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Make Text and Images Easier to Read with the Windows 7 Magnifier

Do you have impaired vision or find it difficult to read small print on your computer screen? Today, we’ll take a closer look at how to magnify that hard to read content with the Magnifier in Windows 7.

Magnifier was available in previous versions of Windows, but the Windows 7 version comes with some notable improvements. There are now three screen modes in Magnifier. Full Screen and Lens mode, however, require Windows Aero to be enabled. If your computer doesn’t support Aero, or if you’re not using am Aero theme, Magnifier will only work in Docked mode.

Using Magnifier in Windows 7

You can find the Magnifier by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > Magnifier.

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Alternately, you can type magnifier into the Search box in the Start Menu and hit Enter.

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On the Magnifier toolbar, choose your View mode by clicking Views and choosing from the available options. Clicking the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons will zoom in or zoom out.

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You can change the zoom in/out percentage by adjusting the slider bar. You can also enable color inversion and select tracking options. Click OK when finished to save your settings.

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After a brief period, the Magnifier Toolbar will switch to a magnifying glass icon. Simply click the magnifying glass to display the Magnifier Toolbar again.

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Docked Mode

In Docked mode, a portion of the screen is magnified and docked at the top of the screen. The rest of your desktop will remain in it’s normal state. You can then control which area of the screen is magnified by moving your mouse.

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Full Screen Mode

This magnifies your entire screen and follows your mouse as you move it around. If you loose track of where you are on the screen, use the Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar shortcut to preview where your mouse pointer is on the screen.

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Lens Mode

The Lens screen mode is similar to holding a magnifying glass up to your screen. Full screen mode magnifies the area around the mouse. The magnified area moves around the screen with your mouse.

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 Shortcut Keys

  • Windows key + (+) to zoom in
  • Windows key + (-) to zoom out
  • Windows key + ESC to exit
  • Ctrl + Alt + F – Full screen mode
  • Ctrl + Alt + L – Lens mode
  • Ctrl + Alt + D – Dock mode
  • Ctrl + Alt + R – Resize the lens
  • Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar – Preview full screen

Conclusion

Windows Magnifier is a nice little tool if you have impaired vision or just need to make items on the screen easier to read.

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 06/15/10

Comments (2)

  1. Rick Castellini

    Wow, excellent tip. I hadn’t explored this yet thinking there was no improvement, but was very pleasantly surprised! I used to use a third part magnifying lens called Torian Screen Magnifier. It worked well, but this does also and is included in the OS.

  2. R. Adam Quigley

    I was really impressed with Win 7’s version. It did not eat all the memory like earlier versions seemed to do and freeze up. The ability to change the type of magnifier is great also. I have an impairment due to MS and being able to change to different mags for many programs helps a lot.

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