Zoom In On Spreadsheet Area

Q. In presentations to small groups, I often use my laptop and a projector to display a spreadsheet on a wall screen. But the numbers in a cell are sometimes too small for viewers to read. If I enlarge the entire screen image by changing the display settings the resulting field of view is too limited. I heard somewhere I can selectively enlarge only part of a screen. Is that true—and, if so, how’s it done?

A. It’s true—and here’s how to do it. Windows 98 has built-in accessibility tools for people with disabilities—in this case, visual disabilities. One of the accessibility features is the Magnifier. When you evoke it, your screen divides into two sections (see the screen shot below). The left side of the screen shows the file image as you would normally see it, and the other shows a magnified view of a portion of the screen under the cursor. You can adjust the degree of enlargement and the relative size of the screens (by grabbing and sliding the bar between the screens one way or the other). Magnifier provides three options: It can magnify what’s under the cursor—so if you move the cursor, the enlarged section moves apace. Or you can set the default to follow either the text cursor as you type and edit or the keyboard arrow keys.

The Magnifier function enlarges a section of the screen.

To launch Magnifier, click on Start, Programs, Accessories, Accessibility, Magnifier. However, if Accessibility is not listed under Accessories, don’t worry: It is in the operating system but for some reason was just not set up. To set it up, go to Start, Control Panel, Add/ Remove Programs and click on the Windows Setup tab and highlight Accessibility . Then click on Details , check the Accessibility Tools box and click OK twice. You may be asked to put your Windows 98 CD into the drive; in that case, just follow the screen instructions.

Once Magnifier is loaded, you can drag its icon to your desktop so you can access it conveniently.


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