OS X Yosemite: Make it easier to see what’s on the screen

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Make it easier to see what’s on the screen

If you’re having trouble seeing items on the screen, try these suggestions.

Change the appearance of the desktop

Make the desktop less transparent: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then select “Reduce transparency.” The transparent areas of the desktop and app windows become gray.

Choose a desktop picture with fewer colors or shapes: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Desktop & Screen Saver, click Desktop, browse through the picture folders on the left, then select a less busy picture or a solid color on the right.

Make borders darker: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then select “Increase contrast.” OS X automatically reduces transparency and makes the borders of buttons, boxes, and other items on the screen more visible.

Increase the cursor size: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, click Display, then move the Cursor Size slider to the right as far as you need.

Make text bigger

Increase the text size of emails in Mail: In Mail, choose Mail > Preferences, click Fonts & Colors, click Select next to “Message font,” then select a font size in the Fonts window.

Increase the text size of messages in Messages: In Messages, choose Messages > Preferences, click General, then move the “Text size” slider to the right.

Increase text size in other apps: In many apps, you can press Command-Plus (+) or Command-Minus (–) to adjust text size. If that doesn’t work, check the app’s preferences. For example, in iTunes General preferences, you can increase the text size for list views.

Make icons and other items bigger

Increase the size of icons and icon text on the desktop: Control-click the desktop, choose Show View Options, then move the “Icon size” slider to the right. Click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size.

Increase the size of icons and icon text in a Finder folder: Select the folder in the Finder, then choose View > Show View Options. The view you’re using for the folder determines how you increase the size.

View buttons
  • For Icon view, move the “Icon size” slider to the right. Click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size.

  • For List or Cover Flow view, select the larger icon size to the right of “Icon size.” Click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size.

  • For Column view, click the “Text size” pop-up menu, then choose a text size. You can’t choose an icon size.

Increase the size of items in the Finder and Mail sidebars: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click General, click the “Sidebar icon size” pop-up menu, then choose Large.

Use zoom

Zoom in on the screen: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Zoom.

  • When “Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom” is selected, you can zoom by pressing Option-Command-Equal Sign.

  • When “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom” is selected, you can zoom in by holding down the Control key (or another modifier key) and swiping up with two fingers on your trackpad.

For more information, see Zoom pane of Accessibility preferences.

Zoom in on webpages in Safari: In Safari, choose View > Zoom In, or press Command-Plus (+). You can choose Zoom In or press Command-Plus multiple times to continue zooming in. If you want to zoom just the text and not images, choose “Zoom Text Only.”

If you never want to see small text sizes in webpages when you use Safari, choose Safari > Preferences, click Advanced, then select “Never use font sizes smaller than” and choose a size.

Published Date: Sep 15, 2017
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