ZoomText is software that provides magnification, cursor tracking, color contrast adjustment, and other features that may be of use to people who have difficulty seeing the standard screen. It is available from any Sites Windows computer.

For more extensive ZoomText documentation, please see the AI Squared website. If you have questions or run into any difficulty, please contact Knox Center staff at Sites.Knox@umich.edu.

ZoomText Overview

ZoomText works directly with applications such as Microsoft Word and web browsers.

ZoomText toolbar

On the ZoomText toolbar, there are two tab options: Magnifier and Tools. There are also several menus that are redundant with the toolbar or that have other features.

A large button on the far left of the interface ZoomText on/off toggle button allows you to toggle ZoomText on and off.

Magnifier tab

The Magnifier tab includes icons for the following options:

Power button Power. Allows magnification levels to be set in fractional increments between 1x and 5x, in whole-number increments between 5x and 8x, and in increasingly large increment intervals between 8x and 60x.
Type button Type. Allows you to magnify the whole screen or specific portions. Options include Overlay (magnifier is in a fixed area), Lens (magnifier follows mouse movement), Line (magnifier follows the on-screen focus), and Docked (magnifier covers the top, left, right, or bottom portion of the screen).
Color button Color. Allows a variety of color options to be set, including preset schemes and Custom combinations.
Pointer button Pointer. Allows you to make the arrow pointer larger, change the pointer color, and select from a range of pointer locators.
Cursor button Cursor. Provides a variety of options to make the cursor insertion point easier to see in documents and web page form fields.
Focus button Focus. Puts a colored frame, block, or underline at the area that is currently in focus; e.g., a form field on a website.
Desktop Finder button Desktop Finder. Allows users to quickly search the Desktop and other selected areas, such as the Programs menu and the My Documents folder.
Web Finder button Web Finder. Allows users to quickly search a web page opened in Internet Explorer.
Text Finder button Text Finder. Allows users to quickly search a document or other text source. This option is not available in the currently installed ZoomText; it should be available by Fall 2015 semester.

Tools tab

The Full and Docked functions require that a high definition (HD) webcam with autofocus be attached to the computer. Appropriate and inexpensive webcams are available from the Computer Showcase.

Full button Full. Displays the Camera view over the entire monitor.
Docked button Docked. Displays the Camera view over half the screen. Clicking on the Docked icon brings up a menu that allows users to choose positioning of the Docked view, zoom level, color modifications, etc.
Image Reader button Image Reader. Sites computers do not have the Image Reader software installed. The functionality is similar to the Scan capabilities of Read & Write Gold for Windows and Read & Write Gold for Mac, which are on all Sites computers.


ZoomText menu bars provide redundant and enhanced versions of the Toolbar options, and also provide some features that are not available on the Toolbar.


Menu item Purpose
Open Configuration See "Save Configuration" below.
Save Configuration Allows you to save your current settings as an option. To retrieve them, choose "Open Configuration."

Note: Configurations are specific to the machine you are currently using, and will not come up when you sign onto other machines. In addition, periodic Sites system rebuilds may erase your saved configurations.
Open Default See "Save as Default" below.
Save as Default Allows you to specify the configuration that appears when you open ZoomText. To retrieve this configuration after you've chosen a different one, choose "Open Default."

Note: Same issues as for "Save Configuration."
Restore Defaults Restores the default settings to those originally configured for ZoomText.
Save Application Settings Allows you to specify a setting configuration for use with mainstream applications such as Word, browsers, Adobe Reader, etc. When you open the application, the associated ZoomText configuration will come up immediately. You may need to close and then reopen both ZoomText and the application for this to take effect.

Note: Same issues as for "Save Configuration."
Manage Applications Settings Quickly activate or deactivate existing applications settings.
Name Applications Modify the displayed name of an application in ZoomText status bar and dialogs (such as Manage Application Settings). This is particularly helpful for applications with long names that may be truncated.
Exit Closes the ZoomText program.


