How to use a magnifier on your Chromebook

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If your eyesight isn’t as good as it once was you may find using a computer frustrating at times. The good news is you do have accessibility options you can use on your Chromebook to help with this. Using the built-in magnifier will make it much easier to see what is showing on your display. There are two different options available and the one you choose will be down to personal preference. I’ve used both of them and I personally think one is much better than the other.

I’ll go through both of the magnifying settings you have available, so you can decide for yourself, which is best for you. Once you’ve set this up, you should be able to use your Chromebook without having to worry about having difficulty seeing what is showing on your display.

To get to your magnifier settings follow the steps below:

  • Left-click on the menu at the bottom right of your display.
Menu at bottom right of Chromebook display
  • Left-click on the settings cog as shown below.
settings cog on chromebook menu
  • Left-click on the advanced option from the left hand side of the menu.
Advanced settings on your chromebook
  • From the advanced menu left-click on the Accessibility option from the left hand side of the menu.
Accessibility options Chromebook
  • Once you’ve clicked on Accessibility. Choose the manage accessibility features from the right-hand side of the menu as shown above.
  • Keeping on the right-hand side. Scroll down until you come to the heading Display.
  • You’ll then see the two options available as shown above. The first option is Enable full-screen magnifier and the second is Enable docked magnifier.

ENABLE FULL-SCREEN MAGNIFIER

Choosing this option magnifies your whole screen. There is an option underneath, which allows you to choose the magnify zoom. I’d be careful when choosing this because I chose 20x zoom to see how it looked and I struggled to get back to changing that setting.

Once you’ve chosen this option you navigate around the display with your mouse. For example, to get to the bottom of your desktop where your Icon Shelf is. You’d need to move your mouse cursor to the bottom of the screen until you eventually find the shelf. I found this setting very disorientating and if I needed assistance due to poor eyesight I would not be comfortable using this option. However, you may find this option works for you, so I’d encourage you to give it a try.

ENABLE DOCKED MAGNIFIER

The second option on the list is ‘Enabled docked magnifier’. I found this option much easier to use because I understood where my mouse was on the screen at all times. Instead of magnifying the whole display. This option provides you with a split display. At the top of the display, it is magnified and the bottom part of the screen displays as normal. Again, you have the option to choose the zoom, which defaults to x4.

Using this option allowed me to navigate around my Chromebook without feeling confused. You simply move your mouse cursor over what you’re reading and the top panel will show the magnified text. Again, I’d suggest trying both options to decide which is most suitable for you.

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