Giving It 160%

I believe it was 1997, I was not yet in my 30s, but close, when I noticed my friend and coworker Mark writing away on his Mac PowerBook’s puny screen with giant letters screaming on the Word doc.


The display was maybe 12 inches-ish and seemed large enough to do my work without much trouble, at least that I can remember. For Mark, it was a no brainer. He couldn’t make out the 12-point type, so he made it larger. Then, when he got a monitor — which at the time was the size of two stacked microwave ovens — he bumped it up a few more point sizes.

Here I am, a quarter century later, and well, well, well … look who has a Word document staring back at him from his 27″ iMac.

Not only that, it’s zoomed to 160% scale and I’m tapping out words in 16-point Calibri.


While I was at it, I made the default zoom on my web browsers 120% (anything bigger things janky), and have the second-largest type in my notes and mail apps. I don’t dig the big type when working on a 13-inch laptop but I endure it because this is the price we pay for aging.

Oh, I changed the settings on my iPhone and iPad too and I make it bold too.

I wish I had made the full transition to a world of big type a long time ago.

If you decide to fiddle with your computer and phone settings, here’s a loosely related tune to keep you company.