1. Your monitor should be set to its optimum resolution already. It is not a good idea to fiddle with it to improve what you see. Microsoft has built in aids in each of its operating systems to help us and our e-mail and web server programmes and a few keyboard shortcuts help further.
2. Did you know you can increase or reduce the size of your screen text by holding down your Ctrl key on your keyboard and either press the plus or minus key on your keyboard or roll the wheel on your mouse?
3. The major built in aids are the Accessibility Wizard in Windows XP and the Ease of Access Centres in Vista and Windows 7. The wizard in Windows XP is easily opened and used through All Programmes –Accessibility – Accessibility Wizard. Go to it to learn all about it and other aids. When you are opening it you will see there is also a Magnifier in the Accessibility menu. If you are using Vista or Windows 7 go to Control Panel – Ease of Access – Ease of Access Centre and follow up what you want. There is not only access to a magnifier but other more sophisticated aids.
4. You can also take advantage of Clear Type technology, with the reservation that some people find it does not suit them. If it does not suit you turn it off. To use it go to Microsoft’s help sheet. Once you have made sure you have clear type click on the link and follow it.
5. If you are working regularly in your own documents make sure that your font and font size are easy to read and set them as your defaults. You might find bold type like this helps as well. When you are sending e-mails you can adopt the same ideas up to a point in whatever system you use.
6. These steps help with what you generate and see on your own screen but they don’t much help with what other people create and show you through web servers or e-mail programmes.
7. In both Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird you can set your own default fonts through Tools – Options. In Outlook Express you go to Read and Fonts to make what changes you seek. In Thunderbird you go to Display – Formatting – Fonts and Encodings – Fonts.
8. There are similar aids in both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox as to what we see on their screens. In Internet Explorer you get to the controls through Tools – Internet Options – General – Appearance and then use Fonts and/or Accessibility to improve what you see. In Firefox you go to Tools – Options – Content – Fonts and Colours.
9. I’m sure there must be other ways as well to improve the ease of reading material on your screen but I hope the above will help. This note uses Verdana font.