Pin Me

Overriding IE Defaults and Accessing the Accessibility Options

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/19/2008

If you have trouble viewing Web pages, you can override IE and Web page defaults for more control.

  • slide 1 of 1

    If you have trouble reading Web pages, you may have tried common options that haven’t met your needs. For instance, lowering your monitor’s resolution does make the text on Web pages appear larger, but it may not have been large enough. You may have even tried changing the monitor’s dpi settings or changing the icon size from smaller to larger. However, this didn’t have any effect on the size of the text shown on a Web page. While changing both does increase the size of IE’s toolbar, it does nothing for the size of the text on the Web page itself. If you want the text shown on a Web page to change, what can you do that won’t affect the rest of the computer?

    Well, there are a couple of options. First, you can open IE, and from the View menu, point to Text Size and choose Smallest, Smaller, Medium, Larger, or Largest. Doing so almost always changes the size of the text shown, but it doesn’t work for all Web pages. Choosing Largest doesn’t actually make the text as large as it really could be either. Some Web pages have a specific font size, color, and type, and the size won’t change just because you’ve selected Largest or Smallest from the View menu.

    If you have IE 7 or higher, you can use the Zoom options at the bottom of the page to zoom in on the content. Again though, this may not meet your needs if it’s the color or font of a web page that prevents you from reading it.

    To create changes that will apply to all pages you view, you’ll have to tell IE to override Web page defaults:

    1. Open IE. IE is available by clicking Start, pointing to All Programs, and choosing Internet Explorer. It may also be available from the Desktop or the Quick Launch area of the Task bar.

    2. From the Tools menu, select Internet Options. (If you can’t see the Tools menu, click the Alt key on the keyboard.)

    3. On the General tab, near the bottom of the Internet Options dialog box, select Accessibility.

    4. In the Accessibility dialog box, check Ignore Font Sizes Specified on Web Pages. Click OK twice to close all dialog boxes.

    5. From the View menu in IE, point to Text Size and select Smallest, Smaller, Medium, Larger, or Largest. Notice that these options are now actually applied to the Web page.

    Tip: If you use Internet Explorer and come across a Web page that has a lot of data, press F11 to increase the viewing area. Pressing F11 again toggles out of this mode.

    Besides text size, you can also override default font styles and the colors shown on Web pages. Open IE and choose Tools, Internet Options as detailed earlier. From the General tab of the Internet Options dialog box, click Colors or Fonts to configure settings for overriding the defaults. Click Accessibility again, and then click one or both of the remaining choice. This could be a good option for those who are color-blind or you creative types in the audience.

    By overriding and changing both the text size and color, you can configure IE to meet your specialized needs.