Enable Screen Zoom in Mac OS X
Screen zoom is a useful feature of Mac OS X that zooms into the screen where ever the cursor is located, making it easier to see parts of the screen, examine pixels, read small fonts, and perform other functions with greater visual clarity. The zoom feature was enabled by default in some earlier versions of Mac OS X whenever the control key was held down, but in modern versions of Mac OS X, the screen zoom feature has been turned off by default, and is now a feature of Accessibility settings.
The Screen Zoom feature is an accessibility feature aimed at making it easier to read certain screen elements. Accessibility is sometimes called Universal Access, depending on the version of Mac OS X on the computer. We’ll show you how to enable the Screen Zoom option on any Mac with any version of OS X System Software.
How to Enable Screen Zoom in Mac OS X (El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks)
- Open ‘System Preferences’ from the Apple menu
- Click on “Accessibility” and then click on the “Zoom” section
- Check the boxes next to Zoom for the type and modes of screen zoom you would like to enable
Older versions of Mac OS system software also support screen zoom modes. Here is how to enable it in Lion and Mountain Lion:
Enabling Screen Zoom in Mac OS X (Lion, Mountain Lion)
- Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
- Click on “Universal Access” and then click on the “Seeing” tab
- Check the box under “Zoom” to “ON”
Now with Screen Zoom turned on, the feature can be accessed with either the trackpad, mouse, or keyboard:
Zoom with Trackpad or Mouse
For trackpads, scrolling is achieved with two fingers gesturing up or down, with a mouse it’s simply the scrollwheel in either direction, with both you need to hold down the Control key to access.
- Control+Scroll Up to zoom in
- Control+Scroll Down to zoom out
Zoom Screen with Keyboard Shortcuts
New to Screen Zoom in modern versions of OS X are optional keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out:
- Command+Option+= to zoom in
- Command+Option+- to zoom out
Just like other versions of Mac OS X, you can still toggle anti-aliasing on and off within the Zoom feature by hitting Command+Option+/.
Remember, screen zoom is enabled by default in earlier versions of Mac OS X, just hold down the Control button and zoom with the mouse wheel or trackpad, just like it works in modern versions of Mac OS once it has been enabled.