Customisable zoom levels are one of Firefox’s best accessibility features. Users can adjust the magnification size on a per-website basis, and the browser will remember and apply the preferred zoom level every time you visit the website. This makes it much easier to navigate and read pages for users with visual impairments, but it can be annoying having to adjust this for every new page you visit. Plus, zooming in too far can also distort images and other graphical elements on a website and undermine the zoom feature’s benefits. Luckily, Firefox will soon be adding two new settings that will fix these shortcomings.
The first is a universal zoom setting that lets you set the default magnification of all websites you visit in Firefox, and the other is a text-only zoom option that will only enlarge text and keep images and other visuals as intact as possible (though there are bound to be some changes in page layout if you zoom in too far). Both settings were spotted in the most recent Firefox Nightly test build by the German Firefox developer, Sören Hentzschel (via gHacks).
You can try both settings out right now by downloading the Firefox Nightly build, which is the most cutting edge—and most unstable—of Firefox’s beta versions. Only use this if you don’t mind the potential for bugs or crashes. Those who prefer using the stable public release version will get the feature come Firefox 73’s release on February 11, 2020 (which is way sooner than it seems).
How to test out Firefox’s new zoom settings early
Here’s how to find the new settings in Firefox. I assume the process will be identical in the final release of Firefox 73 as well, but there may be some slight differences.
Download and install Firefox Nightly, then open a new browser window.
Go to Menu > Settings > General. (or go to about:preferences using the URL bar).
In the settings menu, scroll down to the Zoom subhead, then click the drop-down box next to “Default zoom” to select your preferred level (can be anywhere from 30 to 300 per cent).
If you want to only apply these changes to the text displayed on websites, check the box next to “Zoom text only.”
These changes will apply to all websites and browser settings pages you visit within Firefox. You can still use the zoom hotkey to further adjust a site’s magnification if you need to, and Firefox will remember the change.