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Adjusting letter size for forum readability

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Luther Blissett, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    This is a thread to try to help people adjust their browser settings to view the forum.

    As people use many varied devices to read the forum, it is hard to give general advice about the display of text, how large things should be etc, etc. This post is generally aimed at people using PC's, Laptops, etc with a monitor.

    A general rule used in typography is the 65 Characters per line for maximum limit for readability of blocks of text.

    You can use zoom settings in your browser to change how many characters appear in a line.

    The following string of 'M's is 65 characters long.


    If you use your zoom function in the browser,

    • Hold down 'ctrl'
    • Press '+' to zoom in
    • Press '-' (the minus key) to zoom out
    until the string of 'M's is on two lines, then zoom out once until they are on one line, it might give a good approximation of the best settings for the site. (Personal preferences are more important than rules though)

    If this is useful, I can add a link in the help section to the post.

    Edited for clarity
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
    Adrian and Moosie like this.
  2. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Personally, I find that 200% zoom is the best setting in Firefox.
  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    I have been using this zoom function using Control + and - for a year or two since someone told me about it. I find it very helpful.

    On my little laptop with a 12 inch screen (I think) I can read it with the M's all on one line at 125% zoom. But at that size the print seems very tiny and the lines of text seem very long.

    I generally have S4ME on 175% for comfortable easy reading. I think that places about 45 of your M's on one line.

    Edit to add:
    I've just looked at the book I've been reading and counted about 60 characters and spaces on one line. By the way, M is a wide character so may not be a good indicator. For example 20 each of a and M gives:
    Luther Blissett likes this.
  4. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Thanks Trish.

    I used 'M' as it is used to measure units of space on webpages. :) It takes up all of the available space for a single character. Simulating a phone for example, at the same zoom, a maximum of 17 is shown for me.

    A lowercase 'a' is nearly half the size, and is more difficult to use for examples in case the user has different font settings that override the site fonts. Letter 'a's in lowercase are considered single-storey and others double-storey. A troublesome letter in typography!

    The smaller the screen(with everything else at default), the less characters can be shown in a line without it becoming silly.

    175% zoom seems to be in the right ballpark as a useful guideline for smaller laptop screens :thumbup:

    I've edited the first post as it wasn't clear that ~65 characters is around the upper limit, not the medium size, sorry it was not clearly stated.

    Edited to add clarity and note edit in first post.
    Trish likes this.
  5. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I have no idea why this happened but...

    I did this and found it worked! hooray for useful tip! BUT
    When I looked what I had ACTUALLY done (by mistake) was:

    Hold down 'cmd'
    Press '+' to zoom in
    Press '-' to zoom out

    I'm mentioning this because it may help someone else. I use a macbookpro and it must just be how it's set (?). It works the same on firefox and safari for me.

    eta - 'ctrl' then '+' or '-' doesn't work for me.
    Moosie and Luther Blissett like this.
  6. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Thanks for pointing this out!
    Skycloud likes this.
  7. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Just being a completist nerd here...

    Holding down 'ctrl' + '0' (zero) returns the magnification to whatever is the default for the page and your browser settings.
  8. Moosie

    Moosie Established Member (Voting Rights)

    Brilliant. Thank you.
    Luther Blissett likes this.
  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    This thread has made me realise I've had this forum too zoomed out, just because it was the default and I never thought to adjust it. Thanks.
    Luther Blissett likes this.
  10. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I find it easier to use Ctrl + centre mouse wheel. i.e. Hold down Ctrl whilst turning the centre mouse wheel.

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