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Setting up Your Computer to Help with Poor Eyesight

Staring at a computer screen can be straining for the eyes, especially if your eyesight isn’t quite as strong as it could be. If you’re someone who does struggle with seeing screens then there are various settings you can adjust on your computer to make things easier to view. If you have vision difficulties here are the steps for setting up your computer.

Using the Zoom Setting

setting computerTo zoom in on a computer that has a button-based mouse with a central wheel, hold down the ‘Ctrl’ button – or ‘cmd’ on an Apple keyboard – and scroll forwards with the wheel. You’ll notice that the images and text on the screen for the application you have open will get larger. If you scroll the other way things will get smaller.

If you have a laptop with a trackpad – or a separate and larger Magic Trackpad with an iMac desktop – then the zooming motion can be done with a gesture. Ordinarily, the gesture for zooming in involves placing you thumb and forefinger on the touch pad and spreading them apart. To zoom out reverse the motion by pinching them together. You can also zoom in more abruptly by double tapping the centre of the pad.

If you use an Apple touch mouse – known as a Magic Mouse – then the zoom function works in the same way as an ordinary mouse or by using the tapping feature found on trackpads. Just be sure to scroll or double tap in the centre of the mouse.

Finding Accessibility Settings for Your Computer

Windows 10

If you’re using a computer that uses Windows 10 then you have the option to switch on certain settings to help with vision difficulties.

To find these there are two methods:

The first step is to click the Windows logo in the bottom left corner. Then, click on the cog (or gear) symbol on lower left-hand side of the menu that pops up, this will open the settings menu. Once this menu is open click on the Ease of Access panel, this contains the accessibility settings.

Alternatively, click on the magnifying glass towards the bottom left and type ‘ease of access’, then click on the first result to open the accessibility settings.

The top three labels on the left-hand side will have the most important settings; Narrator, Magnifier and High contrast:

  • The Narrator setting provide various voice assistance options for those with severe visual impairment or blindness.
  • The Magnifier setting helps enlarge more specific areas to help those with impairment of their vision, similar to zooming but more specific.
  • The High contrast setting can change the colour scheme to help those with particular types of colour-blindness to make things easier to read and view.setting

MacOS

Finding the accessibility settings in MacOS is, unsurprisingly, different to Windows 10. The latest version of MacOS is High Sierra, but the navigation steps below have not really changed across each version.

To find the accessibility settings it can be done one of two ways:

The first way is to click on the Apple logo at the top left of the screen, this will produce a drop-down menu. Then click System Preferences, this will open a new window. In this menu select Universal Access, which contains a variety of accessibility settings.

The alternative way to find this menu is to click on the Finder tab – or magnifying glass logo – at the top of the screen and type ‘universal access’, then click on the first result to open the accessibility settings.

The major area in this section is the Seeing tab. It includes settings for those with poor eyesight, total blindness or colour-blindness, such as magnification, contrast and voice over options. You can also enable access for assistive devices and choose to pin Universal Access to the top menu bar permanently, making finding it easier.

By taking some time to tweak each setting for your preference using your computer will be much less straining on your eyes.