Accessibility Options In Internet Explorer

by JL Beeken on 4-16-2008

In the ongoing search for a solution to viewing problems in different browsers I came across ‘Accessibility Options’ in Internet Explorer.

I had a chance to look around the web on a different resolution monitor than what I’ve become accustomed to.

As a comparative study, here’s what a JLiki page looks like in Firefox on a 1280 x 1024 monitor.

JLiki

Here’s the same page in Internet Explorer, 1280 x 1024. Note the header needs a magnifying glass and the left menu is over-sized.

JLiki

And here’s what it looks like on a 1024 x 768 monitor, where the center graphic is too wide for the screen but conveniently slides under the right-side menu. The magic of CSS.

JLiki

And here’s an example of the type of thing that upsets me and it doesn’t have anything to do with different resolutions, it’s just Internet Explorer being a pain. It’s my understanding that a standard font size for the web is ’16’ so that’s what I have it set to in Firefox. In Internet Explorer I think it’s called ‘Medium. This is a screenshot of part of a page in Firefox.

Firefox

See how nice that is, with the ads being so unobtrusive, sitting there quietly and politely. Here’s the same page screaming at you from Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer

I’ve fiddled with this before and it seemed the only cure would be for me to change the font to something larger on every single page to get up to speed with the ad-text and then you could set your default for the whole page smaller to keep from knocking your eyeballs out. Since that would be several weeks’ work, I hadn’t got around to it yet. However, I just found another cure for this.

All you die-hard users of Internet Explorer, if you go to Tools/ Internet Options in IE7 (and maybe IE6?) and click on the General Tab and then Accessibility and un-tick the box that says “Ignore font sizes specified on webpages” all will be well. Not as good as Firefox, but much better. It even fixes the fonts in JLiki.

Internet Explorer

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Penny (who loves reading JLog) 4-17-2008 at 11:05 AM

Well, doggies! No wonder I couldn’t figure out why you kept howling & growling about IE making yur stuff look awful. (It all looked purty darned good to me all along, so I couldn’t understand the why of it …. except that perhaps you’d fallen and hit your noggin on a mouse and got near-concussed or some other awful thing.)

So, now you’ve gone and taught me somethin’ else I hadn’t known before. I dutifully followed your directions to fix my nasty ol’ IE7 … and lo! That li’l box was not even checked to begin with. Mystery solved.

I swear, you’d have guilted me into Firefox long since, except … I’d have to bug “the kid, aka the resident techie” into putting it on here. And she can be such a grouch!

Welcome home and thanks for the grins … again.

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JL 4-17-2008 at 1:07 PM

After discovering the box above it did occur to me that I might be the only person in the world with it ticked. But … Firefox is still a better browser. Ka-ching! I just made another million dollars for saying that.

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Penny 4-18-2008 at 2:12 PM

Now, now, JL, I was just puttin’ a tiny virtual-elbow in your rib over the IE/Firefox thing. I look at it this way: you’ve got your act together better than some of us and, besides, you have an amusing way with words.

There are two companies those of us who use computers and do the genealogy polka love to hate: MS and Ancestry. We may use MS products and subscribe to Ancestry, but most of us (certainly including me) get a certain amount of vicarious satisfaction in seeing someone smack either or both of ‘em around – blogwise or however!

I’m bettin’ you aren’t the only one with a checkered box! Mine probably would have been, too, except for TK (Techie Kid who resides in my house). Last time my motherboard committed suicide and fried some otherstuff on my own infernal machine, TK rebuilt the whole shebang from the mb out. No doubt she saved me from having IE checked box syndrome as she’s the one who would have un-checked it, not me. I had no clue it was there until you told me.

Keep up the good work. You’re teachin’ and entertaining us at the same time, I really do learn a lot from you. Who knows, I may even have to ask TK where all the little hootchits (boxes that need to be ticked and unticked and mysterious settings that have to be changed here & there) are if I switch to FF.

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JL 4-18-2008 at 4:10 PM

Firefox has hootchits but they’re not weird hootchits. They’re obvious and helpful hootchits. I had to keep reading those words over and over to myself slowly: Ignore-font-sizes-specified-on-webpages. Who would want to do that? If you want a different size to the page fonts you can hold down your Ctrl key and scroll your middle mouse button up and down. But to have the choice to mangle the aesthetic balance of carefully constructed webpages, do we really need this?

The ticked/unticked box lives under a button called “Accessibility” and officially Accessibility relates to “features [that] make Internet Explorer more accessible for people with disabilities”. Obviously, I’m missing something so for fear of being furtherly insensitive, I’m just going to let this simmer.

For myself all I can say is Hallelujah, my box is unticked! And likewise, I hope, for any fellow-sufferers.

Oh, and I should apologize to Microsoft for all my rants against Internet Explorer. But, then again, probably not …

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