Mobile Safari is the most popular smartphone and tablet browser in the world, but it still has a long way to go before anyone can rightly call it feature rich. While whether or not that’s by design is up for debate, the app’s glaring shortcomings are not. Tabs, introduced last year with the launch of iOS 5, solved the most longstanding ease-of-use issue, but other hurdles remain. Paramount among these, of course, is Mobile Safari’s lack of adjustable font sizes.

With this simple workaround hack, however, that’s thankfully and conveniently no longer the case. Our friends at OS X Daily explain:

1. Open Safari on iPad or iPhone and create a bookmark for any page.
2. Tap the Bookmarks button at the top of the screen and choose “Edit.”
3. Edit the newly created bookmark, naming it either a minus (-) or plus (+) symbol and replace the URL by pasting in the appropriate javascript code shown below, depending on the desired function
4. Save the bookmark change and load a new web page, tap on the + or – buttons to test font size changes live. Refreshing the page restores the font size to it’s default.

Decrease Font Size (-)

Increase Font Size (+)

That’s all there is to it, and the “feature” works like a charm. Better yet, it’s scalable, so tapping the bookmarklet for increasing the font two times will make the text that much bigger, and vice versa. (Note: This trick seems to work off a fixed 12-point font size, so if a site’s content is larger by default, tapping the “increase” shortcut may initially make the font smaller — Simply tap it again to make it bigger.)

Regular font size.

Smaller font size.

Larger font size.

Just make sure you have “Always Show Bookmarks Bar” set to “on” in Settings. Also, it’s probably a good idea to name these bookmarklets something more substantial than the suggested plus and minus. Otherwise, they can be pretty hard to hit.

And a shortcut’s no good if it takes forever.

[Via iDownloadBlog]