Screen Magnifier Software
This article covers both free and third-party AT solutions.
Try it yourself:
Windows XP: Go to "Start", "All Programs", "Accessories", "Accessibility", "Magnifier". The top of the screen will show a magnified view of where the mouse is or where you are typing. Experiment with settings like "Magnification level" and "Invert colors". Click on "Exit" to close the Magnifier.
Windows Vista and 7: Go to "Start", "All Programs", "Accessories", "Ease of Access", "Magnifier". Here's a video of the Windows 7 built-in magnifier.
Macintosh OS X: Go to "Apple menu", "System Preferences", "Universal Access", "Seeing", "Turn Zoom On (or Turn Zoom Off)".
- ZoomText and ZoomText Express (Windows)
- MAGic (Windows)
- WinZoom (Windows)
- SuperNova (Windows)
- VisioVoice (Macintosh)
A demonstration version of commercial magnifier software is usually available, so that you can test it for appropriateness and system compatibility.
There are hardware magnifying glasses that fit over a monitor, but these may cause distortion and cannot be adjusted to meet specific user needs.
Magnification software generally does not work well with anything that is animated, such as video games and videos. Magnification makes some graphics look blurry, so it's not ideal for enlarging pictures, including pictures that contain text.