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How Screen Magnification Systems Work
Being comfortable in looking at the screen is very important when using the computer. For people with perfect vision, this does not pose a concern. But for people with limited or low vision, it may be difficult to see images and regular text on the screen.
An application known as a screen reader can provide the needed solution for people with visual impairments. Here, we will take a look at what a screen magnifier is, and how it helps persons with low vision.
What is a Screen Magnifier
A screen magnifier is a type of computer software that makes text and graphics larger. It is considered as a type of assistive technology since it has been designed specifically to aid persons having difficulties in accessing the computer.
Similar to other software, the user has to install the screen magnifier on the computer before it can be used. There are certain operating systems, such as Windows, that include a built-in screen magnification software. Also, there are screen magnifiers which you can purchase from assistive technology providers.
How Does a Screen Magnifier Work
Generally, this application can magnify a portion of the screen up to 16 times. Once the software is activated, the user can go to a specific area in the screen. In this task, the user can either use the cursor or the mouse pointer, which is also magnified. Immediately after setting the focus, the magnifier will enlarge the text or graphics in that area.
Screen magnifiers can also shift focus when necessary. For example, when the user presses a shortcut key that activates a menu, the screen magnifier will focus on that menu. Likewise, when a message suddenly appears, the magnifier will set its focus on that message.
Other features of Screen Magnifiers
Apart from magnification, most of these programs also have the following useful features.
This application acquires text on the screen and reads it in a semi-human voice. Users can activate the screen reader feature of most magnifiers so that in addition to looking at the screen, they can also hear the text. Screen readers are especially useful in accessing huge volumes of text as they lessen strain on the eyes.
Color Contrast Features
Screen magnifiers can let users change the color contrast of the screen. For instance, the user may prefer white text on black background over the traditional black text on white background. This can easily be done using a screen magnifier.
Users can choose among a set of magnification modes. They can choose to have the magnification cover the entire screen. Otherwise, they can have a virtual magnifying lens they can move around the regular screen.