Having Trouble Reading Small Print? Use Your Phone?

It’s frustrating and potentially embarrassing to not be able to focus on small print or small details. If you have reading glasses you may be fine, but what if you don’t have your glasses handy or if things are too small to see even with them on?


Perhaps you can get some help from your smart phone. Here are some ways you can harness the technology you are carrying in your pocket or purse to read that ingredient list or serial number.


These tips are specific to Apple iPhones and iPads but may be applicable to similar functions and applications for Android phones.


  1. Use the camera function. Simply zoom in on what you need to see or snap a picture of it and zoom that up as much as you need.


  1. Use the flashlight function. Sometimes all you need is a bit more light to see small print. (Be careful if downloading a flashlight app as many of the more popular flashlight apps contain malware)


  1. Take advantage of Siri. With practice you can become proficient on using the voice recognition function on your phone to find addresses, get directions, look up phone numbers, etc.


  1. Enable the Zoom function. The Zoom function allows you to quickly magnify text on your phone with a double or triple tap. This function is easily enabled under Settings/General/Accessibility. You don’t want to leave the Zoom function “on” at all times as it makes some phone functions unobtainable while it is active. If you accidentally hit Zoom you may wonder why your phone seems to be frozen.


  1. Experiment with some of the other vision related Accessibility functions on the phone. The VoiceOver function will read highlighted text aloud but it has a bit of a learning curve as the tapping commands are different than the one’s normally used on a phone or computer.