Mouse Zoom

This is a neat tip I have to share: In the Mac OS X 10.4.8 update, the Keyboard & Mouse Preference Pane has been modified to allow for automatic screen zooming (independent of Universal Access controls).

MouseZoom01As you can see, if you hold down Control while using the scroll wheel, zooming is automatically enabled. Here are a couple of screen captures. One is a normal shot of the screen. The second shows zooming enabled.

MouseZoom02MouseZoom03

Also, once the screen is magnified, you can navigate around simply by moving the mouse. You can actually achieve a pretty intense magnification with this method, and it is another hint at resolution independence being a possible feature in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. (It’s already available in Tiger but not at the user level.)

Furthermore, this is a pretty handy feature for presentations that include software demonstrations. Right now, enlarged icons and controls look fairly pixelated, but the use of resolution independent elements could make this feature even smoother. Imagine being able to demo iMovie or MS Word and smoothly zooming in on a feature you are elaborating on without having to visit a preference pane or using a static magnified screenshot.

Little touches like these make me like my Mac even more. Thanks to the great Daring Fireball for pointing this feature out. (You can see his blog in the screenshots.)

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