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Is it possible it increase the font size when using lookup functionality after performing a three finger tap on a word?

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I've tried changing the standard text size item in ~/Library/Preferences/ but this has no effect :( – gentmatt Jul 26 '12 at 10:25
See my asnwer.. – 1'' Jul 31 '15 at 8:01

I cannot find a way to do this automatically, I have tried within for example Safari to zoom in/out whilst the popup was present, and it ignores it, which makes sense as it's a system wide feature. But I have found a possible alternative/workaround:

The best method for doing this is to enable the zoom functionality within System Preferences

The following screenshot shows my settings, and I have circled the changes from default that I had to make:

enter image description here

Now, if I want to zoom into anything on screen to make it larger, be it the lookup popup or anything else, I just center the mouse over what I want to look at, hold down Control, and scroll to adjust the zoom level. I get a little rectangle which I can move around with the mouse/trackpad etc. To get back to normal, just zoom back out fully. The following screenshot shows the rectangle, but because of what I can only assume to be an odd screen drawing routine the zoomed content is not shown in the screenshot - rest assured that when you try this, the rectangle will show zoomed contents of whatever is currently underneath it.

enter image description here

Oddly, by accident, I also just discovered that pressing Control+Alt/Option it immediately zooms into a preset level which I can then amend with my normal zoom approach (gesture, mousewheel, etc), but if you do not ammend the zoom then just letting go of the keys removes the zoon rectangle, so for a quick peak holding those 2 keys, then letting go is pretty quick.

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Thanks, I tried it and it works pretty nicely. :) – Anonymous Jul 26 '12 at 18:32

You can change it by modifying the /Library/Dictionaries/YourDefaultDictionary/Contents/DefaultStyle.css file.

You must change the part related to the html.apple_client-panel.

  1. Open the file with TextEdit or any other editor.
  2. Look for html.apple_client-panel body.

There you'll find this:

html.apple_client-panel body {
font-size: 14px;

This is the definition's font size.

If you want to change the size of all the fonts, you'll have to play around with the rest of the html.apple_client-panel related stuff.

When modifying the file, you'll be prompted to duplicate the document, as it is protected. Change it, save it, change (if necessary) its file format to .css, and just replace it inside the dictionary's package. This will require admin privileges, of course.

Note: Make sure you're editing the DefaultStyle.css file inside your defaults Dictionary package. Remember, too, to reopen the Application were you're testing this, or the changes won't be noticeable.

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Please show us how to do this. ;) – gentmatt Jul 26 '12 at 10:46
I don't have ~/Library/Dictionaries directory. – Anonymous Jul 26 '12 at 10:48
Sorry, it is in /Library/Dictionaries/ – Thecafremo Jul 26 '12 at 10:50
I only have /Library/Dictionaries/New Oxford American Dictionary.dictionary/ and it doesn't have any files in it, only one dir named Contents. – Anonymous Jul 26 '12 at 10:56
Grrr... I got wrong the path. I'll edit it, again. – Thecafremo Jul 26 '12 at 10:59

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