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Ever since Windows 7 I've found my desktop's mouse has the magical ability to zoom the font used within most apps if I hold CTRL while rotating the mouse wheel.

Is there a way I can implement this magic on a laptop that using a pressure pad instead of a mouse?

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Did you check the mouse settings in the control panel? Interestingly, a Google search shows more people wanting to disable this feature than the opposite. – boot13 Aug 14 '10 at 14:32
    
:awaits a correlation twixt searcher's ages and that Boolean. – justSteve Aug 14 '10 at 15:19
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Try Ctrl + '+' and Ctrl + '-'.

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Ctrl + wheel to scroll has worked for about ten years or more in many apps including MS Office and several browsers (certainly IE and Firefox, I think). Certainly on XP, possibly older Windows versions too (although wheel mice were much more a speciality item back then).

Office 2007 and 2010 suite has a zoom bar in the bottom right corner that you can use to zoom if you have no wheel - slide the slider or click the +/- buttons.

IE and Firefox both use Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to zoom in (larger) and out, and Ctrl-0 (zero) to reset. In fact, they also use Ctrl= (which is the key where + is written too, but strictly this would be Ctrl-Shift-= to get Ctrl+).

Opera does not recognise Ctrl= nor Ctrl-Shift-=, you can only use Ctrl-[numeric keypad]+. Ctrl- and Ctrl-0 are fine though.

Most recent trackpads have a scroll zone on the right and sometimes also the bottom of the pad, often marked with a series of short parallel lines. Sliding your finger in this zone will be interpreted as a scroll, if you configure this correclty (usually the default but if you have rebuilt a laptop from a plain vanilla Windows 7 install you may not have manufacturer-specific drivers or utilities unless you install them)

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I you have a Synaptics touchpad on your laptop, you can enable multitouch gestures, where you can pinch two fingers to zoom in, like on an iPhone, by using this modified driver.

I think the reason that it is normally disabled must be because Apple own the patent on this, and Synaptics have not licenced its use.

I've not used it myself, as I use ThinkPad X-series ultracompact notebooks, which have no trackpad.

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