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Issue 7417 provide a way to set "minimum font size"
Starred by 62 users Reported by, Feb 5 2009 Back to list
Status: Verified
Closed: Oct 2010
NextAction: ----
OS: All
Pri: 2
Type: Bug

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Currently there seems to be no way of doing blanket minimum font size
setting in chrome (firefox has it). That is causes eye strain in certain
high resolution screens with certain websites.

Google Help forum on chrome also has users complaining about this:
(and other blogs have also mentioned this problem)

If there is a solution available, it would be nice of the help forum is
also updated. Thanks!
Labels: -Type-Bug -Area-Misc Type-Feature Area-BrowserUI I18N
Status: Untriaged
Labels: -Area-BrowserUI Area-WebKit
Comment 3 by, Apr 8 2009
Labels: -Area-WebKit -I18N Area-BrowserUI Mstone-2.1 Size-Medium Usability
Status: Available
Comment 4 by Deleted ...@, Apr 18 2009
i agree. using the Google homepage, all the text on my 22" is annoying to read at 
normal size.  pretty irritating to have to ctrl+ each time i load up the browser.
Comment 5 by, May 14 2009
Labels: -Mstone-2.1 Mstone-X DesignDocNeeded
Comment 6 by, Jun 24 2009
What is the status of this? It doesn't seem to be available yet
Comment 7 by, Jul 15 2009
Labels: i18n
In issue 16875, I'll make the default minimum font size pref (for webkit) larger for 
zh*, ja, ko, ar, th (and perhaps all Indian locales). That'll partly resolve this 
issue for now.  I meant to do it a long while ago, but haven't managed to. 

BTW, a user can edit the preference directly without UI (of course, that's not very 
user-friendly). See the answer at

Comment 8 by, Jul 15 2009
As for the way two preferences are used, see issue 16875 comment 3. 

Comment 9 by, Jul 21 2009
Issue 17099 has been merged into this issue.
Comment 10 by, Aug 15 2009
Chrome is overwriting the preferences file. So this workaround (changing webkit
preferences) is not working anymore
Comment 11 by, Aug 17 2009
Xiaolu, can you check if we overwrites the customized web preferences? The file has to 
be edited when Chrome is NOT running. If it's edited with Chrome running, the file will 
be overwritten. 

Comment 12 by, Nov 29 2009
Any update? Chrome was NOT running when I saved the file.
Comment 13 by, Nov 29 2009
Again, this remains the only reason I haven't switched to chrome on my laptop (fonts
look too small)
The problem is not only large resolution related. The lack of this setting also makes 
nearly impossible for most people to use Chrome on netbooks.

BTW: Great thanks to jshin for the link.
Comment 16 by, Dec 18 2009
Labels: -Area-BrowserUI Area-UI-Features
Area-UI-Features label replaces Area-BrowserUI label
Comment 17 by, Jan 1 2010
Any news on this? This makes the browser unusable because even ctrl+ makes 
larger fonts much larger in comparison to the smallest font. I think this should be 
higher priority.
Comment 18 by, Jan 1 2010
Ok, I tried the workaround. And it works. No more really small unreadable text.
Comment 19 by, Feb 1 2010
Issue 33845 has been merged into this issue.
The workaround works, but is impractical.

Sometimes the font size needs to be adjusted, either bigger or smaller. Using the
workaround means shutting down chrome, editing file, starting up chrome again. Then
when done with site, doing the workaround again.

If you're on a laptop you have it set to size you like. But then if you connect to a
monitor/projector, you have to do the workaround. Then when you disconnect monitor
you have to do workaround again to set back to way you like.

Really, the option should be built into chrome.
On the workaround—I can't figure out how to do the workaround in Mac OS X (I'm using 5.0.307.1 dev). There's a preference PList file 
~/Library/Preferences/, but it contains no WebKit settings. Is 
there a way to do the workaround in OS X?

