A screen magnifier or screen enlarger is software that enlarges the computer screen for the visually impaired. The screen tracks along with the cursor and enlarges that portion of the screen; the cursor is usually magnified as well. The cursor may not be the point of interest though for example; if the user used keyboard shortcuts to open a menu or something, the screen will focus there so the user chooses the correct function. There are different features included to improve how well you see the screen like:
  • Color Inversion
  • Smoothing
  • Cursor customization
  • Different Magnification Modes
  • Screen reader
Many operating systems have a screen magnifier built in but if you decide to buy different software the price can range from $20-$200.

Brands/types of screen magnifiers
These are included with the computer when you buy it (included in the operating system)
  • Apple: On Mac OS X there‚Äôs a built in screen magnifier. Hold down the control key and scrolling the mouse makes it zoom in or out. It can be accessed at any time on any application.
  • Microsoft Windows: The Magnifier application has been included with the Microsoft Windows OS since Windows 98 was released
Products examples not included in the operating system
  • Dolphin Lunar: Created by Dolphin Computer Access; a British software company that creates software for the visually impaired
  • Kantek LCD Monitor Magnifier Filter: Hooks onto the monitor and magnifies the screen for you to see instead of being built in

I prefer the Mac's screen magnifier, maybe it's because I have a Mac at home but I find it simpler just to hold control and use the mouse scroll to zoom in and out if I need to. Plus since it's built-in I won't have to spend money on extra software if my vision happens to get worse.

Here are sites to buy different software but your computers operating system probably has a screen magnifier feature built in.
Magnifier_Vista.png Screenshot of Windows Vista screen magnifier