Try Firefox 3 full page zoom with Full Page Zoom

Full page zoom was recently added to Firefox 3 but there’s still no user interface to actually zoom in or out a web page.

Fortunately, Ted Mielczarek has released Full Page Zoom, an extension to easily do this in nighltly builds. It adds three buttons you can add to the toolbar for easier access.

There’s not very much to say except it works and it works fast. This definitely puts Firefox zoom on par with Internet Explorer 7 and Opera’s.

You will need a recent nightly to test this extension and functionality. If you don’t feel adventurous, here are a couple of screenshots of a YouTube page in normal view and with a 200% zoom.

Firefox 3 zoom 100%

YouTube web page with 200% zoom.

Firefox 3 zoom 200%

You can get Full Page Zoom from Ted Mielczarek web site. Remember it works with Firefox 3 development versions only.

20 thoughts on “Try Firefox 3 full page zoom with Full Page Zoom”

  1. David, it’s still not defined what the user interface will be. During the development, for testing purposes, full page zoom was linked to text zoom so Ctrl+MouseWheel and Ctrl+=/Ctrl+- triggered full zoom.

    However when finally added to the trunk code the link was removed leaving it inaccessible. So I guess it’s not the plan to tie both zooming options, at least right now.

    I would expect some additional modifier like Shift + Ctrl + MouseWheel/-/= to perform full page zoom and leave text zoom alone. We’ll see.

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  3. Have tested this with Linux Minefield from Aug, 2nd.

    Unfortunately, very buggy still. Try e.g. http://www.orf.at – zooming fails miserably there. Same with derstandard.at and many other sites. Also scroll bar dragging does not work at all.

    And the difference between zoom levels is ridiculously high .. thats probably the extension’s fault. Normal increases to much too huge and decreases to so tiny it cant be read.

    Looks like there is quite a long way to go still.

    BTW, whatever became of the “places” feature?

  4. I installed this full page zoom extension. I am using the latest nightly build. The extension appears in the add-ons list.

    How do make it zoom?

    Control + is not doing a full page zoom like Opera does. I don’t see any instructions around.

  5. Suezanne, you have to add the buttons to your toolbar. In the View menu, select Toolbars/Customize. The drag the zoom buttons to your toolbar and you are ready to zoom.

  6. Thanks, Percy.

    The folks that said the zoom increments were too big were quite right!

    The zooming starts from the left instead of the center, meaning that for the many pages that have blank areas on both sides at normal zoom, when you magnify till the content would fill the screen if was centered, instead the blank area at the left is still at the left, only magnified. I believe this is how IE7s page zoom works. This is not good. I hope someone gets across the idea to the developers that the default centered for the zoom display should be to keep the center of the normal display in the center and let the sides be cut off.

    Center the zoomed page, that’s how Opera does it, pretty much, and it’s made me an Opera user for years. As the eyes get worse the competive advantage of the browser with the best page zoom gets greater and greater.

  7. Suezanne I think that’s a very valid point you make and I see the benefit. But I’d say it depends on what you are trying to do. Your use case seems to be more about zooming images that may be scattered in a page and then makes more sense to focus in that area. I’m pretty sure an extension will appear soon for that.

    But I’d like to know which use case is more common: image zooming or actual page zooming.

  8. My typical use case is definitely not about zooming images. There are numerous pages that are apparently designed for 800 by 600 displays, which would fill an 800 by 600 display horizontally, but leave large margins at the sides on a 1024 by 768 display, which is the resolution I use. The forums at forums.secondlife.com is an example of one such. There are other pages that have lots of blank space on the sides because someone misinterpreted an inconclusive study on visual perception and a lot of designers have made the mistake of basing their designs on this erroneous thinking. The Linden Lab blog comments are an example of this.

    It is only very rarely that I want to enlarge just a portion of the screen.

    I enlarge the entire screen in Opera on sites that have the blank space on both sides, this makes the content as large as can be on my screen, greatly improving the readability of the text, which is what I want enlarged. Unlike just increasing the text size, the page looks normal and properly proportioned, just bigger, meaning I get the benefit of spending as much money as I can afford on “big” monitors.

    I use this nicely centered page zoom a lot, many hours a day, every day, on many different web sites. I don’t have to scroll horizonatlly because of the way Opera does the zoom.

    There are tons of sites that have the “let’s only use 1/2 to 2/3 of the width of the screen” appearance on a 1024 by 768 screen. Practically everyone gets presbyopia. Thus there’s a big potential userbase for properly centered page zoom. Only people who’ve used Opera’s would know how nice it is.

    I’ve tried image zoom extensions, they are of very little use to me.

  9. I had a look at Beta 3v3 for Mac OS X and ‘stumbled’ on to the Page Zoom by using the Cmd +/-, figuring I’d just bump up the text a little. I was amazed to see the WHOLE page beautifully enlarge. I kept going up and the resolution held fine. All I can say is I was humbled. As a non-IE7 user, I had never seen that before. Hear about it, that’s all.

    Just my 2¢ worth, but why not a set of scroll arrows in the toolbar? Or simply a magnifying glass with a ‘+’ to the left and a ‘-‘ t the right? The tool tip could simply say: “enlarge complete page” “Reduce complete page”.

    Personally, I can’t wait for the finished version of 3. It ran so smooth in 10.4.9 Tiger I could have sworn I was using a finished product. Kudos, all!

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