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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2009
    making the default fonts appear normal size
    I just got an iMac, 20" screen, and I've figured out a lot, but I can't figure out how to make the default fonts appear larger, more like normal size. Mail and text documents are very hard to read. I know how to make the font larger in an individual email, but I'd like the font to appear larger for every email I open, without making the default message font too large. Reading an email in a TNR 18 font is fine, but sending it to someone else is silly.

    Now, in this forum, typing this post, the font size is just about right, but when I open an email, it's looks like a TNR 8 font, even though my setting is for a 12, though messages print in a TNR 12.

    I know those youngsters at Apple probably have no problems reading such small text, but not all of us are that young, any more. It's driving me back to my PC for email and document work.


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    Making the default font larger in email: See this article.

    How to change system fonts: See this article.

    Hope that's what you're looking for.


  3. #3

    hughvane's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 18, 2008
    Amberley, Canterbury, New Zealand
    MacMini 4.1, OS 10.11 and 10.6; Macbook Pro 8.2, OS 10.12, MacBook 4.1, OS 10.6.8
    Umm, I can't be certain from what you post, but are you talking about incoming emails, and are they from Win users? If so, I know exactly what you're experiencing. It's a font incompatibility between the two different OS. Only some fonts, eg. Times, Times New Roman and Verdana, look the same size. I've asked my Win friends to increase their composition size, but only a few remember to do so. One workaround is to copy-paste into TextEdit, select all, and then press Cmd-+ a couple of times. Makes the text a lot easier to read.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2009
    Thanks for your responses.

    I did change the screen resolution a bit, hated to do it, but it seems to be necessary. I've changed the fonts on the web, etc, and it's better, but the email font, whether it's a new message or one I receive still appears very small. I found the toolbar control to make the font bigger, but it seems silly to have to use that for every email, rather than finding a simple way to make the fonts "appear" larger without sending emails with huge text.

    My son, the IT guy, who spearheaded this iMac as a Christmas gift from my kids, did make some adjustments and tweaked things, and I'm having fun learning. Sadly, I have to go to work today, so I have to give it a rest.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jan 11, 2008
    13"/2.0Ghz/4GB/80GB/White Macbook
    the mac has built it zooming (outside of universal access) just control+scroll

    I have a 13.3" macbook and have to constantly use that functionality for my clients to read text when we're hovering over the tinny screen trying to make out the tinny text.

  6. #6

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2009
    Thanks, I did not know about the control + scroll. I did figure out how to get right click on the mighty mouse, which I use all the time on my PC.

  7. #7

    torchy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2004
    New Zealand
    13" MBA. 15" MBP. iPhone 4. 3G Pad 2.
    Mail Preferences > Fonts and colours > Message font was one I changed to 14 for all the windows 'Outlook'' users who sent email I needed a magnifying glass to read.
    ~ 13" MacBook Air. OSX 10.9 ~ iPad 2 & iPhone ~

  8. #8

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2009
    I downloaded Tinkertools, and that program allows changes to many fonts. Hopefully, that will allow me to actually see the emails I'm writing. I have to say, the default fonts, while they may be large in theory, are tiny at the best resolution, and changing the resolution makes the pictures of my grandchildren look a little fuzzy.

  9. #9

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2009
    Thumbs down Default fonts appear too small
    Still no success. The default font size, on screen, is just too small. I have had to change the resolution. Even now, the bookmarks (along the side of the browser) and especially email message fonts are just too small to read easily, though the emails print in a readable font.

    At least Windows lets you change the size the fonts appear when you change the resolution. I guess Apple is still slow in recognizing that not all their users are 20 years old. Thank goodness I still have my PC's for text work.

  10. #10

    Member Since
    May 06, 2009
    default font still too small when REPLY to email

    This is my first time on this forum. I followed the suggestions here and changed the Mail default font in Preferences, and now the text of all emails is bigger and better - but when I REPLY to an email, the text of the original email that appears beneath my reply is still too small. Is there a way to change the default font size of THIS text so that you can re-read the original email as you write your reply? I have an iMac G4, bought in 2005, running OSX 10.4.11.

    Thanks for any suggestions!


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