How to magnify the screen in Windows XP

This page explains step-by-step how to use Magnifier, the built-in magnification feature in Windows XP. It is, however, restricted to a small portion of the screen, so most vision-impaired people will find that they require fully-functional magnification software.

Turn on and customise Magnifier

Step 1: Turn on Magnifier

Open the 'Start' menu by clicking on the 'Start' button, or by pressing the Windows key or Ctrl + Esc.

Click on 'All Programs', or press P until 'All Programs' is selected and then press Enter. In the same manner, click on 'Accessories' (or press A), then 'Accessibility' (or press A) and finally 'Magnifier' (or press M).

Step 2: Customise the settings for Magnifier

When you start Magnifier, the 'Magnifier Settings' window shown in Fig 1 appears, allowing you to customise the settings. If you don't want to change the settings, you can minimise this window by clicking on the 'Minimize' button on the title bar, or press Enter.

Fig 1'Magnifier Settings' window

If you don't want the settings window to appear each time you start Magnifier, tick the box next to 'Start Minimized' by clicking on it, or press Alt + S to tick it.

To increase the magnification, click the 'Magnification level' drop-down list and select the magnification level you want, or press Alt + L and then use the arrow keys to scroll through to the magnification you want.

If you want to reverse out the colours in the magnification window, tick the box next to 'Invert colors' by clicking on it, or press Alt + I to tick it.

Step 3: Tell Magnifier where to focus

Under the 'Tracking' header, you can set where you want Magnifier to focus.

To magnify the area where your mouse is pointing, tick the box next to 'Follow mouse cursor', or press Alt + M to tick it.

To magnify the area where the pointer moves when you press the Tab or arrow keys, tick the box next to 'Follow keyboard focus', or press Alt + K to tick it.

To magnify the area in which you are typing, tick the box next to 'Follow text editing', or press Alt + T to tick it.

When you are finished, minimise the settings window by clicking on the 'Minimize' button on the title bar, or press Enter.

Step 4: Change the size or position of the Magnifier window

To move the Magnifier window, click anywhere on the window and drag it to where you want it. To resize the Magnifier window, click on an edge or corner of the window and drag it until it is the size you want. There are no keyboard shortcuts to do this.

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