Highlight content in any program and on any screen by magnifying it and use your mouse to move around and show more content easily.

It’s really easy to magnify or zoom into any content that you have on your PC, be it a program, app, or presentation. It’s simple to activate at any time using your mouse and you can zoom into the entire screen, or just magnify a section of it, moving around to change your view. You can also change the magnification level to make things even larger.

It’s useful for showing people data sets with small text sizes, complex screenshots, or a live program. We recommend doing it in sales presentations, training sessions, and online webinars, because it helps your audience to see things more clearly, and you to focus their attention on the important elements of the screen.

So, how do you do it?

In PowerPoint 2013 and 2016 there is a zoom function built in so you can focus on an area of the screen, but it’s not that great, only gives a few levels of zoom and is only available when in PowerPoint show mode.

Since Windows 7, Microsoft has had a great quality magnifier tool built in (earlier versions were less useful), but it’s a bit of a pain to access. Starting it is easy by pressing the Windows key and ‘+’, and then the Windows key and ‘Esc’ to close it. But changing the zoom and size of the magnification lens is cumbersome.

Unless you take full control of it with your mouse, which you can do with the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. This is a great application for getting more from your mouse and customizing its functions. With it, you can turn any of the buttons on your mouse into a hot button that launches and controls the magnify tool. It also means that you can change the size of the magnification lens and the level of zoom on the fly, so you can be really dynamic when showing something, and respond better to your audience.

Setting up the magnify hot button

Once you’ve installed the program, open it and you’ll get an image of your mouse (or something similar to it), listing all of the buttons and options available. You can customize each button to do certain things. If your mouse only has the standard left and right mouse buttons and a scroll wheel, you’re OK, as the scroll wheel also has a click function that you can use.

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center Screenshot 01

Select the button that you want to customize. In this case, the wheel button.

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center Screenshot 02

You’ll then see a list of popular commands (or possibly the ones Microsoft wants you to use), but if you choose ‘View all commands’ at the bottom of the list, there are many more options.

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center Screenshot 03

Scroll down the list to the ‘Content commands’ section, and at the bottom of that, you’ll find Magnify. Select it and then click on the back arrow at the top of the list next to your chosen button.

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center Screenshot 04

You can customize all of the buttons like this, to perform different functions that are important to you, so the mouse becomes a much more useful tool.

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center Screenshot 05

Using Windows Magnifier

Now that you’ve got it set up, your button of choice can be clicked to activate magnification and clicked to close it down. There are three types of magnification:

  1. Full screen (Ctrl + Alt + F)
  2. Lens (Ctrl + Alt + L)
  3. Docked (Ctrl + Alt + D)

With Full Screen, you can choose to preview the section you zoom into first, and then zoom into it, seeing just part of the window in full screen on your entire monitor. Useful if there’s a lot of content to look at. Control the zoom level by clicking and holding your chosen button and scrolling up to zoom in and down to zoom out.

With Lens, you have a popup window that zooms into the area that your cursor is pointing to and moves as you move the cursor. You can control the area of the magnification and clicking and holding the hot button on your mouse and then moving the mouse up, down, left, or right to resize and reshape the lens. Control the zoom as for Full Screen magnification.

With Docked, the screen splits, so that there is a permanent zoom area at the top of the screen, allowing you to show the whole element AND a zoomed in section of it at the same time. But, it’s only a fairly thin strip, so works well for lines of text, but not that flexible.

It’s a great tool that’s really quick to set up and easy to use. Highly recommended.

Now all you need is some cool content to show. In PowerPoint, make it visual and use these awesome PowerPoint tips to achieve it.

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Written by

Richard Goring

Director

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