Four ways to make Web pages easier on your eyes

Are Web pages becoming harder to read, or is your eyesight getting worse? Probably both. In their quest to be eye-catching, some Web sites use retina-unfriendly fonts and backgrounds. Internet Explorer 4.x and 5 include settings for displaying Web pages in the font sizes, styles, and colours you specify, so you'll never again have to squint to read 4-point text. Navigator offers similar settings, but these don't work consistently and in fact they sometimes make matters worse by displaying pages in unreadable colour combinations, such as blue letters on a black background.

Here are some useful sight-saving tips:

1. Increase font size. If the text is too small to read, select View-Text Size and choose Larger or Largest. If you find that most of the pages you visit use uncomfortably minute fonts, you're better off adding the Size button to the toolbar. Right-click a blank area on the toolbar, select Customize, click the Size icon in the left pane, and click Add. (Note: the Size button is available on IE 4.x's toolbar by default.)2. Set high contrast. You can change Windows 9x's screen colour combination to something stark (black on white, say, or white on black) to heighten the display's contrast. Select Start-Settings-Control Panel, and then click the Accessibility Options icon. Under the Display tab, select High Contrast. Click the Settings button to configure the browser to your preferred colours.

3. Ignore default formatting. Configuring IE 5 to ignore the colours and font formatting that a Web page specifies and instead to defer to the Windows colour scheme you favour (see previous tip) isn't hard. To do it, select Tools-Internet Options, and in the General tab click the Accessibility button. (In IE 4.x, select View instead of Tools.) In the Formatting box, click the check boxes next to Ignore colors specified on Web pages, Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages, and Ignore font styles specified on Web pages. Click OK to confirm these changes.

4. Enlarge the pointer. Install Microsoft's free Windows Alternative Mouse Pointer (altpnt.exe), and you can stop squinting to find the cursor. This super-size pointer also changes colours depending on the background colour of the site you browse. Meta-Mouse, a $US18 shareware utility, lets you make your cursor bigger and brighter - and blinking. Find both on the November PC World cover CD. The Trace Research Centre at the University of Wisconsin in Madison (trace.wisc.edu/world/computer_access/win/winshare.html) has a big library of these and other mouse enhancements that increase cursor visibility on garish, gothic, or ad-riddled Web pages.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Judy Heim

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Shop safely with our award-winning security solution. Protect yourself this Black Friday and get the exclusive Black Friday discount for Bitdefender 2019!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?