How to Change Font Size on MacBook Pro

The font size on your MacBook Pro is optimized for its Retina display, but it may be too small (or too large) for some people. 

You can change the font size on your MacBook Pro with the “command + +” and “command + -” keyboard shortcuts in various apps. Or you can decrease the screen resolution in “System Preferences” to make the font larger. 

I’m Jon, an Apple power user and long-time owner of various Macs, including my current 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro. I know multiple tips, tricks, and workflows that can help improve your MacBook experience, including how to adjust the font size. 

So, I put together this font-size changing guide for MacBook Pros to help you out– continue reading to learn how!

Changing the font size on your MacBook Pro can help ward off eye strain. Apple makes switching to a larger font size quick and easy. Although the process is more involved than a quick switch in your menu bar, it shouldn’t take long. Here’s how. 

Method 1: Use a Keyboard Shortcut

You can easily change the text size in many applications using a quick keyboard shortcut – command + +. This particular shortcut controls zoom. 

Most popular apps react to the shortcut, changing the text size simply with a press of the keys. Simply press the zoom-out shortcut – command + - to reverse your changes.

Remember that this keyboard shortcut may affect more than just the text. Other elements within the app or webpage may shrink or magnify. If you solely want to change the size of the text, use the settings within that particular app to do so (we’ll get to that soon). 

Method 2: Decrease The Screen Resolution

One option for increasing the font size on your MacBook Pro is decreasing the screen resolution. Start by clicking on the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen. In the drop-down menu that pops up, select “System Preferences.” 

Next, select the Displays icon, which is a small computer monitor.

In the “Display” window, click “Display Settings…” on the bottom left. 

Once the window opens, select “Scaled.” Once you choose it, various resolution options will appear beneath it. Select a larger text option that works best for you. 

After you lower the resolution, the text size of everything on your Mac will change. 

Method 3: Increase The Sidebar Size in Finder

In some cases, the text in the sidebar in Finder may be too small to read comfortably. In that case, change the size by clicking on the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen.

In the menu that appears, select “System Preferences.” Next, click “General.” 

Once the “General” window appears, click the field next to “Sidebar icon size.” Select “Large.” 

Now, the text size for icons will be larger than it was before. 

Method 4: Increase The Text Size for Desktop Icons

If the text is too tiny next to your desktop icons, you can increase the size of this particular text alone. Click “View” in the menu bar at the top of the screen. 

Next, in the drop-down menu that pops up, select “Show View Options.” 

A small window will appear with different settings regarding the icons on your desktop. Click the number next to “Text Size.” Select a larger number. 

If you’re unsure which size works best for you, move through the different options, checking the text next to the icons for easy readability. 

Method 5: Adjust The Text Size in Web Browsers

Many popular web browsers allow you to increase or decrease the default font settings. This is particularly handy when you want to leave the other elements of the site the same size. 

Some websites won’t allow you to change the font size, but you can still change the generic settings within the browser itself. 

Use the steps below to change the font settings in your web browser. 

Safari

Start by opening Safari. Once the browser opens, click on “Safari” in the top left corner, then “Preferences.” 

Once the preferences window opens, click “Advanced.” In the “Accessibility” section, check the box next to “Never use font sizes smaller than.” Set the minimum font size you want to use.

Google Chrome

Open Chrome, then click the main menu (three vertical dots in the top right corner). 

Choose “Settings,” then click “Appearance” in the side menu. Choose the font size you want in the “Font size” section. Alternatively, you can hit the keyboard shortcut “Command +” to open Google Chrome settings quickly. 

Mozilla Firefox

Open Firefox, and click on the main menu (three lines icon in the top right corner). Choose “Settings.” 

Under the “General” tab, scroll down a bit to locate “Fonts.” You can adjust the font size here. 

Conclusion

The font size on your MacBook Pro can be the difference between straining your eyes and comfortably reading your screen’s contents. You can change the font size with keyboard shortcuts by adjusting various app settings. 

Whether it’s all text or simply icon text, the process is quick and easy. What font size do you prefer on your MacBook Pro? Let us know in the comments below!

About Jonathon Jachura
Jonathon is a mechanical engineer with over ten years of experience. He is an Apple fan who currently holds a Macbook Pro (512 GB, 16GB RAM), iPad Pro 12.9", iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple Watch 3, and 4x Acer 23" monitors.

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