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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Screen Magnification Systems

A screen magnification system enlarges text and graphics on a computer screen. It is loaded into the computer’s memory and functions similarly to a magnifying glass moving over a page, following the cursor, and magnifying the area around it. Using a mouse or keyboard commands, a user positions the cursor on the section of the screen to be magnified or has the cursor move automatically across and down a magnified page at a preset speed. The magnified area may also be emphasized with color and shading, so that users who lose their place on screen may easily locate a magnified area. Fonts used in magnification programs are usually designed to smooth out the jagged or “stair-step” appearance of computer-produced diagonal or curved lines. Today’s full-featured screen magnifiers can magnify all items on a screen, including the mouse pointer, text cursor, icons, buttons, and title bars. The magnifiers also provide a set of mouse tracking features.
   Persons with considerable vision may not need a screen magnification program. Instead, they may use a larger monitor that allows for larger text or graphics while keeping all material on the screen. Larger text and graphics can be achieved by lowering the screen resolution so that bigger pixels are used.
   In addition, the appearance of objects or texts on a screen may be altered using the accessibility wizard in a Windows system, which provides a number of options. These options include adjustments for the font size, screen resolution, scroll bar size, icon size, color scheme, mouse cursor appearance, and mouse cursor blink rate. The main accessibility feature in Windows, however, is its screen magnifier which can also be set up through the accessibility wizard. Although the default color scheme in windows is black text on a gray background, this can be changed to be more easily distinguished using one of Windows high-contrast color schemes.
   Recently, screen reader manufacturers have added text-to-speech output to their products. This allows people with low vision to use a combination of magnification and speech. If a user requires primarily speech output or is losing vision, a screen reader may be a better choice.
   The following are some questions to consider when purchasing screen magnification systems:
•   Is the magnification software compatible with your computer’s operating system?
•   Does it include cursor enhancements?
•   What is the highest magnification level?
•   Is screen reading software included?
•   Does it allow for inverted colors?

15 Products in Category

Product Table

Product NameProduct DescriptionDistributor Contact
Eye-pal ACEEye-Pal Ace is a portable reader and magnifier to help individuals who have difficulty reading printed text. Abattery powered device with cameras, controls and a screen are integrated into a single convenient unit. Easy to carry and easy to use. Order Eye-pal ACE from The Chicago Lighthouse Store
GuideAn all-in-one software suite with built-in large print and speech access. It is designed to be easy-to-use and easy-to-learn. contact@evas.com
iMax for MacMagniLink iMax provides magnification, contour enhancement and pointer settings as well as screen reading with high-quality speech output. The Contrast Enhancement Mode gives a clear picture with smooth character edges regardless of the magnification. features include: split screen, dual screen support, full screen mode, multiple highcontrast modes, a circular and a squared lens-zoom. It gives you the ability to set the screen mode based on your own preferences. Your Mac also works as a document reader through the unique GhostReader function. This gives you the possibility to get text read out loud and be magnified in a seperate window via the function Speak Selection. You can then save texts as Mp3-files to be played in iTunes, be uploaded to your iPod, iPad or burned onto a CD. Order iMax for Mac from The Chicago Lighthouse Store
Lunar Screen Magnifier Works with Windows and Windows applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, the Internet, and e-mail.
LunarPlus Enhanced Screen MagnifierWorks with Windows and Windows applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, the Internet, and e-mail, with speech output as an added feature.
MAGic Professional (w/ speech)Offers many magnification modes providing full screen or adjustable views that let you see both a magnified and unmagnified portions of the screen at the same time. Has a magnification range of 1x to 36x. Provides screen enhancements to eliminate glare, increase contrast and allow easy tracking of screen activities. Speech is synchronized with screen activities, reading, and editing. Compatible with a greater number of operating systems than MAGic Standard and is purchased by computer users who keep their operating systems current.
MAGic Professional (w/out speech)Offers many magnification modes providing full screen or adjustable views that let you see both a magnified and unmagnified portions of the screen at the same time. Has a magnification range of 1x to 36x. Provides screen enhancements to eliminate glare, increase contrast and allow easy tracking of screen activities. Compatible with a greater number of operating systems than MAGic Standard and is purchased by computer users who keep their operating systems current. Versions are available with speech.
MAGic Standard (w/ speech)Offers many magnification modes providing full screen or adjustable views that let you see both a magnified and unmagnified portions of the screen at the same time. Has a magnification range of 1x to 36x. Provides screen enhancements to eliminate glare, increase contrast and allow easy tracking of screen activities. Speech is synchronized with screen activities, reading, and editing. Used by computer users who do not have plans to purchase the newer operating systems.
MAGic Standard (w/out speech)Offers several magnification modes. Has a magnification range of 2x to 16x and a bookmark-indexing feature allowing quick storage and recall of up to ten screen locations. Used by computer users who do not have plans to purchase the newer operating systems. Also available with speech.
PnC Net Enlarges web pages and speaks the text, including links. Large pointer. Link lists can be displayed at the top of a page or the user can tab through links. Easy menu setup options include displaying images but not enlarging them proportionate to text, choices in text and background color, font, size and voice options. If cannot speak or enlarge a web site, displays text in large print and speaks (without links or images). Web page is searchable. Speaks and enlarges pdf files. Simple “pick and click” menus for all functions; also has hot keys to bypass menus. Supports common Internet Explorer commands. Includes searchable help file.
Supernova ProCombined screen reader and magnifier that allows users to access Windows applications either through magnification, braille, or speech output. Computer display is magnified up to 32x and the information is also presented in braille for users of the many supported braille devices. Allows users to write map files to make nonstandard applications usable.
Supernova Reader Magnifier StandardCombined screen reader and magnifier that allows users to access Windows applications either through magnification, braille, or speech output. Computer display is magnified up to 32x and the information is also presented in braille for users of the many supported braille devices.
Zoomtext MacZoomText Mac is a powerful computer access solution designed for the visually impaired. Through a combination of magnification; enhancements to colors, pointers and cursors; and a WebReader tool, using your Mac is fun and enjoyable, even when you have a visual impairment. Now you will be able to see everything on your Mac, providing you with complete access to applications, documents, email and the Internet. ZoomText Mac is designed for users of all ages and skill levels. With a precise mix of power and simplicity, ZoomText Mac provides total independence at home, school and in the workplace. Order Zoomtext Mac from The Chicago Lighthouse Store
ZoomText MagnifierScreen magnification system with eight zoom window types. Features include 1x to 36x magnification; color, brightness and contrast controls; visible pointers and cursors; Dual Monitor Support and application-specific settings. Order ZoomText Magnifier from The Chicago Lighthouse Store
ZoomText Magnifier/ReaderScreen magnification system integrated with basic screen reading capabilities. Features include 1x to 36x magnification; eight zoom window types; color, brightness and contrast controls; visible pointers and cursors; Dual Monitor Support; application-specific settings; human-sounding reading voices; program, typing and mouse echo options; and automatic document reading. Order ZoomText Magnifier/Reader from The Chicago Lighthouse Store

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