The Two Types of Browser Zoom

From the dawn of the web – at least since Netscape Navigator 4.x – it has been possible to resize the text on a web page. This is typically done through the View menu.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

It’s also the default for IE8 beta 2.

Yeah, well, tell that to Safari and Chrome, man.

Full page zoom really is a great feature, but with the ubiquity of smartphones and netbooks, it will likely be more useful for a browser to be able to cram a large page into a small space.

Opera does this really nicely with it’s Fit to Width and Small Screen modes, which work especially well in situations where iPhone-style pan zoom isn’t possible.

I’d really like to see more websites and browsers be able to adapt to the new, cramped-for-space web.

The reason text zoom doesn’t work is because the silly web-designers built a design that only works with certain text sizes. That’s great for IE and Firefox and Chrome and Safari on a 1080 screen and up, but when I’m trying to read a webpage on my digital clock it’s a real mess.

By the way, typo alert. It should be Ctl-- to reduce the size.

Text zoom is useful for me when I come across a bad designed website that uses windows-only fonts that appears too small on linux.

Other than that, I never had a use for full-page zoom, maybe I just prefer sites with more text than pretty graphics :slight_smile:

I like the fact I can do this with my scroll wheel (ctrl). My favorite part though is that when I do this in IE, even the scrollbar grows. Zoom in a few times and its like super mario-scale.

@Damien the majority of all keyboard either have Ctrl or Control, very few say Ctl. Heck, if you want to be really correct, Ctl and Ctrl are both not words.

Webkit has support for it, I just don’t think it has hit Safari yet.

oh, I take my previous comment back about IE scrollbar resizing. That was the behavior of a particular site (where the div had the scroll) and not the browser’s window scrollbar.

Forget IE8 Beta 2, it’s in IE7.

This kind of zoom is in Chrome 2.0. Download the developer preview by changing your Chrome to get updates from the Developer Channel.

Google Chrome Channel Changer to get the tool to change your binary repository.

One of the guys I’ve picked up all my web coding habits from has been singing the praises of full page zoom for some time. Nonetheless, it’s still good practice to support a +/- 1 font size in layouts for those who’d like to keep the images unblemished, but make the type a bit easier on the eyes.

Or web designers could follow Jeff’s lead, and fuck up their text rendering completely. In Safari 3.2.1 your bold text has occasional negative kerning. In NetNewsWire using that same Webkit version (5525.27.1), the text doesn’t render at all!

I personally love text-scaling, and hate full-page zoom on the desktop. I don’t zoom so I can use my computer from far away, I do so because the text is unreadable from a normal position.

Webkit is capable of extremely high-quality full-page scaling — it’s used on the iPhone, the Pr#275;, and Android.

Jeff, how the fuck did you manage to make a comment submission system that can’t handle unicode at all?

I used LATIN SMALL LETTER E WITH MACRON to correctly accent the name of Palm’s recently announced device, and it was mangled into it’s code-point in decimal.

And it removed the question mark from my first sentence? Both this sentence and the previous sentence end with question marks?

Your site’s comment handling is baffling.

I like text-resizing much more than full resizing.
Text resizing allows me to increase the size of what matters – text content.
The rest – graphical fluff – takes relatively less space, which is good.

Another problem with full resizing is that browser is getting too wide and extends outside of my monitor.
Hopefully this problem will go away when I buy 22 monitor.

He’s not picking on the CTL vs CTRL…he’s noting that both Small and larger are using the same plus sign instead of a minus (or dash) for smaller.

When I blow up a webpage’s text, I want it to still fit on the screen…which the zoom described doesn’t necessarily do. All this is because some developer built a page that only works with text at some fixed number of pixels instead of a flexible, flowing design.

I find fit to width feature in Opera FAR more useful than zoom. But that is biased, I have perfect sight and I am less than 50 years old.

Actually, I think IE7 was where most people first experienced it. One of the exceedingly rare instances where IE was an early leader.