Making Web Page Text and Email More Legible

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Making Web Page Text & Email More Legible

Sam Goldstein wrote that when he prints recipes from the Food Network the font sizes are too small to be easily read. Along similar lines, I hear from readers asking how to make low-contrast web pages more legible, and others who say they have trouble reading stylized email they receive.

Letís start with email. Clicking REPLY in most email programs starts a new message that displays everything seen on the incoming message, and is addressed back to the sender. At this point all the text is editable, meaning you can change font faces, sizes, colors, and styles, after which you can change the original senderís address to yours and send yourself a legible copy of the message.

By the way, you can also delete all those "carbon-copied" email addresses seen in many forwarded messages. Then, if you intend to forward the message to others, be sure all their email addresses are placed in the BCC (blind carbon copy) field.

Back to Samís question, many of the recipes offer alternate print options that use larger fonts and special layouts that fit on standard 3x5 or 4x6 file cards. However, the ideal way to handle illegible web page articles is to copy and paste them into a word processing document, where everything can be edited to your satisfaction.

While viewing a web page, launch a word processer such as Microsoft Word. When a blank page appears, minimize it by clicking the "dash" icon in its upper right corner.

Next, copy an article by mouse-selecting the target text and clicking Edit>Copy. This is easy with most articles because of their plain, rectangular format.

Others are more challenging because the text may contain graphics or other text boxes. If so, these items can be easily deleted after everything is placed on your word processing page.

Display the blank page by clicking its icon on your Taskbar. Then insert the copied content by clicking into the page and choosing Edit>Paste. If the web site article extends to multiple columns or additional pages, just mouse-select the individual sections and paste them below the text already inserted onto your word-editing page.

Once the whole article (or, perhaps, just the content that interests you) has been inserted, you can delete any unwanted text or images and edit everything else in any way that suits you, including adding notes of your own. Don't forget to click File>Save As to name and preserve the document.

If the above instructions donít work with a PDF (portable document file), download the latest version of Acrobat Reader from or

If you canít mouse-select certain text itís likely part of a graphic or it may have been created as a Flash image. However, you can still make a "screen shot" of anything seen on your monitor by pressing your PRTSCR (Print Screen) key to copy it, and then pasting it into an image-editor such as Windows Paint (Start>All Programs>Accessories>Paint) or Irfanview (free from (my personal favorite program for cropping and resizing images, along with copying and pasting them into other documents or image-editors).

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