The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Zoom In On Your Desktop

TMO Quick Tip - Zoom In On Your Desktop

by , 7:30 AM EDT, June 26th, 2006

When I'm teaching a class or presenting at an event, I often zoom in on part of my Mac's display to make it easier for everyone to see menu options and buttons in application palettes. The effect usually draws a few "oohs" and "ahs" along with questions about how I did that. The feature is built in to Mac OS X, and only takes a few steps to activate. Here's how:

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences to launch the System Preferences application.
  • Select Universal Access.
  • Click the Seeing tab.
  • Click the Zoom: On radio button.


Use the Universal Access Preference Pane to turn on the Zoom feature.

To enlarge part of your display, type Command-Option-=. Your Mac zooms in on the area around your mouse pointer. When you move your mouse, the zoomed area follows. Command-Option-- (Command-Option-Minus) shrinks your display back down to normal size.


My display, normal size (left), and zoomed (right).

Even though I use the Zoom feature in Mac OS X during presentations, I also find it handy when I get emails with super-small text. Instead of changing the text size, I just zoom in a little.


if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.

Recent Headlines - Updated April 26th

Sun,12:04 PM
MGG 550: Photos Isn’t Always Easy
Sat,5:29 PM
Apple Not Allowing Fart Apps on Apple Watch
4:23 PM
How to Convert iPhone Photos to Black And White
3:48 PM
Quick Tip: How to Take an Apple Watch Screenshot
10:30 AM
Three Scenarios for Home Automation
Fri,9:44 PM
Sony and Samsung Both Offered to Pay James Bond to Use Their Phones
6:39 PM
XTC In-Ear Genuine Wood Headphones: $23.99
6:30 PM
Four Things To Get You Started With Apple Watch
3:55 PM
Apple’s iPhone 7 Will Make Current iPhones Obsolete
1:50 PM
Apple Offers Online Personal Setup Assistance for Apple Watch
1:22 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-04-24: Getting Inside Apple Watch
11:24 AM
iFixit Apple Watch Tear Down Kills Hopes of Upgrades
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!