How To Change The Display Of Webpages For Easier Reading

Some webpages can be difficult to read – very small fonts and poor choice of text/background colors can make life difficult, even for people with good eyesight.

The traditional webpage display of black text on a white background can also be tiring on the eyes, especially when reading at night.

Browsers include various options to change fonts and colors but they are time consuming and awkward to use – and they take effect on all websites when you might only have a problem with one particular site.

Users of Firefox or Google Chrome browsers have a much better option – they can easily change the default display behavior (per website or on a global basis) using the following addons:

Firefox – NoSquint addon or Chrome – Change Colors extension. A summary of each addon is shown below:

Firefox NoSquint – Rated 5 out of 5 stars and has nearly quarter of a million users. NoSquint allows you to adjust the text-only or full-page (both text and images) zoom levels as well as color settings both globally (for all sites) and per site.

  • Override the default text-only and full-page (both text and images) zoom levels for all websites
  • Enforce your own foreground and background colors e.g. white text on black background
  • Remember your zoom levels and color settings per site, automatically applying them when you return.
  • A powerful exceptions mechanism lets you split up or group together sites with URL patterns.
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NoSquint options

Download NoSquint from Mozilla Addons here.

Note: the removal of the add-on bar in Firefox 29 hindered some of the usability of NoSquint. You can also install the Addon Bar (restored) extension which will let you place NoSquint’s status indicator anywhere.

Chrome Change Colors – Rated 4.43 out of 5 stars and has over 30,000 users.

Change Colors replaces a page’s styling (colors, fonts, etc.) according to your preferences.

  • Quick page action to apply/remove styling overrides on a per page, per domain or global basis.
  • Optional font family and font size configuration with the ability to add new custom fonts
  • Optional background, text, links and visited links color configuration – e.g. white text on black background
  • Option for showing/hiding images or flash objects
  • Keyboard shortcuts
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Change Colors options

Download Change Colors from Chrome Web Store here.

Conclusion

Both addons are classed as Accessibility features but provide so much more than just support for the visually impaired.

Automatic zooming and font color/background changes on a per website basis can help make many websites much easier to read – without having to resort to repeated changes in the browser’s options.