Increase/decrease font size


Hi all, folks.

As a relatively new one in the Atom community, I have the opportunity to see things the experienced gurus no longer see. I will write you here about one of them.

Atom is a very good editor, it is used by more and more users. I don’t suppose everyone is 20~30 years old geek with hawk-eye vision, there are certainly middle and advanced age people, some of them with visual problems. There is definitely one such person - me (age 65, 4 D on each eye).

I know that any aspect of the user interface can be customized, but why, the hell, should I look for each package separately, which information and which class I have to write to my styles.less file to increase font size?

Yes, there are “Increase/decrease font size” items in View menu, but it acts only to editor tabs (where Ctrl+mouse roll is quicker)

I have three suggestions:

Add the item “Minimum GUI font size” to the global settings, and the new packages must respect this option (older packages should include this in the next update)

Each new package must in its settings contain a “GUI font size” entry (again, older packages should include this in the next update). Disobedience is punishable by shooting :wink:

Add these two rules to package authors’ manual.

Just my 5 cents.

Have a nice day :slight_smile:

PS. Searching “font size of this or that” - 50+ results at Atom Discuss, searching >atom editor “font size”< on Google 320.000 results (I know, most of them non pertinent)

PPS. For opening file click on Open file menu item, for find smth in project click on Find in project menu item, and so on. For open Settings tab click on Preferences menu item. :roll_eyes: Reminds me famous “For stop computer click on button Start”


There are no hard restrictions on how packages can be designed, so there isn’t an existing set of rules to add to. It would take a lot of effort to get the hundreds or thousands of packages that implement GUI elements to comply with this. It would be much easier to take control of the styling yourself. If you add this to styles.less, you can easily increase the font size of every bit of text that isn’t in an editor:

body {
  font-size: 120%;

You can then override it for selectors targeting specific types of text that you don’t want as big, like atom-text-editor[mini].

It’s File -> Settings on Windows and Linux. Mac has the Preferences menu item because it’s traditional for Mac programs to have it called Preferences. If this bothers you, I can tell you how to change it. Atom is hackable enough to do that.


I was afraid of such answer, even if I expected it. Why do we make things better if everyone can do it for themselves? And moreover at the suggestion of someone else. NIH is a very strong counter-motivation. Correct me, if I’m wrong.

I was just amused by the inconsistencies in pairs “action / menu item”: “opening file / File open”, “finding in project / Find in project”, … “opening Settings tab / Preferences” Clicking at Preferences menu item I expected opening of tab named Preferences, Forget it, it was just a joking side note, nothing more.

No, wait a moment, now I remembered it. Red somewhere in the manual you can set this and that up on Settings page and it took me 2-3 minutes before I realized that really there is no Settings menu item and I must click on Preferences. Bagatelle, but it a little bit upset me. One of my favorite sayings: Perfection is not a trifle but is made of a thousands of trifles.



There are many communities that develop rigid cultures in order to cultivate high-quality experiences. I find the opinionated norms of the Python community to be comforting, because I never see Python code that makes me wince when trying to read it. That’s not the culture here. You’d have to get a critical mass of the devs and community to agree with you in order to get this implemented, and from a utilitarian perspective, it sounds like a lot of expense for a goal that could be achieved on an individual basis per person in a much shorter time (minutes, instead of months).


Hi Scholar,
you are absolutely right, I see your point of view. Benevolent bazaar is a very pleasant place to cooperate but
the result is often just a bunch of incompatible pieces. In my mother tongue (CZ) they are called “DoDo products”.
(DoDo is an abbreviation of “dodělej doma” ie. finish it yourself at home. IKEA like products). BTW with this
I don’t want to say the products of the cathedral are better :wink:

But I don’t complain about it, I follow the open source SW principle: “Are you not satisfied? Ask for money back.
How much did it cost you? Nothing? So here is nothing to complain about! Moreover, no one orders you to use it”
Rude? Maybe. Truthful? Sure!



There are many incompatible pieces in the package ecosystem here, but some compatible ones, too. Packages like linter and autocomplete-plus have support from a bunch of packages from different authors, and many packages expose commands (particularly process-palette) that are accessible from anywhere within Atom. Most of the people in this community have been around open source for a while, and there have been decisions made where the most collaboration-friendly option was chosen.

But I don’t complain about it, I follow the open source SW principle: “Are you not satisfied? Ask for money back.
How much did it cost you? Nothing? So here is nothing to complain about! Moreover, no one orders you to use it”

For Atom, there’s also usually a solution that would go at least partway to resolving the complaint. Many threads on here have been resolved by myself or someone else whipping up a bit of CoffeeScript or CSS to manipulate part of the editor that the questioner didn’t think could be changed.