The Windows 7 Magnifier tool

Vista's Magnifier was a tool that could be turned on in the Ease of Access Center so that things on the screen could be seen more easily.  The Vista tool showed you a magnified view in a window of what you were pointing at with your mouse.  But the magnified view was shown in a separate window.  Apparently, if the pc doesn't support the Advanced Aero needs of Windows 7, the Vista Magnifier program is used, for this is what happened when I loaded the Beta of Windows 7 onto a virtual machine using Microsoft's Virtual Pc 2007.

The following screenshots are of the Vista Magnifier.  First there is a setup window you use when you first start the Magnifier tool:
  Vista Magnifier Setup windowThen the following screen image is what the Vista Magnifier looks like on the desktop when it is running:
  Vista Magnifier in use on desktopThe new Windows 7 Magnifier, which can be very easily brought into execution by typing Magnifier in the search bar at the bottom of the Start Menu, works very differently.  It has three modes:  Full-screen mode, Lens mode, and Docked mode. You use Full-screen mode if you want to magnify everything on your screen at once.  You use Lens mode when you want to magnify a small part of the screen which follows your mouse cursor.  In Docked mode, only a part of your screen near an edge of the screen is magnified, with the rest of the screen remaining unchanged.

The controls for zooming in and out are on a small toolbar that fades away to a watermark on the screen when you aren't using it.  (In the screenshot below, it is shown as a blurry magnifying glass image. If you click that "watermark" it will display a window with the controls for the tool.)  There are also keyboard shortcuts for zooming in (Windows key and +) or zooming out (Windows key and -).  If you click on one of the borders of the lens, you can drag it to resize it, making the lens wider or more narrow, or taller or shorter.  Below is a screenshot of the Windows 7 Magnifier in use on the desktop:
  Windows 7 Magnifier in use on desktopHere is a Microsoft article, complete with an embedded screen movie, on using this tool:

Comments (1)

Most Valuable Expert 2013

+1 - it's a useful tool.  There are also a number of third-party magnifiers out there including this one designed for users who have difficulty with fine motor control and need to be able to click on relatively small buttons

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