a website easier to read is to increase the size of the fonts used on the site. Thankfully, it’s easy to increase (or decrease) the text size without additional tools. When on a website, hold the [Ctrl] button on your keyboard, then use the scroll wheel of your mouse to increase and decrease the size. You can also press the [Ctrl] + [+] or [-] keys to alter the sizes.
Smarter resizing 2
The first step is an easy way to increase text and images on websites, but if you want a method that gives you greater control, you’ll need some add-ons. For Microsoft Edge, open up the Windows Store and search for ‘Zoom for Microsoft Edge’. Click on Get and it will be added to the web browser, making it easier to zoom. For Chrome, try Zoomy, and for Firefox try NoSquint Plus.
Change the default font size 3
If you find a text size that makes websites readable, and you want to keep it that way, then you can change the default font size in Windows. This has the added benefit of changing the font size in menus and apps as well. To do this, right-click on your desktop and select Display Settings. Then, where it says ‘Scale and layout’, select a percentage above 100%.
Clean up websites 4
Websites can often be cluttered, with an overabundance of animations, adverts and other distractions. Tools, such as Mercury Reader (https://mercury.postlight.com/reader/), can remove these, leaving text and images for a more readable experience. Mercury Reader is only available for Google Chrome, but there are alternatives for Edge and Firefox, such as Adblock.
Highlight text and write notes 5
Microsoft Edge comes with a brilliant note-taking feature that lets you annotate websites, add comments and highlight important text. This can make websites more readable if they are text heavy and you want to add a few notes and reminders. To use it, click or tap on the ‘Make a Web Note’ icon in the top-right corner of Edge – the icon looks like a pen writing a note.
Read a website to another device 6
Install the Pocket extension for Edge, Firefox or Chrome and you’ll be able to save your favourite web pages for reading later – even when you’re offline. With the Pocket extension installed on all your devices, you can also switch from one device to another and still see the same page you were looking at when you open your browser. See page 32 of issue 136 for more Pocket goodness.
Find on a page 7
If you’re reading a web page full of text, you may find it easy to lose your place – or you may want to jump to a certain section. In any browser, press [Ctrl] + [F] while on a website to open up the ‘Find on page’ text box. Here, type in the word or phrase you want to find, and it will be highlighted. Arrows next to the search box let you jump to every instance of the word or phrase found.
Make reading easier at night 8
Many of us like to have a browse of the internet before bed, but reading websites at night can cause discomfort, as our eyes strain under reduced light. The type of light emitted by PC screens can also affect our sleep patterns. A recent feature in Windows 10 helps reduce this – right-click your desktop and select Display Settings. At the top, where it says ‘Night light’, switch it to On.
Enable high contrast colours 9
All versions of Windows come with a range of accessibility programs that can help people use their PCs. If you struggle to read or see websites, then using a high contrast colour scheme may help. To use it in Windows 10, go to Settings > ‘Ease of Access’. From the window that appears, click on ‘High contrast’ then select a theme that makes reading websites easier for you.
Use the screen magnifier 10
Windows comes with a magnifier that can enlarge parts of the screen when you mouse over it. To activate it, select Magnifier under Settings > ‘Ease of Access’ then flick its switch to On. It will work from now on. You’ll also see an icon of a magnifying glass on the screen. Whenever your mouse over it, click on the arrows to see further options, such as zoom levels and different views.