This feature is essential for accessibility and preventing eyestrain. Firefox and Safari can 
do it, and they do it well.
Labels: -Area-UI-Features Area-UI
Comment 23 by, Mar 10 2010
Labels: Feature-Accessibility
Comment 24 by, Mar 17 2010
@21 see ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Preferences
Comment 25 by, Mar 18 2010
For users like me still struggling with this problem, there seem to be some useful 
extensions (like Firefox's NoSquint) here:
Chrome really needs built in "zoom" for fonts as well as pages, similar to the 
nosquint firefox addon. This is still a problem in Chrome 5 Dev. . . as well as not 
being able to set a minimum font size ;)

I've tried many of the zoom extensions and while they are handy none of them 
solve the font issue, they are page zoom only. The one for increasing the font size 
doesn't work that often. . .we should simply have ctrl++ for increase page zoom 
and crtl+shift++ for increase font size and it ought to be remembered both for 
domains as well as sub-domains--even better would allow user setting like 

This issue is driving me back to firefox though I would rather use chrome. . . my 
eyes just can't take it any longer lol.

Comment 27 by Deleted ...@, Mar 23 2010
So what is the verdict on changing the font size in Chrome? It's difficult to read 
webpages on an iMac without using Ctl-(mouse scroll button), which enlarges pages 
outside the borders of the monitor.  I think I'll keep using Safari.
Comment 28 by Deleted ...@, Apr 9 2010
Update please..
Comment 29 by Deleted ...@, Apr 25 2010
yes it  is very irritting plese increse the font size bigger automatically on google 
Note that this font problem also extends to the interface of the browser (e.g., the text for the 
title of each tab)  At high resolutions on relatively small screens (e.g., notebooks with 1080p 
displays) it would be nice to increase the size of everything---make the buttons larger, etc.
I've made an extension which works as a (rather hacky, perhaps crude) fix for this
issue on websites (doesn't fix the Chrome interface problem mentioned in comment 30).

Basically searches all elements which might contain text and checks whether the font
is lower than the user-set minimum. The check is run on page load, and on
DOMSubtreeModified (actually meant to use DOMNodeInsertedIntoDocument, but
SubtreeModified also catches InnerHTML additions, in case the former doesn't). If it
finds the font size is smaller than the minimum, it sets it to the minimum.

I had also begun working on making a pageAction which appeared when the
content-script had found fonts smaller than the minimum, which would allow you to
disable the script for the current page, but that became too complicated (too much
message passing, which is already complicated, and event listeners) and so I gave up
on it for now.

Anyway, it's called Minimum Font. I believe a browser implementation would be much
cleaner and provide a better solution. However, until then, hopefully this will help
smooth the transition. Any feedback would be appreciated, but not on this bug (send
me an e-mail, or make a comment on the extension page). Thanks!
There is a way to set the minimum font size using the preferences file without resorting to 
extensions.  For Mac OS X do as follows or see
minimum-font-size for Linux.

On Mac OS X you normally expect application preferences to be in ~Library/Preferences which 
contains .plist files.

However for Chromium and Google Chrome the preferences are kept in their respective folders in 
~Library/Application Support.

You have to edit the respective preference file with a text editor. Look for the webkit section 
typically at the end of the file.

For Chromium edit ~/Library/Application Support/Chromium/Default/Preferences

For Google Chrome edit ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Preferences

"webkit": {
"webprefs": {
"default_fixed_font_size": 13,
"default_font_size": 16,
"fixed_font_family": "Menlo",
"minimum_font_size": 14,
"minimum_logical_font_size": 14,
"sansserif_font_family": "Helvetica",
"serif_font_family": "Times",
"standard_font_is_serif": false

These are my webkit settings feel free to play with font sizes to your liking.
Comment 33 by Deleted ...@, Jun 7 2010
   I take it these lines have to be added. Why aren't these options reflected in the
preferences panel in the browser? Does google not feel these issues should be
addressed? I would rather have a busted layout that I can at least see than preserve
the a designers look that is virtually invisible for me.
I'd be interested in getting feedback on how extensions like work for those on this thread:
  * Minimum Font (mentioned earlier on this thread:
  * Change Colors (also provides some font resizing options):

Could someone give me some detailed feedback on what works/what does not work well with those?

