Tools Provide a Site For Sore Eyes

User-friendly features bring things into focus

By Traci Purdum, Senior Digital Editor

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I’ve been dealing with a disturbing affliction — it appears that my arms are getting shorter. I usually notice it when I’m reading a book or a menu. I used to be able to hold the menu at arm's length and see things very clearly. Lately, my arms aren't long enough to bring the words into focus.

Certain that my arms aren't really shrinking, the next logical explanation is a conspiracy by booksellers and menu manufacturers who are in cahoots with the makers of magnifying glasses and the dreaded old-lady readers. I examined the font size of said menus and books certain I'd find 10-point type in place of my preferred and easily viewed 12-point type. I didn’t find the smoking gun.

I finally made an appointment with my eye doctor after I had trouble seeing the words on ChemicalProcessing.com. I am the keeper of the font size and know for a fact I haven’t made the type size smaller. As it turns out, I need bifocals.

Until my bifocals arrive (along with my application for membership in AARP, I'm sure), I’ve been using the handy-dandy tool on ChemicalProcessing.com to increase the font size in articles. It takes the copy from 10.5 point to 13.5 point with a few clicks of the mouse. I liken this feature to the Reader's Digest large-print editions.

I have been using the handy-dandy tool on ChemicalProcessing.com to increase the font size in articles.

The "Text size" tool is located at the top of the article (right side) and has "-" and "+" buttons. Click "+" once and you go to 12-point type, twice to get 13.5-point type.

Also useful for folks like me who have trouble seeing in-depth graphics is the "enlarge" tool that accompanies certain photos, charts and illustrations on the Web site. The tool appears in the left corner of the graphic and is accompanied by a magnifying glass icon. Only graphics that have detailed information feature this tool.

A few other useful tools on the site don't enlarge anything, but they do make life easier. One is the "Related Content You May Like" box that’s located in the top right corner of the page. These selections are hand-picked by the editorial team with the goal of helping visitors become better educated on the topic they are currently reading.

Another cool feature is the "Share" button that appears at the top and bottom of each article. This button expands to expose more than 50 social networking arenas — including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, and Technorati — to post content. If you want to post one of ChemicalProcessing.com's articles to your Facebook page, all you need to do is click on the Facebook icon and the tool does the rest of the work for you.

I hope you find the tools useful — I know they've made a world of difference for me.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor. You can e-mail her at tpurdum@putman.net.
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