MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a weekly feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers. We welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your own suggestions in the comments.

Topher Kessler MacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Topher Kessler
3 min read

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer e-mailed questions from our readers. This week we have questions on enlarging an application's graphical interface elements, zooming keyboard shortcuts not working, increasing Mail font sizes, and recovering a missing System Preferences application. We continually answer e-mail questions, and though we present a few answers here, we certainly welcome alternative approaches and views from readers and encourage you to post your suggestions in the comments.

Question: Enlarging appliction's graphical interface elements

MacFixIt reader Bill asks:

I am a new convert [to] Apple on a new macbook pro and while I can use command/+ to enlarge contents, I have not found a way to enlarge the actual application graphics, menus, icons address fields, etc. If you know a way these 50 + year old eyes would enjoy!


Try using the OS X screen zooming feature, but press Option-Command-8 to enable the zoom feature, and then use Option-Command-plus or Option-Command-minus to increase or decrease the zoom level. In addition, one option is to use a lower resolution for your display, which will increase the size of everything on your screen, since each pixel will be rendered larger; however, this does have the drawback of reducing the effective size of your display and can cause slight unevenness and blurriness in the display.

Question: Zooming tip not working

MacFixIt reader Sergio asks:

Regarding the Zooming tip (creating a keyboard shortcut to zoom windows), it didn't work with me, even in Safari which has the zooming option under Windows menu. I pressed Save, of course and rebooted the machine. I have an iMac11,3 (core i5 processor), running OS X 10.6.7. Any suggestion?


The Zoom menu item name in the shortcut needs to be exactly as it is in the menu, and the shortcut used needs to be unique. If it's at all duplicated or if you added an extra space or other character when typing "Zoom," then it could cause it to not work.

(We later found that Sergio was using a Portugese localization in OS X, so the Zoom feature was called "Ampliar/Reduzir"--be sure you use the spelling for whatever language you have OS X set to)

Question: Increasing e-mail font size in Mail

MacFixIt reader hywyman asks:

How do I increase font size in the e-mail I read?


In Mail you just need to press Command-plus or Command-minus to change the font size. You can also set the default font size in the Fonts & Colors section of Mail's preferences.

Question: System Preferences gone???

MacFixIt reader Lucille asks:

I accidentally deleted System Preferences. How can I reinstall or download it?


Did you just remove the preferences from the Dock, or did you delete it from the applications folder? Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences, and if it launches, then right-click its icon in the Dock and choose the option to keep it in the dock.

If you did remove the program itself from the applications folder? Do you have your system backed up with Time Machine? If so, then you can use that to restore the preferences by going to your Applications folder, invoking Time Machine from the system menu bar, and then navigating back in time until you see the System Preferences application available. Select it and click the "Restore" button, and the system should copy it back for you.

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