All Biased

A blog mostly about Mac, iPhone & iPad use

Use OS X Accessibility Zoom to magnify your Mac screen

OS X has a great zoom utility
OS X has a great zoom utility

Do you sometimes wish you had a magnifier for your computer screen? You already have one in OS X and it's actually quite good. This is how you activate the OS X Zoom feature:

Open OS X accessibility settings
Open OS X accessibility settings

Open System Preferences and click the Accessibility icon. Then click on Zoom in the left sidebar.

Activate OS X zoom feature
Activate OS X zoom feature

Activate the zoom feature by ticking the Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom checkbox. Click the More Options… button.

Enable temporary zoom
Enable temporary zoom

Set the magnification level by sliding the Magnification scale. I like to have the zoom window following my mouse cursor so I have chosen the Follow mouse cursor window position. If you would like to be able to just briefly activating zoom you should tick the Enable temporary zoom checkbox. Then whenever you want to magnify something on the screen you press Ctrl-Alt simultaneously. When you release the buttons the magnifier disappears. Quite handy.

Click the Adjust Size and Location button to set the magnifier size. I like to have mine big so I don't have to move it around all the time.

Open OS X keyboard preferences
Open OS X keyboard preferences

Click Done and go back to the System Settings main screen when you are done. The last thing we are going to change is the keyboard shortcuts to use for activating and zooming. Click the Keyboard icon.

Set OS X keyboard shortcuts for zoom
Set OS X keyboard shortcuts for zoom

Open the Keyboard Shortcuts tab and choose Accessibility in the left pane. Make sure the Zoom checkbox is ticked in the right pane. Doubleclick the keyboard shortcuts and press the keys you want to use for each shortcut. I use Ctrl-Alt-Z to toggle zoom on/off and Alt-Cmd-+ or - to zoom in and out. In all honesty I don't zoom in and out much. I mostly toggle on and off.

This feature is great when you want to read small print or work with image details.

Published 16 jan 2013 by Niklas Johansson
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