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Windows Phone 8 Tip: Make the Text Bigger

Windows Phone 8 Tip: Make the Text Bigger

You don't have to squint at small text on your Windows Phone handset

While most Windows Phone users love the typography and design of the Metro user interface in their favorite mobile system, there’s one request I get regularly: How can one resize the onscreen text in Windows Phone 8 to make it more readable? It turns out you can.

I’m embarrassed to say I had overlooked this huge improvement in Windows Phone 8. And this capability isn’t present in Windows Phone 7.x But a post this week to the Windows Phone Blog—8 hidden Windows Phone 8 settings you’ll actually use—includes this and other useful tips. Read it!

But back to the text.

Windows Phone, as you must know, has been tightly designed. It features great typography, lots of white space, grid layouts, and generally follows the well-established Swiss graphic design style. This immediately makes Windows Phone different from other smart phone platforms. But this unique design also leads to some user experiences in which text is very hard to read because of its small type size. This is most noticeable to me in interfaces like Mail (the message list), Messaging, Me (the notifications view), and Phone. Basically any built-in app with lots of text.

Consider this view as an example. This is the What’s New feed in the People hub, essentially an aggregation of various social networking services. It’s nice looking, and nicely-designed. But some of that text looks really small on my Windows Phone 8 handset.

As it turns out, you can change the size of many (but not all) of the text in Windows Phone 8 through the Ease of Access interface in Settings. As you can see, there are now 5 possible text size settings. And by default, Windows Phone 8 uses the smallest one.

When you change the size, you’ll notice the difference in the apps I mention above and elsewhere throughout the system, including the lock screen. Here’s that same People hub view, but with larger text.

I just wish I knew about this earlier.

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