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How-to: Make text more readable/larger on your iPad and iPhone

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 9.47.34 PM

This is the latest how-to as part of our new series:

For some people, the font sizes on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are too small. Sometimes, these small fonts prevent people from using or purchasing the iOS devices. Thankfully, there are multiple solutions to this potential issue. Below, we’ve rounded up the fixes:

1 from apple dot com slash ipad

1. Pinch to Zoom.  This is probably what most are familiar with and comfortable doing. This will work in Mail, Photos, Safari, PDFs in iBooks, Apple Maps and Google Maps. To Pinch to Zoom, you start with two your fingers close together on the iOS device. I typically recommend the thumb and pointer finger.  Then, if you spread your fingers apart, the content gets bigger underneath. You can do this gesture several times, to get the content bigger so that way it is easier for you to read.

2.  Smart Zoom.  This is probably the second most popular way to get the content bigger. This will work in Mail, Photos, Safari, Apple Maps and Google Maps. Wherever you want the content to appear bigger, double tap on the display with one finger.  The content automatically appears bigger and it is zoomed in so it fits evenly on the display. You do not have to adjust the screen or move the content around on the screen. It automatically fits in.


3. Large Text. Under Settings, General, Accessibility press the button that says Large Text.  Pressing Large Text shows you a selection of different font sizes, 20 pt, 24 pt, 32 pt, 40 pt, 48 pt, 48 pt, and 56 pt.  When you turn on Large Text and select a bigger size this will ONLY change the font sizes in Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Messages and Notes.


4.  Zoom. This form of zooming lets you zoom where ever you want to zoom. Be it on the Home Screen, the Settings app, in the App Store to read the App descriptions, word games, cooking apps, etc. It just works.

– Go to Settings, General and Accessibility. Tap on Zoom and slide Zoom on.

– Now to actually Zoom on the screen, you would Double-tap with three fingers.

– To Zoom out, Double-tap with three fingers.

– You can even change how zoomed it zooms in.  It can be magnified by 500x. The simplest way to do this, is to start at minimum zoom, the default setting. Then when you when Double-tap with three fingers, hold and slide up.  Your preference is saved so when you Zoom with this method, it will Zoom to your preferred setting

– When you are zoomed in, you will Drag with three fingers to move around the screen.

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you enjoy reading and working with content more on your iOS device.

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  1. tincan2012 - 10 years ago

    Instructions on how to change font size in iPhone Safari web pages can be found:

    • Ezhik - 10 years ago

      Well I’m not sure if a lot of people know about it, but there’s a hidden feature in Safari that allows zooming in. You tap with two fingers, and then you make a pinch gesture. It’s truly amazing, I can’t believe I never heard of that before!

  2. Tom (@10basetom) - 9 years ago

    These settings don’t appear to affect the browser’s font size, where I do most of my reading. On an iPad mini Retina, the text size on most websites is still too small for me to read for long stretches. The solution in the comments both require an extra action — is there a solution that allows me to permanently change the text size on all websites? I guess what I need is a browser that allows me to override the site’s CSS.

  3. Polispress E-newspaper - 9 years ago

    Perfect tips

  4. James Mckernon - 7 years ago

    I have tried all the solutions on my Apple iPad ,and none come near to fixing this needs to do a lot better if it wants to keep is