<firstimage=”//cdn.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Magnify.jpg” />Not all webpages are made equal. There will be some webpages which will render you optically-challenged. But thanks to the Zoom feature in all browsers, webpages can be made clearer for readability. The zoom feature has some uses apart from just text enlarging functions.
Noting down the finer details of an image is one of them. Sometimes, thumbnails don’t link to their larger versions. A bit of zoom helps to get a hint of the picture. But the most useful use of zoom is reserved for the elderly. Zooming the webpage a few notches more than the default, makes everything stand out better for them.
There is nothing complicated about the zoom feature. If we talk about Firefox and its full page zoom, the browser provides the option of zooming the entire page or just the text. Firefox also calls up the zoom levels you used on a specific website on a previous visit. Mozilla Links has a nice post on what you can do with Firefox and its zoom.
But as we have seen many times, Firefox is a lot about add-ons. And there are quite a few add-ons available at the Firefox add-on gallery that add whizz to the zoom. Let’s check out six of the best Firefox zoom add-ons.
Zoom Page is basically a simple add-on that brings the zoom controls from the menu to the status bar for quicker accessibility. You have two buttons (+ and -), and the zoom level. Clicking on either of the two buttons (or using the mouse wheel) increases or decreases the zoom level. A click on the zoom level percentage resets it to the default.
Setting “˜Full Page’ zoom or “˜Text Only’ zoom is just as easy with a right click on the zoom level indicator. From the add-on’s options, the zoom levels can be set to anything between 25% up to 400%.
MouseZoom is a simple but useful add-on that lets you zoom a webpage using the right mouse button and scroll wheel combo. Another combo renders the browser window in fullscreen. Zoom levels are displayed right on the center of the webpage. You can also configure the zoom levels in the add-on’s options.
NoSquint brings more control to the zoom business by taking over the native zoom of Firefox. You can not only set the default zoom levels on a site by site basis or apply global settings; you can also change the text and background color to whatever suits you. Irritating backgrounds can also be disabled.
Sometimes, NoSquint treats sub-domains of a particular website as the same (For e.g. Gmail and Google Reader). Different zoom levels and colors can be customized for each by using the advanced exception handling features of this add-on.
The author’s website gives a very good learn-by-trial intro of the add-on. As the name suggests, Image Zoom brings zoom control specifically for images using the mouse buttons and wheel. Right-clicking on any image on a webpage brings up the Image Zoom functions:
I don’t know how useful it is, but you can also rotate images from the context menu. You can also use the wheel and the mouse buttons to do things like zooming in and out, or fit the image to the screen.
PixelZoomer represents the web development uses of the zoom tool. Clicking on PixelZoomer’s icon in opens up a screenshot window where you can apply tools like a select tool to measure pixel distance, an eyedropper to pick up color values, and a zoom dropdown to go right down to the details. The maximum zoom level is 3200%. You can speed up your web work with the shortcut keys for all the functions of PixelZoomer.
Theme Font Size Changer is a zoom tool with a difference. Instead of changing the size of text or images, it changes the font size in all windows, menus, toolbars, and other browser elements within Firefox. Font sizes can be set anywhere between 9 and 40 pixels to change the appearance of the browser for better accessibility.
As these zoom tools show, it is first about visual accessibility, but the zoom tool is also important for development tasks like picking up pixels and finely measuring pixel distances between two points. Do you use the zoom tool often or do you let your eyes do all the hard work? Let us know.
Image credits: yauhin1