How to make the text larger in Adobe Reader for Mac OS X

This page explains step-by-step how to increase the size of text in Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader) running on Mac OS X 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.

Note: The following abbreviations for keys on the Mac are used: Ctrl is used for the Control key, Apple is used for the Command key, and Alt is used for the Option key. For keyboard access, make sure 'Full keyboard access' is turned on - you can turn it on or off by pressing Ctrl + F1 at any time.

Video how to guide

Text version

Making the text larger in Adobe Reader for Mac OS X

Change the text size in Adobe Reader

Step 1: Change the magnification

Open the 'Zoom To' dialogue box shown in Fig 2 by pressing Apple + Y. Alternatively, click on 'View' in the menu bar and then select 'Zoom' from the drop-down menu. Or press Ctrl + F2 to highlight the menu bar and press the right arrow key to open the 'View' drop-down menu, then use the down arrow key to navigate to Zoom, to open the submenu as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1'View' drop-down menu

Click on 'Zoom To' or press 'Enter' 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 Apple and '=' (equal sign) to increase the size of text, or Apple 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 Apple + 4. Alternatively, click on Ctrl + F2 to highlight the menu bar and press the right arrow key to open the 'View' drop-down menu, then use the down arrow key to navigate to Zoom, to open the submenu as shown in Fig 1. Click on 'Reflow' or press the down arrow key until it is highlighted and then press 'Enter'.

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, as shown in Fig 3. 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.

Fig 3'Zoom To' dialogue box showing 'Reflow' option

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 'Adobe Reader' in the menu bar and then 'Preferences' from the drop-down menu, or press Apple + ' , ' (comma), to open the 'Preferences' window. (You can also open the 'Preferences' window by right-clicking on a document and selecting 'Page Display Preferences'.)

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 Tab until it is highlighted 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.

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More ways to: Make your text larger

Make text larger on your computer

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For example, Internet Explorer or Firefox

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