How do you change the text size for the GLOBAL MENUS in MATHEMATICA 12?

I am NOT talking about anything INSIDE the notebook (this has been asked and answered many times).

I am talking about the "Welcome to Wolfram Mathematica" box that pops up when you start Mathematica via menu/desktop icon, and the menu bar at the top of notebooks, and the dropdown menus within the notebook with options like "Simplify" and "Send Suggestion Bar Feedback", etc. I'm talking about everything that isn't affected at all when you change the "Magnification" option.

This was asked but not correctly answered here:

How to increase the font size used in Mathematica menus

Changing the menu font size?

Run Mathematica with on a 4K screen without distorting menubars or images in linux?

One answer in the above links say that it should inherit the OS settings, but this is not true for my OS (REDHAT), as seen from the following image with everything on the screen adjusted to an appropriate size except for the front end Mathematica text in question.

screenshot showing text size disparity

Another answer says to try launching from the terminal with the command


which apparently worked for the post author running Fedora, but in my case this causes the logo to come up distorted and then the program crashes.

The last post has an answer that says that SetOptions[$FrontEndSession, FontProperties -> {"ScreenResolution" -> 144}] will change the help menus and the options menu under an evaluated expression, but that's just plain wrong.

I have tried SetOptions[$FrontEnd, FontSize->X], and regardless of the value of X, I see no effect ANYWHERE. I can use SetOptions to successfully change other options, and maybe I'm successfully changing the FontSize option of $FrontEnd, but whatever that does, it's not changing any perceptible font sizes. In order to get the notebook content to the right font size I increased the magnification globally, but this didn't effect the menu text. I've also looked through every single option in Format -> Option Inspector and I've tried changing every one that has anything to do with a font size, but none of them have had any effect. The one thing other than "Magnification" that does effect the font size is "ScreenResolution", but again this only affects the font size in the notebook itself but not in the menus.

It seems ridiculous that changing the menu text sizes would not be a simple formatting option. Has Mathematica really allowed such a lazy software inadequacy to persist over 12 versions?

Here are Wolfram's own closest support pages, which do not address the issue:



Here are a bunch of answers regarding how to change stuff inside the notebook (stylesheets, magnification, etc.), and none of them have any effect on the menus:

Set default font for Output

How do I set the fonts for Input and Output in my stylesheet?

Keeping Text Size the Same Throughout Entire Notebook File

How do I change my font size to 18 points globally?

Change font for the whole notebook

Fontsize is too small

  • $\begingroup$ This works (with additional side effects) which could be bearable. In general this discussion is helpful suggesting several methods. $\endgroup$
    – ipap
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ @ipap none of the fixes in that discussion worked for me, although the one where you create a style sheet as a .nb in a GUI did fix SOME of the menu fonts. the menu text at the top of the notebook seems to be an immutable axiom of the mathematica UI $\endgroup$
    – Mary O
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


I've got the same problem (mathematica 12, Linux Mint Mate 20) without any solution. Just now I installed version 12.1.1 and the method with file ~.Mathematica/FrontEnd/frontend.css is working now! Content of this file: * { font-size:16pt; font-family:"Griffy"; }

  • $\begingroup$ I thought that they changed something in 12.1.1 and now the problem is solved for me. I agree that it is better to make this as reply, but not a solution. Nevertheless, I hope that my reply will help for somebody. $\endgroup$
    – nail
    Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 19:47

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