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Techniques for reading online material: Adjust the page size

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If you’re reading on a conventional laptop or desktop computer you can adjust the size of the window in which you’re viewing a web page by clicking and dragging a corner of the window. You might find a tall narrow window gives you lines that are an easy length to read.

This sometimes can have unpredictable effects if the web server decides you’re viewing on a small-screen device and changes what it delivers (known as ‘responsive design’). But this can be a simpler, clearer page and is sometimes worth sticking with. All it needs is experiment to get the optimum combination of page size and type.

(If you’re reading this in the OU Help Centre try narrowing the window. When you get past a certain point the page changes dramatically to a design that’s optimised for reading on a smaller screen. You can continue narrowing until the window is about the width of a smartphone screen and it’s still very legible. There’s more information in Using a mobile device in your studies.)

If you’re reading material on your module website you might want to switch to “View as single page” (in the left-hand column) and then increase the size of the type. This fills the window with the material in the middle column, reducing distraction and allowing you to make the type an appropriate size.

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