Open Bug 1782287 Opened 6 months ago Updated 1 month ago

Consider exposing OS zoom behavior in about:preferences (or restore the Windows default perhaps)

Categories

(Firefox :: Settings UI, enhancement)

enhancement

Tracking

()

People

(Reporter: emilio, Unassigned)

References

Details

(Keywords: access, Whiteboard: [access-s4] [fidefe-Quality-Foundation])

Attachments

(1 file)

Bug 1773342 has gotten a bit of attention from users in SUMO / etc.

The situation as I understand it is:

  • Firefox now respects the Windows' "Make Text Bigger" accessibility setting like it did on Linux, and like other browsers (Chrome / Edge) do on Windows, by changing what a CSS pixel means to websites and the browser UI.
  • Before bug 1773342, Windows' text scale factor affected some fonts (Windows system fonts) but not others (~everything else, like websites).
  • After bug 1773342 and related:
    • ui.textScaleFactor=100 is the real way to revert to the previous behavior exactly (but that causes the inconsistent scaling mentioned above).
    • browser.display.os-zoom-behavior=0 is the real way to ignore the setting (it'd effectively shrink the Windows system fonts a little compared to pre-103 behavior).
    • browser.display.os-zoom-behavior=2 scales all fonts (but not the size of a CSS pixel). That's effectively the behavior of "Zoom text only" feature, applied globally.

Some users don't like the new default, which prompts the obvious questions:

  1. Should the default be changed to ignoring this setting?
  2. Should the options to configure this be exposed in the UI?

I personally think the answer to (1) should probably be "no", given it's a more consistent and accessible default, and matches both other browsers and other platforms with the same feature.

But maybe the answer to (2) should be "yes"? I think that should be reasonably easy to implement, and would allow us to point to users that don't like this to somewhere that isn't about:config.

cc'ing some folks that might have opinions on this.

Thanks for filing and for the description. I think I understand the moving parts here but it'd be very helpful to get some screenshots of the various configurations here (permutations with Make Text Bigger toggled along with each of the prefs changed).

Based on your description I agree that we'd want to expose browser.display.os-zoom-behavior (and not ui.textScaleFactor) as a preference since some users are accustomed to (or prefer) the old behavior. I also agree we should keep the new default value as that means we are aligning with OS conventions (including Edge's behavior) for this system setting. But we should get some product input on defaults and also on any relevant about:preferences changes as well.

See Also: → 1773633

Comment 2 shows the different behaviors.

  • Pre-103 behavior is bottom left (UI fonts scale, rest of the UI and sites do not)
  • Current behavior is top center (everything scales).
  • Top left ignores the setting.
  • Top right makes the setting work only for text.
  • Chrome and Edge behave like current Firefox (top center).

Can we have a simple "UI Scaling" selector similar to the current Default (content) Zoom selector and pair them up on the Settings page?

Separately, is it possible to quickly add a scaling ceiling/failsafe that prevents the UI from becoming unusably large? I'm not sure what is unusable from the average person's perspective, but when someone tells us their toolbars use more than a third of the height of the screen, that sounds like an unintended consequence.

I'm pro "exposing this via preferences UI" -- our "Zoom" section is really sparse anyway; We've got the space.

Keywords: access
Whiteboard: [access-s4]

This appears to be related to the following discussion on the Mozilla Connect forum. The change in FF 103 regarding how it works with the windows DPI and text size settings has created a huge mess. Users are not happy! Adding the setting for ui.textScaleFactor to about:config and using a number of 100 seems to have worked for many of us, but the point is we should not have needed to add this setting in the first place. Some users have reverted to FF 102 and some say they are switching to a different browser. This is something which desperately needs to be fixed! https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/windows-quot-make-text-bigger-quot-accessibility-setting/td-p/10639

I support doing away with this change. Firefox was working fine previously. Remember the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Adding the ui.textScaleFactor with a value of 100 was the only way to get my web pages back to normal. If you do not reverse this change, the ui.textScaleFactor needs to be included as a setting. Changing the value of browser.display.os-zoom-behavior helped on some web pages but not others. It was an imperfect solution.

Just an heads up. Support.mozilla.org question forum for Desktop has received at least 71 questions specific to this since the V103 release.

You can review them on the site by going to https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/#search > login > then in the search field paste "field:question_tag_ids: 5669".

Whiteboard: [access-s4] → [access-s4] [fidefe-Quality-Foundation]

(mirroring the accessibility severity to the bug severity)

The behavior that's used on operating system UI surfaces (such as the file explorer, and the settings app where this slider actually resides) appears to match our browser.display.os-zoom-behavior=2; text gets scaled up, but other things like icons do not. Given that, I guess it's not clear to me why we would select a default that behaves differently. Do we have specific reasons for thinking that the OS behavior is less good for users in some way? That's difficult for me to imagine given that display scaling also exists as a separate setting. So personally, it seems like the thing to do would be to follow the operating system and avoid adding another toggle to about:preferences (something that I don't think should be done lightly).

