How to make the text larger in Adobe Reader for Linux

This page explains step-by-step how to increase the size of text in Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) running on Linux systems. It also explains how to make the text wrap so that it fits the width of your screen. You can change the zoom settings temporarily, or for every time you open a document in Adobe Reader.

If you want instructions for a different operating system, choose a different setup. You can also choose a different application.

Video how to guide

Text version

Making the text larger in Adobe Reader for Linux

Change the text size in Adobe Reader

Step 1: Change the magnification

Open the 'Zoom To' dialogue box shown in Fig 2 by pressing Ctrl + Y. Alternatively, click on 'View' in the menu bar and then select 'Zoom' from the drop-down menu, or press Alt + V and then press Z, to open the 'Zoom' submenu as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1'View' drop-down menu

Click on 'Zoom To' or press 'Z' again to open the 'Zoom To' dialogue box shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2'Zoom To' dialogue box

Choose the magnification you want by clicking on a percentage, or by using the up and down arrow keys, or simply type in the value you want. Click on the 'OK' button or press Enter.

You can also change the magnification by clicking on the plus or minus buttons on the Adobe Reader toolbar, or by using the drop-down box to the right of those buttons.

In addition, you can also zoom in or out by pressing Ctrl and '=' (equal sign) to increase the size of text, or Ctrl and '-' (minus) to decrease the size of text, at any time.

Step 2: Wrap the text to fit your screen

After making the text bigger, you may find that the lines of text are too wide for your screen. You can force the text to wrap around, so that every line fits the width of the screen.

To reflow the text, press Ctrl + 4. Alternatively, click on 'View' in the menu bar and then select 'Zoom' from the drop-down menu, or press Alt + V and then press Z, to open the 'Zoom' submenu as shown in Fig 1. Click on 'Reflow' or press 'R'.

Now, whenever you change the magnification, the page will automatically wrap the text so it fits the width of the screen. 'Reflow' will stay on until you turn it off by repeating the steps above.

You can also turn 'Reflow' on in the 'Zoom Text' dialogue box. To do this, follow the instructions in Step 1 and choose 'Reflow' from the drop-down list instead of a percentage. However, you cannot turn 'Reflow' off by this method.

Step 3: Set the zoom for every time you open Adobe Reader

You can set the default zoom so that Adobe Reader always opens with your preferred magnification, however you will still need to turn on 'Reflow' each time as described in Step 2. No matter what you set as the default, you can always adjust the magnification for the document you are looking at by following the instructions in Step 1.

Click on 'Edit' in the menu bar and then select 'Preferences' from the drop-down menu, or press Alt + E and then press N, to open the 'Preferences' window shown in Fig 3. (You can also open the 'Preferences' window by right-clicking on a document and selecting 'Page Display Preferences'.)

Fig 3Detail from the 'Preferences' window

If it is not already selected, click on 'Page Display' in the left-hand pane, or press Tab until the left-hand pane is highlighted and then use the up and down arrow keys to select 'Page Display'.

In the drop-down box beside 'Zoom', choose the magnification you want by clicking on a percentage, or press Alt + Z and then use the up and down arrow keys to choose the percentage you want, or simply type in the value you want.

Click on the 'OK' button or press Enter. Note that you will not see any changes, but the next time you open a document in Adobe Reader it will be displayed at your chosen magnification.

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 on your computer

Change the settings in your operating system (for example, Windows Vista or Mac OS X)

Make text larger in your browser

For example, Internet Explorer or Firefox

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