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Change Your Fonts

How to Change Your Fonts

Some people find certain text styles or fonts difficult to read on their computer and on websites. For example, a serif style such as Times New Roman, or a ‘cluttered’ script such as Helvetica narrow. Most people find a sans-serif style such as Arial or Verdana more comfortable. Others find a monospaced font such as Courier easier to read – these may include people with dyslexia.

These guides explain how to change the font in your operating system (Windows or Mac). You can also change the default font in specific programmes such as web browsers, which will make it easier to surf the internet.

There are two ways to do this…

  • Change the fonts on your computer
    1. This guide is different depending on your operating system (Windows or Mac). Please select from the options below.
      1. Windows 7
      2. Mac OS X

How To Change Your Fonts In Windows 7

Step 1: Open the ‘Window Color and Appearance’ window

Open the ‘Personalization’ window (shown in Fig 3) by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop and selecting ‘Personalize‘. If you are unable to do this, use the following alternative method. Otherwise, go to Step 2.

Open the ‘Ease of Access Center’ window by pressing the Windows key + U, or by clicking the ‘Start‘ button, followed by ‘Control Panel‘, then ‘Ease of Access‘, then ‘Ease of Access Center‘.

Under the ‘Explore all settings’ header, click on ‘Make the computer easier to see‘ (Fig 1) or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter.

Fig 1

Under the ‘Make things on the screen easier to see’ header (Fig 2), click on ‘Fine tune display effects‘, or press Alt + C, to open the ‘Personalization’ window shown in Fig 3.

Fig 2

Step 2: Choose a theme

In the ‘Personalization’ window (Fig 3), you can choose to use an existing theme, including high-contrast themes.

Fig 3

To customise a theme’s fonts, scroll to the the bottom of the ‘Personalization’ window and click on the ‘Window Color‘ icon, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter.

If you are using a non-Aero theme, when you click on the ‘Window Color‘ icon, the pop-up ‘Window Color and Appearance’ window shown in Fig 5 will appear. Go to Step 3.

If you are using an Aero theme, when you click on the ‘Window Color‘ icon, the ‘Window Color and Appearance’ window shown in Fig 4 will appear.

Fig 4

Click on ‘Advanced appearance settings‘, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter, to open the pop-up ‘Window Color and Appearance’ window (shown in Fig 5).

Step 3: Change your fonts

In the pop-up ‘Window Color and Appearance’ window (Fig 5), click on the drop-down list under the ‘Item‘ header or press Alt + I, then use the mouse or arrow keys to scroll through the list of items.

Fig 5

If it is possible to change the font for a particular ‘Item’, the second row of buttons (below the ‘Font’ header) will become active. For example, if ‘Menu’ is selected in the list. You can change the fonts for the following ‘Items’.

  • Active Title Bar
  • Icon
  • Inactive Title Bar
  • Menu
  • Message Box
  • Palette Title
  • Selected Items
  • ToolTip

To change the font used for ‘Menu’ (as the example in Fig 5 shows), click on the drop-down button under the ‘Font‘ header or press Alt + F, then use the mouse or arrow keys to scroll through the list of fonts to choose the one you want.

To change the size of the font you have chosen, click the drop-down button below the ‘Size‘ header or press Alt + E, then use the mouse or arrow keys to scroll through the list of font sizes.

Step 4: Save your changes

When you’ve made all your changes, click the ‘OK‘ button or press Enter. If you are not using an Aero theme, this will return you to the ‘Personalization’ window (Fig 3).

If you are using an Aero theme, you will return to the main ‘Window Color and Appearance’ window (Fig 4). Click on the ‘Save changes‘ button, or press Tab until it is highlighted and press Enter to return to the ‘Personalization’ window.

Your customised theme will appear at the top of the ‘Personalization’ window with the name ‘Unsaved Theme’. Click on ‘Save Theme‘, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter. This will open a dialogue box. Type in a name for your theme and click ‘Save‘ or press Enter.

To finish, close the ‘Personalization’ window by clicking on the red close cross or by pressing Alt + F4.

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.



How To Change Your Fonts In Mac OS X

There are no built-in options to easily change the system fonts used by Mac OS X for menus, toolbars, titles and other text at the time of writing this guide. To change the system fonts, you’ll need to use third-party software.

Change your fonts using third-party software

There are third-party software solutions for changing the fonts in Mac OS X, but these may require you to change system settings at a programming level and are aimed mainly at administrators and experienced users.

However, the freeware programme TinkerTool is aimed at regular users. It allows you to activate personal preference features that Apple has hidden in the Mac OS X operating system, including the ability to change the system fonts, as shown in Fig 1. Further information is available on the website of the software’s producer Marcel Bresink Software-Systeme.

Fig 1

Other programmes that allow you to change the system settings may also be available. Consult the Apple Downloads – System/Disk Utilities page for a list of available free and paid-for software.


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