Microsoft Windows has a default size setting for text and just about everything else it displays on screen. While this might suit the eyesight of most people, it won’t suit everyone and some may find some text and objects too small to see clearly.
Different screen sizes and resolutions also affect the size of text and objects in Windows, and some very high-resolution displays can make everything seem illegibly small. Fortunately, the size of both text and other objects within Windows can be changed, regardless of the applications you use. Here's what you can do to get the best screen settings for you on Windows 7. If you want instructions for Windows 10, click here.
Step 1: Check your monitor’s resolution setting
If you’re having difficulty reading on-screen text with a laptop or a flat-panel monitor on a desktop PC, check that you’re using its ‘native’ resolution. Using resolutions other than the one the monitor is designed for usually makes text look fuzzy.
Begin by right-clicking anywhere on the Desktop and choosing Screen resolution from the menu that appears.
Step 2: Set the recommended monitor resolution
When the ‘Change the appearance of your display’ dialog box opens, make sure the Recommended option is selected from the Resolution drop-down list. Click the Apply button if any changes are made to see the result of the change.
Don’t worry if text looks even smaller at this stage, since this can be adjusted separately.
Step 3: Make windows text and objects larger
If you’re using a very high-resolution monitor and everything in Windows - icons, menus and so on - is too small to see clearly, this is easy to fix. In the same Screen resolution dialog box you opened in Step 1, click the option for Make text and other items larger or smaller.
Step 4: Open Windows’ DPI settings
This opens a new Display dialog box with three size options: Smaller, Medium and Larger. ‘Smaller’ is selected by default, but start by selecting the ‘Medium’ option and click the Apply. You’ll then need to log out of and back into Windows for the changes to take effect, or you can just restart your computer.
Step 5: Set a custom DPI value
If neither the Medium or Large options quite suit, you can take finer control over Windows’ size settings by clicking the Set custom text size (DPI) option on the Display dialog box opened in Step 4.
This opens a further dialog box with a drop-down list containing four different percentage size increases (the default is 100% - ‘Medium’ from Step 4 is 125%) and a ruler you can use to use set other percentage sizes - just click and drag the mouse pointer across it to enlarge or decrease the font size.
When you’ve made your changes, click the OK button to close the dialog box, and then click the Apply button on the Display dialog box. Log out of and back into Windows to see the result.
Step 6: Open Windows’ text-size settings
If it’s just text that’s too small to read easily, this can be adjusted separately without affecting the size of everything else. Right-click anywhere on the Windows Desktop and select Personalize from the menu that appears. When the Personalization dialog box opens, click the Windows Color option at the bottom and select Advanced appearance settings.
Step 7: Adjust Windows’ text size settings
A new dialog box opens where you can select individual parts of Windows from an Item drop-down list to change their font and font size - or you can just select the items by clicking in the dialog box’s preview area.
Click the Apply button to make the changes.