How to make the text larger in Gnome

This page explains step-by-step how to increase the size of text and other elements in Gnome for Linux by either increasing the font size or decreasing the screen resolution.

Areas in this guide:

Change the screen resolution

Step 1: Open the 'Screen Resolution Preferences' window

Click on the 'System' menu, followed by 'Preferences', then 'Screen resolution', to open the 'Screen Resolution Preferences' window shown in Fig 1. Alternatively, press Alt + F1 and then use the arrow keys to select 'System', then 'Preferences', then 'Screen resolution' and then press Enter.

Fig 1Detail from the 'Screen Resolution Preferences' window

Step 2: Change the display settings

Click on the drop-down box next to 'Resolution' and choose a lower screen resolution by clicking on it. Alternatively, press the Spacebar and then use the up and down arrow keys to choose a setting and press Enter.

Click the 'Apply' button or press Alt + A.

The screen resolution will change and you will be asked if you want to keep the new resolution or use the previous one. To use the new one, click on 'Keep resolution' or press Alt + K. To change back to the previous one, click on 'Use previous resolution' or press Alt + P.

Click on 'Close' or press Alt + C to finish.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Use larger fonts

The quickest way to change all the fonts in the operating system and applications is to make the change globally under 'Font' properties.

Step 1: Open the 'Fonts' window

Click on the 'System' menu, followed by 'Preferences', then 'Font', to open the 'Fonts' window shown in Fig 1. Alternatively, press Alt + F1 and then use the arrow keys to select 'System', then 'Preferences', then 'Font' and then press Enter.

Fig 1Detail from the 'Fonts' window

Step 2: Change the size for all system fonts

You can customise the fonts used for applications, on the desktop and on window title bars. For example, to change the font size for the desktop, click on the button next to 'Desktop font' or press Alt + D. This will bring up the 'Pick a Font' window as shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2'Pick a Font' window

Click on the box below 'Size' to select it and type in a number, or use the scroll bar and click on the font size you want to use. Alternatively, press Alt + Z to highlight the box below 'Size' and then use the up and down arrow keys to select the font size you want to use.

Click the 'OK' button or press Alt + O to confirm your choice and return to the 'Fonts' window (shown in Fig 1).

Repeat as necessary for the other font options, such as the Application font, by following the steps above. Note that the shortcut key for each of the font options is indicated by the letter underlined.

Click the 'Close' button or press Alt + C to finish.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Back to How to guides - I can't see very well

More ways to: Make your text larger

Make text larger in your browser

For example, Internet Explorer or Firefox

Make text larger in applications

For example, Microsoft Word or Adobe Reader

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