Menu item Purpose
Disable/Enable ZoomText Toggles ZoomText features off (while still keeping the interface available) or on.
Adjust Tool Allows you to adjust the size of the magnified areas. Available for all magnification Types except full screen.
Enable Freeze Window See "New Freeze Window"
New Freeze Window Allows you to create a window that continually displays a specific screen area when the Full display mode is active; e.g., the time/date display or a spreadsheet cell. To reactivate the window, choose "Enable Freeze Window."

Note: This option is not available in the currently installed ZoomText; it should be available by Fall semester.
View Mode Temporarily turns off magnification and puts an indicator at the location on the screen where magnification is focused. Click anywhere to exit View Mode.


Menu item Purpose
Power Set the magnification level
Magnification Set the magnification level, specify if the Mouse Wheel is used to control zooming, and specify the modifier keys for keyboard shortcuts.
Zoom Windows Same as the Type icon on the Magnifier tab, plus provides options for multi-monitor support.
Freeze Window Set options for the Freeze window (see Actions menu); specifically whether it has the same or different magnification level as the rest of the screen.
View Locator Set options for View Mode (see Actions menu).
Color Enhancements Same as the Settings option on the Color icon.
Pointer Enhancements Same as the Settings option on the Pointer icon.
Cursor Enhancements Same as the Settings option on the Cursor icon.
Focus Enhancements Same as the Settings option on the Focus icon.
Font Enhancements Controls how fonts are displayed, including whether text is automatically smoothed out (recommended in most cases) and whether it is bolded.
Desktop Finder Same as the Desktop Finder icon.
Web Finder Same as the Web Finder icon.
Text Finder Same as the Text Finder icon.
Web Finder Highlight Controls display options for highlighting Web Finder results.
Text Finder Highlight Controls display options for highlighting Text Finder results.


Menu item Purpose
Camera Set options for the ZoomText Camera.
Launch Camera Starts the ZoomText Camera.
Launch Image Reader Not applicable.


Menu item Purpose
Tracking Specifies the items that should automatically gain focus when they appear or change—e.g., the mouse pointer, menus, or windows.
Alignment Controls how the zoom window scrolls to keep tracked items visible.
Mouse Controls how the pointer is routed into view, and whether pressing keyboard keys can be used to constrain its movements (Shift to move only horizontally/vertically, Ctrl to stay within the active window).
Panning Controls panning smoothness and speed.
Program Sets ZoomText preferences for startup, exit, and error reporting (other options are not available).
User Interface Sets preferences for toolbar display and display of the ZoomText icon on the taskbar and tray.
Hotkeys Modifies the hotkey assignments (see "Keyboard Shortcuts" below).


Menu item Purpose
ZoomText Help Brings up the primary Help interface.
ZoomText on the Web Brings up the AI Squared website.
View ZoomText Tutorial Brings up a page from the AI Squared website that has videos demonstrating selected features.
Help Improve ZoomText Allows users to report ZoomText performance issues to AI Squared. (If you are on campus and choose to use this, please also report the issues to 4HELP@umich.edu)
Report a Problem Allows users to report any type of ZoomText issues to AI Squared. (If you are on campus and choose to use this, please also report the issues to 4HELP@umich.edu)
Release Notes Provides release notes for the current version of ZoomText.

Keyboard Shortcuts

ZoomText includes several keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to perform frequent commands without using the mouse. Some popular shortcuts include the following:

List of Common ZoomText shortcuts

Task Shortcut
Increase magnification ALT+Numpad + (plus)
Decrease magnification ALT+Numpad - (minus)
Move focus to the left edge/right edge/top edge/bottom edge/center of the screen ALT+Home/End/Page Up/Page Down/Numpad 5
Toggle color enhancements on/off CTRL+SHIFT+c
Toggle pointer enhancements on/off CTRL+SHIFT+p
Toggle cursor enhancements on/off CTRL+SHIFT+r
Toggle focus enhancements on/off CTRL+SHIFT+o
Deactivate ZoomText without closing it ALT+Delete
Reactivate ZoomText ALT+Insert

See Shortcut Keys and Hot Keys: ZoomText 10 Magnifier/Reader for a full list of ZoomText shortcuts. Note that this list includes commands for speech functions, which are not supported in the version installed at U-M.