Windows Magnification features

Online education has many advantages for students with disabilities by allowing these students access to digital format materials remotely and attending classes at a flexible time. While printed textbooks are still popular, the world of education is becoming more digital every day. When you visit your local library, you will find fewer printed books on the shelves but see more computers so that people can access a larger distribution of digital eBooks or internet information. Additionally most libraries make digital materials available to check out from home.

However, persons with disabilities and elderly face challenges in using computers. So this year I will focus on finding options on how people with disabilities and elderly can use the computer and mobile devices easier.

Today, I will discuss magnification option (one of the Ease of Access features) on Microsoft Windows system (Commercial magnification software is excluded in this blog). There are a few ways to increase magnifications and many instructions are available for Windows, but the following steps can be used as a quick reference on both Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 computers. You may need someone’s help initially. If you still have a Windows XP computer, please let me know and I will find the information.

Magnify, fonts, and File Explore.
Windows 10 (Home):
Once you log on your Windows 10 computer,
Press Windows logo key and U.
This will bring up the Ease of Access Windows settings.
Under Display, Make text bigger, drag the slider until the sample text is easy to read.
To make everything bigger, change the magnification percentage.

Make everything bigger

Windows 8.1 (Pro):
On the desktop, Right click. Then you will see the pop-up shown below.
Right click, Screen resolution.

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Screen resolution

Click ‘Make text and other items larger or smaller’.

Make text and other items larger or smaller

This will bring up ‘Display’ option where you can change the magnification level.

Magnification level (percent)

If you want to change only the fonts (Text) size, use the ‘Change only the text size’ option. As you see, the menu in the MS Word is enlarged.

Change only text size

Additionally, Microsoft Windows offers a ‘Magnifier’ .

Using Magnifier
Windows 10 (Home):
Windows key and U brings the Setting of Ease of Access.
Click Magnifier.
By clicking ‘Turn on Magnifier’ on, the pop-up magnifier.

Then you can use a few keystroke combinations to control the magnification level.

Windows logo key and + (plus key) to enlarge (Zoom in).
Windows logo key and – (minus key) to reduce the magnification (Zoom out).
Press and hold Ctrl and Alt key and rotate the wheel on your computer mouse to zoom in and out.
You can change the increments so that you can control magnifying gradually or you can set once you find out your prefer magnification level.

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Change Zoom increments
Start Magnifier automatically after sign-in

You can use Magnifier in three different views: full screen, lens, or docked.

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different Magnification options

Windows 8.1 *(Pro)
Press Windows logo key and U, and follow the instructions in the Windows 10.

Start Magnifier

Google Chrome
When you are using Google Chrome browser, you can use the following combinations to adjust the magnification.

Ctrl and + (plus key) to magnify (Zoom in)
Ctrl and – (minus key) to Zoom out
Ctrl 0 (zero) to reset go back to 100%

Note: If you use Ctrl key and +, it only magnify within Chrome, but Windows key and + will magnify everything on the desktop.

Use a TV screen as a monitor
Another option is to use a large screen TV to be used as a computer monitor by using your computer’s HDMI or Displayport. All laptops should be able to hook up an additional monitor, but if you are using a desktop computer, you may need install an additional video card for driving a second monitor.

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