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It seems to me on Mac OS X it is possible to "zoom" (like a photocamera does) into a region of the screen.

It is handy for example to put at full monitor size a video which would otherwise be limited to be just into a small window (ie. embedded in a web page and not watchable standalone.), obviously losing some quality due to the "zoom".

Do you know of any tool or way to do the same thing on a Linux desktop (with Gnome as desktop manager if it is desktop manager dependent).

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 25 '09 at 13:25

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4 Answers 4

On a reasonably updated gnome desktop (e.g. Ubuntu 9.04 or 8.10):

  • Right click on the desktop background and select 'Change desktop background'
  • click on 'visual effects' and select 'Normal'
  • make sure that the 'compizconfig-settings-manager' package is installed in your system (this is in Ubuntu... in another distributions, it may have a similar name)
  • go to system-preferences-CompizConfig
  • select the Zoom effect, activate it and look at its configuration (usually Super-mouse wheel is the default key to activate it).
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Hi, thanks a lot for the very quick reply! Indeed it works like a charm, I would have never believed Gnome and Compiz would have made me happy in a few clicks (and wheel) of the mouse :-) –  puccio Oct 25 '09 at 13:43
    
I think one can also use Super+1 and Super+2 or something like that. That's going from memory, you should probably look at the keyboard shortcut in Compiz Config. –  Nathaniel Nov 5 '09 at 23:34
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On gnome press the Windows key while scrolling with your mousewheel - this will zoom in / out the part of the screen around the mouse cursor.

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I've just discovered the open-source tool Virtual Magnifying Glass 3.3.2, which work really well for me. Once run (/usr/bin/vmg) you will see its icon in the notification are of your Gnome panel and can use it to set the zoom and other nice features.

This tool is multiplatform, for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X.

The only thing I don't like is that the installation package for Debian/Ubuntu is done incorrectly and places some unnecessary files under / (can be deleted safely). It would be also nice if it installed itself into the menu but you can done that easily yourself (System - Preferences - Main Menu - Add item...).

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When stuck on a machine without fancy Compiz effects one can fall back to the good old xzoom tool, its not as pretty as a real fullscreen zoom, but gets the job done most of the time.

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protected by studiohack Apr 27 '11 at 1:38

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