Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Assistive Technology: Magnifiers


Introduction to Magnifiers


‘Microsoft Magnifier’  creates a separate window that displays a magnified portion of your screen. You can also change the colour scheme of the magnification window for easier visibility. You can move or resize the Magnifier window, or drag it to the edge of the screen and lock it into place.

This program is available on all Windows computers, click Start, point to All Programs and type in Magnifier

Using Microsoft Magnifier

When using Microsoft Magnifier, you can:

When Magnifier is open, you can left-click the Microsoft Magnifier icon in the tool bar in order to change the Magnifier options, or to hide or exit Magnifier.

Change any of the following Magnifier settings:

1. To invert the colours for better readability, select ‘Invert Colors’. This might be useful if, for example, a document has black text on a white background but for you, white text on a black background is easier to read.

2.   By default, the Magnifier window appears docked at the top of the screen. You can resize or move the Magnifier window to a different location.

3. To dock the Magnifier window to the edge of the screen, select Docked, and then click a location from the Dock Position list.

4.   To see an enlarged version of what your mouse is pointing at, select Follow mouse cursor.

5.   To see the area where your pointer moves when you press the TAB or arrow keys, select Follow keyboard focus.

6.   To see what you're typing, select Follow text editing.

7. To resize the magnification window Move the mouse pointer over the edge of the magnification window until the pointer becomes a double-headed arrow (on some computers, the pointer might change to a different form) and drag the window border to resize the window.

8. Magnifier can display objects on the screen up to sixteen times larger than actual size. In the Scale Factor list, select a level. The zoom level in the Magnifier window will change right away. Adjust the level until it's right for you.

‘Magnifying Glass’ places a magnifying glass on the screen which follows your mouse. The lens width and height can be varied to suit the user and the magnification level can be set using the scroll button on the mouse or by using the menu.

This program is free (open source) software which you can download and install on your home computer. Download from:

Getting Started with Magnifying Glass

You can also download and install Magnifying Glass for free on your home computer at

The program shows a magnifying glass lens that follows the mouse movement. You can move the lens around the screen to view magnification of any screen area. To close the lens, click the left mouse button.

Virtual Magnifying Glass also adds its own system tray icon. Left-click on the icon offers a shortcut for launching the lens again.

Image of system icon

Right-click the Magnifying Glass system tray icon to open the Magnifying Glass menu for various customisation options:

Screen shot of menu


Dynamic Mode: For Windows 2000, XP and Vista you can use the Dynamic Mode. Right click the magnifier and select Dynamic Mode.

Graphic Tools: To show the centre pixel's RGB values, in both decimal and hexadecimal. Copy it with Ctrl+C

Lens Width and Height: Use the mouse scroll-wheel to control the zoom factor

Magnification: Variable scale factor from 1x to 32x

Esc key closes magnifier window, but it remains on systray. Q key closes the software