Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why did the text on web pages suddenly become so tiny and unreadable?!

Every few months I run into this same problem... everything is fine and then I navigate to a web page and suddenly I realize that the text on the page is tiny and barely readable. WTF?!?! What happened?

Well, I am not exactly sure what mis-typed key sequence does it, but somehow Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) feels that it was instructed by you, The Operator, to zoom out to show more text albeit in a smaller font. You can tell that this happened because in the lower righthand corner of the IE window there is a little magnifying glass with a percentage next to it and the percentage is now less than 100%. Normally, that percentage is 100%. In my case just now, it was down to 90%. If you accidentally set it above 100%, then your text will be larger than normal, which may or may not be a good thing for you.

The fix is simple... Click on the little down arrow to the right of the percentage and select 100% from the menu. Presto! Tiny text is gone!

Hmmm... The menu says that Ctrl+<minus> zooms out, so maybe I pressed the Ctrl key instead of the Shift key when entering an underscore AND the IE window had the input focus when I thought I was typing in some other window. That would do it, but I do not recall having that situation.

Another situation is that I am fast typing in email and my notebook trackpad sometimes generates a spurious click event and the mouse point is outside the email window and over an IE window and that causes some of my keystrokes to go to IE before I realize what happened. I may have mis-keyed an underscore. That might have been what happened this time for me.

-- Jack Krupansky


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