Magnifying the screen in Mac OS X

This page gives you step-by-step instructions on how to launch and use Zoom, the Magnifier built into OS X

Note: Mac key convention: ‘ Ctrl ‘ is used for ‘ Control ‘, ‘ Apple ‘ is used for ‘ Command ‘ and ‘ Alt ‘ is used for the ‘ Option ‘ key.

Note: For keyboard access make sure ‘ Full keyboard access ‘ is turned on - you can turn it on or off; by pressing ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F1 ‘ at any time.

Instructions

Make sure you are in ‘ Finder ‘ - press ‘ Apple ‘ + ‘ Tab ‘ if necessary to cycle through open applications until you return to ‘ Finder ‘.

Click on the ‘ Apple ‘ menu or press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F2 ‘.

Click on ‘ System Preferences... ‘ as shown in Fig 1 or press the ‘ down ‘ arrow key to highlight it and then press ‘ Enter ‘.

select system preferences

Fig 1

Click on the ‘ Universal Access ‘ icon or press ‘ Tab ‘ repeatedly (you might need to press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F7 ‘ first) to cycle through the icons until the ‘ Universal Access ‘ icon is highlighted with a blue border as shown in Fig 2 and then press the ‘ Spacebar ‘.

system preferences

Fig 2

Click on the ‘ Seeing ‘ tab or press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F7 ‘ (once or twice) to highlight one of the four tabs for example ‘ Keyboard ‘ and then press the left or right arrow key to select the ‘ Seeing ‘ tab (highlighted in blue).

Click on the ‘ Turn on Zoom ‘ button shown in Fig 3 or press ‘ Tab ‘ to highlight the ‘ Turn on Zoom ‘ button and press the ‘ Spacebar ‘.

seeing tab

Fig 3

To zoom in press ‘ Alt ‘ + ‘ Apple ‘ + ‘ + ‘ (plus), this zooms to your maximum level of magnification set in ‘ Zoom Options... ‘ . The ‘ preview rectangle (black bordered box) shows the area of the screen that you will see at maximum zoom (see Fig 3 above). To step back or zoom out press ‘ Alt ‘ + ‘ Apple ‘ + ‘ - ‘ (minus). Move your mouse around the screen to view the magnified page.

To change the Maximum and Minimum Zoom settings click on ‘ Zoom Options... ‘ or press ‘ Tab ‘ until ‘ Zoom Options... ‘ is highlighted and then press the ‘ Spacebar ‘.

Click on the ‘ Maximum Zoom: ‘ gauge bar to increase or decrease the Magnification level or press ‘ Tab ‘ (you might need to press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F7 ‘ first) to highlight the ‘ slider ‘ on the gauge bar as shown in Fig 4 and use the ‘ left ‘ and ‘ right ‘ arrow keys to increase or decrease the maximum magnification level.

Click on the ‘ Minimum Zoom: ‘ gauge bar to increase or decrease the Magnification level or press ‘ Tab ‘ (you might need to press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F7 ‘ first) to highlight the ‘ slider ‘ on the gauge bar and use the left and right arrow keys to increase or decrease the minimum magnification level.

quick zoom range

Fig 4

When you have finished click on the ‘ Done ‘ button or press ‘ Tab ‘ until it is selected and then press ‘ Enter ‘.

Finally click the ‘ Close ‘ (red) button at the top of the ‘ Universal Access ‘ window or press ‘ Apple ‘ + ‘ W ‘ to close the window and return to the Finder desktop.

To turn magnification on or off at any time press ‘ Alt ‘ + ‘ Apple ‘ + ‘ * ‘ (asterisk).

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.