How to Use Magnifier in Windows 8.1

Windows sure has a lot of accessibility tools for users of all ages bearing different types of disabilities. From making your screen clearer and easier to view down to keyboard substitutes that help give access to characters when something happens to some of the keys on your keyboard, this very efficient operating system really has a good arsenal of features that truly helps in improving productivity in any circumstance or situation.

One very useful tool that you can use in any Windows machine is called “Magnifier” and in this tutorial, we will be going through the steps that are involved in using it on a Windows 8.1 machine.

What is Magnifier?

As the name itself suggests, “Magnifier” is a built-in Windows tool that helps certain parts of the screen look larger. There can be characters or images on the screen that are a bit hard to see clearly such as letters or far away objects sitting on a photo or any other image that are of interest to you while you are surfing the Internet. This tool helps you focus on the character or object itself so you can have a clearer and more defined view of it. It has an adjustable magnification level which is very helpful just in case the preset magnification value does not deliver the best view of the stuff that you are trying to focus on.

How to Access Magnifier in Windows Vista and Windows 7

Accessing the Magnifier tool in Windows Vista and Windows 7 is very easy. All you need to do is click on the “Start Button” that is located on the bottom left corner of the screen and once the Start Menu appears, simply type “Magnifier” into the input box that is located at its bottom portion. After doing so, the search results will appear at the top portion and from here, simply click on the “Magnifier” shortcut that is located under the “Programs” category.


Another way of doing it in these Windows operating system editions is still from the Start Menu. Just click on the Start Button first and after doing so, you will need to click on the “All programs” link located just above the search input box.


This will then reveal a list of all the programs that are installed as well as those that are built-in with your machine. From here, simple click on the folder that is labeled as “Accessories” and once it expands, just look for the “Ease of Access” folder then click it. Once it expands and reveals its contents, you should be able to see the “Magnifier” shortcut which you will need to click in order to open the tool.


Accessing Magnifier in Windows 8.1

Since Windows 8.1 offers a different way in accessing the same features and tools that you would find in all the other Windows versions that were released ahead of it, there’s a different set of steps that needs to be followed in accessing the “Magnifier” tool. Compared to all of the previous Windows editions, accessing Magnifier in Windows 8.1 is a lot easier. To start, you will first need to click on the “Start Button” or press the “Windows Key” on your computer’s keyboard in order to access the “Start Screen”. When this screen opens, you can type the word “magnifier” on your machine’s keyboard and you should be able to see the “Search screen” that will appear from the right edge of the screen.


The word “magnifier” that you have typed on your keyboard will then be automatically be entered into the search input box that is located at the top portion of the Search screen. After a few seconds, you should be able to see the “Magnifier” shortcut that will appear on the search results just below the the input box as highlighted on the screenshot above. Just click on it and the Magnifier tool will open right away.

How to Use Magnifier

Now that you learned how to access the Magnifier tool in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, it is time to get familiar with the steps in how you can use it so you can take advantage of this free tool bundled with every Windows operating system installed on a PC or laptop. In Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, Magnifier opens as a small window as you can see on the screenshot below.


It will also minimize and appear like a magnifying lens when you are not using it. This magnifying lens is the standby mode appearance of the magnifying tool itself. If you want to open the tool’s main Window, all you need to do is point the mouse on the magnifying lens image and a double arrow pointing to the right will appear.


Just click on the double arrow that appears and the Magnifier tool Window will again open. on this Window, you will notice a (-) as well as a (+) sign each sitting inside a blue circle. These circles are actually buttons for adjusting the magnification level of the tool itself.


The default screen magnification level of the Magnifier tool in Windows 8.1 is set to 100% so you might think that nothing really changed after you opened the tool itself however, the trick of clicking the (+) button will do the magic of magnifying the whole screen and as you move the mouse pointer on the screen, the part that is highlighted will be made larger.

Changing the View Settings

Another setting that you need to learn to tweak when using the Magnifier tool on your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 machine is the one that is labeled “View” which sits just beside the two round buttons bearing the (-) and the (+) symbols. Beside the “View” label is an arrow that points down which you need to click in order to reveal the view options which are available as shown below.


The default magnification view is set to “Full screen” or “Ctrl+Alt+F” on your computer’s keyboard. In this magnification view, you will notice that the when you click on the (+) button to increase the magnification level, the whole screen will become larger instead of just a portion of it being magnified. Next option is the one that says “Lens” or “Ctrl+Alt+L” on your machine’s keyboard. When you select it, there will be a box that will appear which will show the area that is being magnified. When you adjust the magnification level, you should notice that the area inside the box is the only one that becomes larger.


Lastly, there is also a third option that is labeled “Docked”. If you choose it as the “View” option, a dock will appear at the top of the screen which shows the are where your mouse is. If you adjust the magnification level, you will notice that only the objects that are inside the rectangular box will become larger.


The Larger it is, The Clearer it Becomes

As you can see, the Magnifier tool in your Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 machine is very easy to use. You don’t really need to become an expert just to be able to use the tool. Feel free to open the tool on your machine and follow the steps that I have shown above so you can learn how to take advantage of this free magnifier feature bundled with the Windows operating system installed on your computer.