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The built-in magnifier to Mac OS is really really nice for my awful vision. However, I find that it is suboptimal when I have more than one screen. I would like to be zoomed in on my main monitor while remaining zoomed out on my laptop monitor, keeping track of my mail, watching a full screen movie or something like that. Unfortunately, when I zoom in, it zooms BOTH screens in, an annoyance.


  1. Is there a way to zoom each screen independently? I don't think there's an official way, but unofficial hacks are welcome too.
  2. Failing that, is there a magnification program that only zooms in a small window surrounding the mouse, leaving the rest of the screen regularly sized? I think I found one program a while back, but the name escapes me and it cost cash money. If I have that, I sidestep the problem entirely.
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I don't believe there is a way to zoom a screen independently. However, the free developer tools include an application called Pixie which zooms the area around the mouse and is somewhat customizable (though no smoothing, since it's intended for pixel-oriented design work). You can install the dev tools from your Mac OS X disc or download them from, and then find Pixie in the /Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools folder.

Pixie in action

Pixie preferences

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This is really cool, but unfortunately it's too much like XP's and Vista's brain damaged magnifier with the whole 'separate unmoving window' paradigm. I was looking for something more along the lines of Windows 7's magnifier in Lens (not Fullscreen) mode. Thanks, though. – AlexMax Dec 1 '09 at 17:11
What happened to pixie? I can't find it now :( – occulus Apr 12 '12 at 14:55
@occulus The Graphics Tools, including Pixie and Quartz Composer, are now available as a separate package from – jtbandes Apr 12 '12 at 19:23
Log in, go to and search for pixie. – Gerald Kaszuba Apr 26 '13 at 2:39

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