If you’re a computer teacher based on Windows operating system like me, or you’re a presenter which like to go into the details of a picture in your presentation, you will stumble into the need of screen zooming method at some point in your life, or maybe you already are. After searching desperately through the internet, I found some ways of zoom your screen, and other resources that you might find helpful to enhance your teaching.
1. By using Magnifier (non Windows 7)
This is the most basic form of zooming that most people already know. Magnifier is an accessory program in Windows that will open small screen in the upper side (movable) that will show zoomed version of whatever under your mouse cursor.
- It’s easy, installed by default, fast, and result in clear graphics.
- It gives two “version” of the screen, half is magnified, the other half is not.
- It’s available on all Windows version.
- It occupy some of the screen’s real estate, so you don’t have full space for your program.
- It shrink all your opened programs’ window, so that you’ll need to re-maximize it after you closes the magnifier.
- You can’t control this application by hotkeys such as zoom in or zoom out using hotkeys.
2. By using Magnifier (Windows 7)
Starting from Windows 7, you can zoom in and out from part of screen by activating Magnifier. Actually, Magnifier now has 3 options of magnifying, started from the original magnifier capability, a movable magnifier, and a full screen zoom.
- It gives 3 convenient options to zooming, including the full screen zoom.
- You have to own Windows 7.
- It doesn’t bound with shortcuts.
3. By using ZoomIt application.
Download: ZoomIt (267 KB)
This application is developed by Microsoft employee Mark Russinovich. This application enables Windows operating system earlier than Windows 7 to zoom into part of the screen like Windows 7 and Mac do. And don’t worry, it’s free.
It also has other features. It’s also an annotation tool (you can zoom, and then “pause” the zoom so that you can draw on the “frozen zoomed” screen, much like PowerPoint, with 8 pen color choices), and a timer tool (it replaces the entire screen with a countdown timer).
- It’s a multifunction tool, great for presentation and teaching.
- You don’t have to own Windows 7. Earlier Windows will do.
- A little bit sluggish, especially at the live zoom mode. You can feel the screen is not as responsive as you want it to be.
- The screen is flickering when entering zoom mode for the first time after the application initiated, and flickering once again when exiting the application.
- You have to download it, albeit it’s small size.
You can choose whichever methods suits your need. Each of them has their own pros and cons.
Other tools to enhance your presentation:
1. Pointer Shower.
It’s a basic tool in Windows which will render a shrinking circle around your mouse pointer whenever you pressed CTRL key. I was skeptical of this feature, but when I used on my presentation, it was very helpful. It’s a basic tool, but many people missed it or even doesn’t know that it exists, simply because it’s buried deep within Control Panel.
How to set it up: Open Control Panel –> Mouse –> Pointer Options tab –> Check the “Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key” box.
Download: AutoHotkey L (2,632 KB)
It’s an application that can record macro, and even do simple macro scripting. It can function as hotkeys, autocorrects, key mapper, and many other advanced things. But what I really love from Auto Hotkey is because it can simplify the process of zoom in and zoom out by mapping keys for Windows+ and Windows- (or CTRL-Up Arrow and CTRL-Down Arrow for ZoomIt), with CTRL-Mouse Wheel Up and CTRL-Mouse Wheel Down. It becomes really convenient. It’s a little bit advanced, but with some reading, just understand the basic is already enough.
The script I used to mapping hotkeys for ZoomIt:
So, that was all I can share right now. I was also searching for tools that can gives visual cues on the pointer whenever my mouse is clicking, but I can find it. If you find it, or you find any other tools that can help enhance your presentation and teaching, let me know. 🙂