Instead of getting coke-bottle glasses, what software is out there to zoom in on a portion of the screen?


The platform can be Windows, but something for anywhere is nice too...

  • What platform ? – Alex Rozanski Jul 15 '09 at 18:56
  • In Windows 7 you can use WIN-PLUS and WIN-MIN to do this. :-) – Tamara Wijsman Sep 5 '10 at 23:22

SysInternals ZoomIt from Microsoft is nice and easy.

Try it out:

  • It has poor scaling for fractional magnification levels like 125%, 150%, 175%; the results look terrible and can even be unreadable. There are better tools that do a better job. – Synetech Jun 7 '13 at 0:40
  • I use it for development. Showing the actual pixels (and not blurring them) is exactly what I need. – Florian F May 17 '16 at 13:08

What operating system? Vista has one built in, it is called Magnifier and it is in Accessories, Ease of Access.

  • That's available at least since Win2k. Although it got really cool with Windows 7 (Win++ and Win+-) – Joey Jul 15 '09 at 23:42

If you need a lot of magnification because your legally blind or close to it check these products out. There expensive but better then the free alternatives. http://www.aisquared.com/zoomtext http://freedomscientific.com/downloads/magic/MAGic-whats-new.asp#Enhancements

  • Incredible response... (...) ... next time I will recommend software which costs around 1.000$ too! (...) – ElektroStudios Aug 9 '13 at 15:00
  • 1
    I assume you’re being sarcastic. I’m totally blind and software that is $1000 has allowed me to get a good programming job that pays a lot more than $1000 a year. NO cheep or free alternatives would have worked. If someone needs this for their job and no free alternative will work for them then it’s worth every penny. – Jared Aug 9 '13 at 22:19
  • Jared maybe I was a little angry. the problem is not your answer, the real problem is developers who take advantage of a disability to sell their products at astronomical prices, an update of the program costs triple than a Windows Operating System!. – ElektroStudios Aug 10 '13 at 8:25
  • 2
    Two things to keep in mind. One the market for assistive technology software is much smaller than the market for Windows so you can’t make an apples to apples comparison. Second the major market for this software at least in the U.S is government agencies that are required by law to try and make software accessible. This enables developers to charge a higher rate because the government will pay more. I’m not saying it makes it right; it’s just the market the software is sold in. – Jared Aug 11 '13 at 13:59

Windows specifically, but I could use something anywhere.

On a Mac: Opt-Cmd-plus (well, actually: the equal sign, without any Shift) and Opt-Cmd-minus.

(Opt-Cmd-8 disables and re-enables this option. Mac developers who need to see the actual pixels rather than smooth zooming, can use Pixie as included with the Developer Tools.)

  • There's an option to disable the anti-aliasing in the "Universal Access" preference pane, under Zoom options, "Smooth images", or Alt+command+backslash – dbr Jul 16 '09 at 0:36

Windows comes with its own magnifier. If you're using Vista, type "Magnifier" into your search-apps bar to begin using it.

  • And not just in Vista: it was there way before that (can't remember, but maybe even pre XP?), but might take a bit more searching to open. It would be in the "tools for people with disabilities" section. – peSHIr Jul 15 '09 at 19:43
  • Yup, Win98 or maybe even earlier. I recall being able to choose to install it or not -- in those days where disk space was limited. – Arjan Jul 15 '09 at 23:26

On Windows: Win+U, start "Magnifier"


If you are really partially sighted, and need more than just a slight bit of help, Zoomtext by AI Squared is one of the best commercial products at around $600. Also includes an optional screen reader. I have been using it for about 15 years and highly recommend it.

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