Customising web pages

There are a number of ways in which a web page can be customised in order to make it easier to read and easier to see.

These customisation techniques may be employed on most modern browsers, however the implementation of the techniques for different browsers may vary. Here we provide details on how to change text size and how to change text colours as well as how to change the page colours. We also explain how to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to change the appearance of a web site.

Changing font sizes

Most web browsers now allow you to increase or decrease the size of text (and images) by using:

  1. Press Ctrl and + to zoom in.
  2. Press Ctrl and – to zoom out.

Changing text and page colours

Both the text colours and page colours can be changed in many browsers. The W3C website provides a information on how to change colours.

Using CSS

The entire look of a web site can be changed using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS allow the style of a web site to be separated from the structure (Html). All accessible pages use CSS, including this one.

Here we describe how to use a custom CSS. A custom CSS, for example, can replace a site’s CSS to provide high contrast text and background colours which may be easier to read.

Internet Explorer

To use a custom CSS (it is assumed that you have created one) follow these steps:

  1. Open the Tools menu with the mouse or press Alt + T.
  2. Click on the Internet Options option or press Alt + O.
  3. Click on the Accessibility option as the bottom or press Alt + E.
  4. Tick the box next to Format documents using my style sheet or use to Tab key to navigate to the box and the Space key to tick it.
  5. Enter the path to your CSS in the box under Style sheet:
  6. You can browse for a CSS by clicking on the Browse button or by using Alt + B.
  7. Once the file has been selected click on the OK button or use the Tab key to select the OK button and then press Enter.
  8. Click on OK or use the Tab key to select OK and then press Enter to continue browsing with the new CSS.


In Firefox it is possible to turn off the page style sheet, which can make the page easier to read. In order to do this use the following steps:

  1. Click on the View menu item or press Alt + V.
  2. Click on Page Style or press Y.
  3. In the Page Style menu click on No Style or press N.
  4. The page is now displayed with no style.
Note that if the page does not use CSS, you will not notice any change in the page style. You can still use techniques above to change colours and text size.
For more useful information on web site accessibility visit the W3C’s web accessibility initiative pages. These pages provide in depth information on the many techniques that can be utilised to improve web site accessibility.