Jonas Klink
Accessibility Product Manager, Google
Comment 35 Deleted
I can say (as the creator of Minimum Font) that my extension will not catch all tags, since it relies on a list; for example, I recently had to add <small> and <textarea> because some users noticed they weren't being set to the size they specified (because they weren't in the list). On dynamic pages (ones that add elements to the DOM) there is a delay between when the element is added and when it is resized, so that on very dynamic pages my extension doesn't increase the load on the CPU too much (recently added a setting to modify the delay, though, for those who think it's too long).

I don't use the extension too heavily myself, so you'll have to ask someone else for more about actual performance, but it seems to do the job most of the time.

(sorry about the double-post; didn't realize my brother was signed in.)

Btw, is Google considering adding these options? I still think a native browser option would be better than an extension, no matter how good it may be.
The answer to your question will vary depending on the feature the extension is covering. As you know, Chrome is built on a principle of minimalism, while making it as easy as possible for extending and customizing your experience (that's where great extension developers like yourself come in). That being said, there may be some cases where features should live in the browser, rather than in an extension, or simply make it really easy for the right set of quality extensions to be added.

I can only speak for Accessibility, but if you're interested in tracking what's ongoing (and coming), see the Chrome Accessibility design document (where I've been referring to your extension):

Keep up the great work, and if anyone else is interested in helping out with improving our Access situation in Chrome, please feel free to write me directly.

In the mean time, I appreciate any feedback on these extensions, so we can all keep help making them better.
Of course, I was just asking in relation to this feature. I realize that it's not better in every case. Thanks!
Comment 39 Deleted
Comment 40 by, Jun 8 2010
i have read a lot of complaints about a similar feature in  Issue 8947 , you may want to give that one a look
Hi Jonas,

I believe it is a big mistake to implement minimum font size as an extension.  The functionality is already implemented in webkit and just requires a simple Chrome preferences interface update which modifies the webkit section of Chrome’s preference file.

Safari, Firefox, Opera and other browsers all have a minimum font size setting in their respective preference windows.  The method of manually updating the preference file I’ve shown a few comments up works perfectly and instantaneously on Mac OS X, Linux and probably Windows too.  However for many potential non-tech users of Chrome this is off-putting and well outside their comfort zone.  So for their benefit I suggest an interface update to make this hidden preference easily accessible as it’s very important to many of us.  I wouldn’t use Chrome if I couldn’t specify the minimum font size.

Would anyone find a simple video showing how to modify the preference file useful, if so I’ll upload one to youtube if requested.
Comment 42 by Deleted ...@, Jun 9 2010
  I agree with #41. Minimum and default font size should not require an extension nor hand editing a preference file. It goes against normal, expected usage and the argument of minimalism doesn't apply here. It does apply, I think, to font parameters for chrome's own 'chrome'
Comment 43 by Deleted ...@, Jun 15 2010
Yes, I agree that Google Chrome should implement a solution that integrates the font size minimum as an option in the user preference file. I like using Google Chrome browser a lot except for this hard-to-read feature. The font size is way too small for my eyes. 
People, I started this issue with my post back in Google Group for Chrome over a year ago, almost 18 months now. I was so excited to get on this new browser at the time.... Somehow my thread got co-opted over here. I'm not even sure why or what this place is - why did it move from Google Group? 

At any rate, I simply asked back then why we (users) cannot size up the page and have it stick in Chrome the way anyone can in the other browsers available. It's a simple question: users are used to being able to simply adjust the size of the text (and the PHOTOS and GRAPHICS - the ENTIRE web page) on their browser until it's comfortable for them to view - so why doesn't Chrome offer this? 

