A year after its release on Windows, Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux finally see a public beta release. The OS X builds have one rough edge, though: it lacks an option in the UI for specifying a preferred font and preferred font-size. On all OS, Chrome also lacks an option to specify a minimum font-size, something absolutely vital for my aging eyes.

Luckily, a work around for the minimum font-size issue (an open bug) is documented. On OS X, the file to edit is ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Preferences, on Linux the patch is: ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/Preferences. Replace ‘google-chrome’ or ‘Google/Chrome’ with ‘chromium’ if you prefer the nightly builds. OS X users can also specify a preferred font (and font-size) in the same file. That work-around is of course quite user unfriendly… Here is hoping that the Chrome team will put some more resources into this.

Here is what I have specified on my side, matching my settings in my default browser, Camino and Safari.

"webkit": {
      "webprefs": {
         "default_fixed_font_size": 13,
         "default_font_size": 16,
         "fixed_font_family": "Menlo",
         "minimum_font_size": 12,
         "minimum_logical_font_size": 12,
         "sansserif_font_family": "Helvetica Neue",
         "serif_font_family": "Times",
         "standard_font_is_serif": false

Search for "webkit" in the file, if it doesn’t exist, add the block near the end of the file. The file uses xml-like syntax, and is thus very sensitive to errors. I’ve uploaded a sample file. Needless to say, quit Chrome before editing that file, and make a back up before proceeding.