Spending a lot of time in front of a computer screen is not as harmless as it looks. The glare from the monitors pose a serious threat to our eyesight, so it’s always important to take short breaks to relax the eyes. If you work with computers a lot and find that your eyesight isn’t as good as it used to, you’ll be happy to know that a Firefox add-on called NoSquint allows you to zoom in and out the text of a webpage.
The add-on requires Firefox to be restarted after installation, so make sure to do this before using it.
Once the add-on is installed, a tutorial page should load with short but helpful instructions on using the add-on for the first time.
There are two things you can do straight from this page: remove the toolbar buttons (the + and – signs on the top bar), or customize the placement of the buttons anywhere within the browser.
Other ways to enable zooming is to hold down the “Ctrl” key while scrolling the mousewheel up and down. Scrolling up zooms in, while scrolling down zooms out.
If your mouse doesn’t have a wheel in the middle, you can hold down “Ctrl” and then press the “+” or “-” sign on the keyboard.
To get an idea of how much you are zoomed in or out, you can hover over the magnifying glass icon on the bottom right corner. This should show details about the current page you’re on.
You can also change the text and link colors of a specific site. To do this, you can right-click on the glass icon on the bottom and select Site settings. Click on the color box beside Text and choose your preferred color.
To change text and link settings for all websites, select “Global Settings” instead from the same context menu and clicking on the Colors tab. This would override any setting you’ve set for a single site.
There are also more things you can adjust under Global Settings like forgetting settings for websites not visited in a specific amount of time (one, three and six months and one year). You can also make the add-on forget the settings when Firefox closes.
Under the Zooming tab, you can select the zoom method: Full page or Text zoom. Full page Zoom adjusts both image and text sizes, while Text zoom adjusts the text only.
Some websites may not work with NoSquint due to the way they’re structured. For this, you can go to Exceptions and add an Exception Pattern that fixes the problem. It’s a bit technical, so I highly recommend thoroughly reading the Help section.
Having used this extension for a while now, I find that it is indispensable especially for websites that use small print. It also helps that there is more than one way to zoom in and out, so it’s always accessible with either keyboard or mouse. With an add-on as easy to configure and easier to use, you’ll never have to squint at web pages again.
Image credit: Magnifying glass
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