So far, in over a year, all I've seen (here and on my old original google group thread) is a few very involved solution suggestions that involve reprogramming some file no one even knows about (unless you are a programmer) and only a handful of google employees appearing on the thread (the old one and this one) every few months talking about how this is being addressed, how volunteers need to step up to help fix this and so on. 

What the hay is going on? Doesn't google believe in making a USABLE product? Your browser may be running at a million rpm but NO ONE is going to use it if they cannot see what is displayed on the screen! NO ONE outside the few 20 something techie programmer types who know every nerdy detail about the inner workings of files and settings and preferences and how to program that to make the thing USABLE. Or those than enjoy squinting - it's tough even on 20/20! How much more simply does this have to be written? 

Maybe you guys think that it's all about 20 year olds and their keen eyes - it's not. The baby boomers are aging, so are genX but we're going to be around for 3 or 4 more decades. Are you just dumping us? Is that the message with the lack of attention to this? We are nearly all computer users and we CANNOT USE THIS BROWSER without a simple fix: make it so we can set the display size for the pages we view from the web that is readable FOR US! Thank you! 

And, can anyone tell me why this simple issue --- it's already been solved by other browser makers, hint, hint, copy their approach --- is still not fixed after all these months and all these people complaining about it? What do we need to do? March on Google headquarters?

It's not just my thread where people complained about this but there are a couple others too. In fact, some nerd at google tried to make them all into separate issues based on how they were worded, because one was about font size and one was about zooming up the view size, etc. It's all the SAME ISSUE! WE CAN'T SEE THE SCREEN! FIX YOUR FAULTY PROGRAM. GIVE US A RADIO BUTTON TO SELECT, A BOX TO CHECK, A BUTTON TO CLICK IN SETTINGS. How hard can this be?  

I've always admired google for so many of their smart innovations - this just blows my mind. I can't believe how it's all played out. Unreal.

BTW it's not that I couldn't learn to revise the program files to make this work - I DON'T WANT TO and all my 20+ years of experience with software (mainframe and desktop) has led me to expect that software is built for the user, ready and functional when you install it (save for upgrades) -- NOT that the user rebuilds it from day one because it won't function otherwise! Of course, I can build spreadsheets, macros, databases and integrated systems that are so complex yet functional that 99% of computer users would walk away from them rather than try to modify or decode them. Whole different ballpark, that's about using a tool to it's optimal function to do a job. See, your browser is the tool so it should already be in top shape we I install it so I can use it to do the job: display web pages that are legible for me! 
Comment 45 by, Jun 15 2010
I agree too, asking for minimum font sizes in user interface is not much, and has been dragging around for too long.
I've been using Google Chrome nearly 100% for 4 months or so. The font issue bugged me at first because I'm using it on a 17" notebook, thus it has smaller text; however, when zoomed 2x which I usually do to fill the screen it looks fine compared to other browsers--IE text is much smaller, Firefox is slightly larger, and Opera is slightly smaller. However, the big problem here is the LACK of ability to zoom text separate from the page. Firefox dropped text zoom for page zoom as did Chrome but a nice Firefox plugin (NoSquint) added the feature back in. It seems having these two features together is too difficult for browsers programmers, thus they need someone to write a plugin--yes, that's sarcasm.

This is what people here, I believe, are really complaining about, the lack of TEXT ZOOM. Setting a minimum font often does little to nothing because web developers set the font of their page instead of leaving it up to the browser, thus this problem is as much to do with web developers as it does with Google. Web developers want their pages to be displayed in a very exact manner thus they override the browsers default nature. So we have a fight between the browser and web developer--which code should be over written by the browser? If we allow the browser settings to take precedence then you loose the experience the web designer intended, thus the best compromise is TEXT ZOOM just like we have page zoom.

