Scroll to resize browsers' text

Here’s a very quick tip for those of you who use Mozilla’s free or Firefox browsers, and have a mouse with a scroll wheel. Have you ever wanted to change the font size on a displayed Web page? Perhaps the designers chose a font that’s too small or too big for your liking, and you’d like to find something more suitable for your eyes. Although both browsers let you press Command-+ (plus sign) to enlarge the fonts or Command— (minus sign) to shrink them, these shortcuts don’t have subtle results. Just one press of Command-+ and you may find that previously too-small fonts are now too large.

A scroll-wheel mouse gives you much greater control over font resizing. In Camino (1.0b2), hold down Control while scrolling up to decrease the font size; hold Control and scroll down to increase the font size. (Previous versions of Camino used Command-scroll for this trick, so try that if Control-scroll doesn’t work.) If you use Firefox, Command-scroll up to reduce the font size, and Command-scroll down to increase. In both browsers, you’ll notice that font size changes are much finer in nature than they are with the keyboard shortcut.

And here are a couple of little bonus tips for using your scroll wheels. In Camino, hold Option and scroll down (or up) to go to the previous (or next) page—if you have an older version of the browser, you’ll use Control and scroll instead. In Firefox, Control and scroll down or up do the same thing. Finally, in Firefox, holding Option and then using the scroll wheel makes the page scroll in mcuh finer increments.

Note that if you use a third-party mouse that includes its own driver software, some or all of these tricks may not work for you. In our testing, we had success with a Microsoft mouse, but not a Kensington trackball.

If you haven’t tried a scroll-wheel-equipped mouse yet, there’s no time like the present—beyond these simple tricks, you’ll find the scroll wheel useful in numerous other applications, from word processing to spreadsheets and even the Finder.

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