Severity: -- → S4

The behavior for the newer Windows operating systems is not ideal for people who cannot read tiny text on their laptop screens. On an older laptop, I had lowered my screen resolution so I could keep the text size ideal but not increase the size of the graphics so much. Even the, I had to carefully select a resolution which would work with the screen size. On my current laptop with Windows 10, that's not feasible. In order to make most text readable, I have my setting (formerly called DPI) set at 175%. A few things are a little larger than I need them, but the desktop icons, the text under those icons, the taskbar icons and text, and most other text is at a comfortable setting. Some of my installed programs have a graphic UI which is a little larger than it should be, and I have to "automatically hide the taskbar" when I use those programs - fortunately, I don't use them often. The text within those programs is still sometimes even a little small. When I use the Edge browser, the UI is larger than it needs to be and takes up more room at the top of the screen than necessary. Laptop screens are wide and short - we don't have a lot of room for a large vertical UI. When you made this change to Firefox, my browser was unusable and horrible! Zooming out helped some, but it was not an ideal layout. When I tried using "zoom text only," it would mess up the layout of the web pages because of the graphics on the pages. I had to make the changes in about:config to get my screen back to normal. Now I have a UI which is a reasonable size, and I can read the text on the screen. Just because Microsoft changes something, it doesn't mean that it's a positive change! I don't need a larger UI or a smaller text than what I have right now. Users need this setting; most people don't know how, and are not comfortable learning how, to change it in about:config.

(In reply to Emilio Cobos Álvarez (:emilio) from comment #0)

  • Before bug 1773342, Windows' text scale factor affected some fonts (Windows system fonts) but not others (~everything else, like websites).

Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? In particular, what are "Windows system fonts" and why were they treated differently? Comment 7 suggests that some websites were not fixed changing only the os-zoom-behavior pref, and I'm trying to understand if "Windows system fonts" means something along the lines of "Arial/Times New Roman as shipped with Windows", irrespective of how the website arrives at using those fonts, or "messagebox" CSS keywords that get resolved to a Windows font or similar, or something else still - and if websites had already catered to this in some way.

Flags: needinfo?(emilio)

(In reply to :Gijs (he/him) from comment #13)

(In reply to Emilio Cobos Álvarez (:emilio) from comment #0)

  • Before bug 1773342, Windows' text scale factor affected some fonts (Windows system fonts) but not others (~everything else, like websites).

Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? In particular, what are "Windows system fonts" and why were they treated differently?

I mean system fonts as in messagebox and so on. They were treated differently because Windows applied the text scale factor on its own when querying them. See this change, which undoes that scale factor.

Comment 7 suggests that some websites were not fixed changing only the os-zoom-behavior pref, and I'm trying to understand if "Windows system fonts" means something along the lines of "Arial/Times New Roman as shipped with Windows", irrespective of how the website arrives at using those fonts, or "messagebox" CSS keywords that get resolved to a Windows font or similar, or something else still - and if websites had already catered to this in some way.

No, as I said that was a specific quirk of windows system fonts, I don't think pages could realistically account for that (and system fonts are rather uncommon in web content to begin with).

I do not understand what "not fixed" means in terms of comment 7. What ui.textScaleFactor=100 does is effectively ignoring the windows setting altogether (in both browser UI and content). But since it also changes the scale we undo above it also "grows" system fonts, effectively restoring the old behavior. But web content should behave the same with os-zoom-behavior=0 as it does with ui.textScaleFactor=100.

Flags: needinfo?(emilio)

(In reply to Emilio Cobos Álvarez (:emilio) from comment #14)

(In reply to :Gijs (he/him) from comment #13)

(In reply to Emilio Cobos Álvarez (:emilio) from comment #0)

  • Before bug 1773342, Windows' text scale factor affected some fonts (Windows system fonts) but not others (~everything else, like websites).

Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? In particular, what are "Windows system fonts" and why were they treated differently?

I mean system fonts as in messagebox and so on. They were treated differently because Windows applied the text scale factor on its own when querying them. See this change, which undoes that scale factor.

Comment 7 suggests that some websites were not fixed changing only the os-zoom-behavior pref, and I'm trying to understand if "Windows system fonts" means something along the lines of "Arial/Times New Roman as shipped with Windows", irrespective of how the website arrives at using those fonts, or "messagebox" CSS keywords that get resolved to a Windows font or similar, or something else still - and if websites had already catered to this in some way.

No, as I said that was a specific quirk of windows system fonts, I don't think pages could realistically account for that (and system fonts are rather uncommon in web content to begin with).

I do not understand what "not fixed" means in terms of comment 7. What ui.textScaleFactor=100 does is effectively ignoring the windows setting altogether (in both browser UI and content). But since it also changes the scale we undo above it also "grows" system fonts, effectively restoring the old behavior. But web content should behave the same with os-zoom-behavior=0 as it does with ui.textScaleFactor=100.

I'm the author of Comment 7, but it's been so long ago that I don't remember what happened now, back when I tried changing browser.display.os-zoom-behavior; however, I assume it was related to pages with lots of graphics. There are some web pages which have text embedded in the graphics along with text in other areas of the page. I suggest you change ui.textScaleFactor back to the new default and use browser.display.os-zoom-behavior=0, with your laptop set at 175% DPI. Then try different web pages, such as Yahoo email (and change settings to "basic" mail), Facebook, Publishers Clearing House entry pages, and some shopping sites like Amazon and Woman Within. (I think I was also looking at a Hallmark Channel sweepstakes entry page around that time; I remember having trouble getting that page back to normal - I think the text was out of place with some things I tried.) Then compare it with how it looks with ui.textScaleFactor=100 and browser.display.os-zoom-behavior=1 (which I think is the default, after looking at my about:config again).

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