The Google Chrome team needs to look at such features as the "NOSQUINT" plugin and implement such a feature either built in or as an extension--contact the developer of NoSquint for Firefox and help him port it to Chrome.

It should be simple, Google. Ctrl++ = zoom page | Ctrl+Shift++ = zoom text

Many sites use proper sized fonts, and many don't. I feel this is the solution we are looking for.
I seldom use Chrome because of the font size and zoom problems.  It is so frustrating to constantly have to zoom each new webpage.  I like Chrome, but it too much of a hassle to use.

The majority of the users (myself included) are not programmers and have no clue how to go in and do many of the "fixes" listed, as we (I) know we (I) would probably mess something up on our (my) computer and have to take it someplace to be fixed.

This has been a problem since day one with Chrome.  How in the world could it take so long to not be fixed?  IE solved it a long time ago.

It will also only get worse as the population ages, so Google needs to step up and fix it, or pay Microsoft for a license fee to use their zoom software function.  If Google cannot fix it, then spend the money on a known solution.

Just wait to you get the over 45-year old eyes with both glaucoma and cataracts and see what the miniscule font size does to your ability to use a computer.
Comment 48 by, Jun 17 2010
Guys, this is such a simple request.  Why hasn't it been implemented?  IE, Firefox, and Safari all offer this feature.  I'm squinting to see these words as I type them into the submission form.  This is a showstopper usability issue for people who use high-dpi displays, or just folks with poor eyesight.

Blazing fast javascript performance and out-of-process plugins don't do me a damned bit of good if I can't read the text on the page.  :(  

You could gain a lot of new users by fixing this.
> This is a showstopper usability issue for people who use 
> high-dpi displays, or just folks with poor eyesight.
> Blazing fast javascript performance and out-of-process 
> plugins don't do me a damned bit of good if I can't read 
> the text on the page.  :(

Exactly. Does any developer read this comment thread?
Comment 50 by, Jun 18 2010
See also bug 11321

Comment 51 by, Jun 18 2010
jshin, thanks for the link.  I hope that global zoom level and minimum font size will be implemented as separate features, because the former is not a replacement for the latter.  I frequently see websites where 90% of the text is sized perfectly, and the remaining 10% is too small.  In this case, a minimum font size is a much better solution than a global zoom, because global zoom alters everything, including the 90% that is already sized correctly.
Comment 52 by Deleted ...@, Aug 17 2010
The default minimum chrome font size has been forced set to 12px.
(as of Chrome 5.0.375)
Comment 53 by Deleted ...@, Aug 17 2010
Minimum font size is the only reason that I do not switch to Chrome full time now.

There is one particular webapp that I use for most of the day which,  when viewed at 100% , is too big. If I use cmd - (Zoom Out) to make it more comfortable, the majority of the app is perfect, but there is some text that is then rendered too small.

In Safari, this is not a problem because I can set the minimum font size to "never below 9pt".

Apart from this, I would switch to Chrome full time.
Forum users continue to be very frustrated about the inability to specify min. font size:

"Since they obviously can't fix this VERY EASY problem I have no choice but to uninstall it."

Google Help forum thread:
Comment 55 by, Sep 13 2010
Status: Assigned
Comment 56 by, Sep 23 2010
Labels: -Mstone-X Mstone-8
Comment 57 by, Oct 5 2010
Labels: -i18n I18N
The following revision refers to this bug:

r62450 | | Wed Oct 13 13:34:13 PDT 2010

Changed paths:

dom-ui settings: Add setting for setting the minimum font size.

