Apple has just released the latest itereation of its web browser, Safari, for Mac and Windows. As well as Apple may play with screen readers, I have not been a fan of Apple software from a readability perspective. I have found the fonts tiny (both on web pages and in the program itself) and the color scheme unfriendly. Safari has had a limited zoom function.
The new version is a giant leap from the last on readability. Besides improvements in screen reader support, ARIA support and keyboard navigation, Safari has introduced both full page and and text zoom as well as minimum font sizes. You can apply your own CSS (style sheets), though I fave not figured out where to get ones designed for accessibility. Even the font used for Sarfari’s menus is bigger, except in a few isolated spots.
Full-Page Zoom: Zoom in or out on web content using keyboard shortcuts, Multi-Touch gestures, or the Zoom toolbar button for more comfortable reading. Images and graphics scale up while your text remains razor sharp, keeping the web page layout consistent as you zoom.
Zoom Text Only: You can choose to zoom in on only the text when you take a closer look at a web page.
Custom Style Sheets: Apply custom style sheets — that you download or create yourself — that set default fonts, font sizes, colors, and contrast, making your favorite websites more readable.
Minimum Font Size: If you find that text on some websites is too small to read (such as photo captions or fine print) Safari can increase the font size to make it more legible. Just set the minimum font size in the Advanced pane of Safari.
To add the Zoom button to your toolbar, simply choose Customize toolbar from the View menu and drag the button onto your toolbar.
For better or worse, Firefox, with its wealth of plug-ins, has these features and more, as I blogged about in Access the Web. For most of my browsing needs, I will stick with Firefox. It is nice see some competition, though, and to have a decent alternative.
You can download Safari here.If you find this post useful or interesting, please consider buying me a cup of coffee.