Use a Zoom Window in Mac OS X

Jan 23, 2012 - Leave a Comment

Zoom window in Mac OS X

Another option when enabling zoom in OS X Lion and other newer OS X versions like Mavericks is to use a smaller floating zoom window, rather than zooming into the entire screen. This little zoom box appears on screen in a little rectangular floating window that zooms in on whatever elements it’s hovered over. Some users may prefer this to the full-screen enlargement offered in the broader zoom trick.

This is how to enable the hovering zoom window in Mac OS X:

  1. Open “System Preferences” from the  Apple menu, and click on “Accessibility” (note that prior versions of OS X will list this as a “Universal Access” preference panel)
  2. Click on the “Zoom” section (again, prior versions will show this as a “Seeing” tab and then choose “Zoom”)
    • OS X 10.9 and newer: Check the box for “Use scroll gesture with modifier keys to zoom”, then under the “Zoom Style” menu pull down select “Picture-in-Picture”
    • OS X 10.8 and before: Choose the “On” button, and then click the checkbox next to “Zoom in window”

This is what the appropriate picture-in-picture and Zoom settings panel looks like in the latest versions of Mac OS X, including OS X 10.9 and OS X 10.10:

Enable Picture in Picture zoom window in Mac OS X

Here’s what this zoom box setting looks like in OS X 10.8 and prior versions:

Enable Zoom in Window

The default zoom shortcut is Control+Scrolling, but this and other aspects can be adjusted by clicking on the “Options” button under the Zoom section of the Universal Access panel.

Think of it like a virtual magnifying glass, similar to what is in the Preview.app but for everything shown on screen.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

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