BUG= 7417 
TEST=Exercise the minimum font size setting in dom-ui settings window.
Review URL:
Comment 59 by, Oct 13 2010
Labels: -Mstone-8 Mstone-9
Status: Fixed
Added setting in dom-ui settings window only.  Marking resolved for M9 as we expect dom-ui to be enabled.
Comment 60 by, Oct 13 2010
When will it be available for Linux?
Comment 61 by, Oct 13 2010
M9 for all platforms.
Sorry for the dumb question, but what's the DOM-UI settings window? I am using Chrome stable 7.0.517.44 and I can't seem to find a way to configure minimum font size... has it been merged on this version yet? If not, any ETA on M9?
Sorry, DOM-UI settings won't be coming until M10 at the earliest. Sit tight!
No problem, thks for the info =) Meanwhile I am setting webkit prefs by hand to configure minimum font size. BTW: is there any official roadmap for Chrome/Chromium where I can map milestones to releases?
Not really, but you can assume that each stable release (milestone) is
approximately 6 weeks apart.
Thks, that should do it. Can I assume that current stable version corresponds to M8, then?
There may not be any official roadmap, but unofficially, Chromium milestone numbers have
so far matched up with Chrome major releases.

So the current (Dec 1, 2010) Chrome Stable 7.0.517.44 basically corresponds to Mstone-7.
Labels: -Mstone-9 Mstone-10
Comment 69 by Deleted ...@, Jan 15 2011
The workaround (from JSHIN above) does not work. I've changed on Mac my "Preferences" file, but still no luck. Many sites, including this one, have hideously small fonts. 

Google team, please pay attention -- this is a very important issue. Instead of giving us useless trinkets with every update, first please fix the freaking basics. 
Status: Verified
verified as fixed in Google Chrome 10.0.639.0 (Official Build 71420) on Linux, Windows and Mac. 

we now have a minimum font size setting in the new Options/Preference html-based UI , in Under the hood > web content > Customize fonts settings window. please try the latest dev build for this feature.

Mac Chrome build 10.0.634.0 also has this feature
Comment 72 by, Feb 18 2011
Labels: ConOps
Labels: -DesignDocNeeded bulkmove Action-DesignDocNeeded
Currently there seems to be no way of doing blanket minimum font size
setting in chrome (firefox has it). That is causes eye strain in certain
high resolution screens with certain websites.

Google Help forum on chrome also has users complaining about this:;hl=en
(and other blogs have also mentioned this problem)

If there is a solution available, it would be nice of the help forum is
also updated. Thanks!
Labels: -I18N Feature-I18N
Currently there seems to be no way of doing blanket minimum font size
setting in chrome (firefox has it). That is causes eye strain in certain
high resolution screens with certain websites.

Google Help forum on chrome also has users complaining about this:;hl=en
(and other blogs have also mentioned this problem)

If there is a solution available, it would be nice of the help forum is
also updated. Thanks!
Labels: -Usability Type-Usability
Currently there seems to be no way of doing blanket minimum font size
setting in chrome (firefox has it). That is causes eye strain in certain
high resolution screens with certain websites.

Google Help forum on chrome also has users complaining about this:;hl=en
(and other blogs have also mentioned this problem)

If there is a solution available, it would be nice of the help forum is
also updated. Thanks!
Comment 76 by, Mar 24 2011
Labels: -ConOps Hotlist-ConOps-TopPriority
Project Member Comment 77 by, Oct 13 2012
Labels: Restrict-AddIssueComment-Commit
This issue has been closed for some time. No one will pay attention to new comments.
If you are seeing this bug or have new data, please click New Issue to start a new bug.
Project Member Comment 78 by, Mar 9 2013
Labels: -Action-DesignDocNeeded Needs-DesignDoc
Project Member Comment 79 by, Mar 10 2013
Labels: -Mstone-10 -Area-UI -Feature-Accessibility -Feature-I18N -Type-Usability Cr-UI-Accessibility Cr-UI Cr-UI-I18N Type-Bug M-10 Cr-UI-Usability
Project Member Comment 80 by, Mar 13 2013
Labels: -Restrict-AddIssueComment-Commit Restrict-AddIssueComment-EditIssue
Project Member Comment 81 by, Mar 20 2013
Labels: -Cr-UI-I18N Cr-UI-Internationalization
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