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Computer adjustments in Microsoft Windows for people with low vision

By Calvin King,2014-04-18 02:19
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Computer adjustments in Microsoft Windows for people with low vision

    Computer adjustments in

    Microsoft Windows for

    people with low vision

    If you have low vision, adjusting light, size and colour contrast can help you see detail when you are reading and using a computer.

    When you need to see detail, think:

    Brighter: Is there enough close light? Can you reduce glare for better visibility?

    Bigger: Can it be made bigger?

    Bolder: Is there enough contrast? Do objects or text on the screen stand out from the background?

    This booklet gives you „no cost‟ or „low cost‟ options for using these bigger, bolder, brighter principles to see more details on your computer.

    Everyone‟s sight varies. This booklet describes a number of different options that can assist people with low vision to use their computer. Not every option will suit every person. Try all of them and find out what suits you best.

    Page 1

    If you still have difficulty seeing objects on your computer screen after adjusting lighting, magnification and contrast, it may be time to consider using a speech program. This booklet explains how to use a basic speech program. Vision Australia‟s

    computer experts are able to assist you with the more advanced programs.

    For more information call Vision Australia‟s Helpdesk.

    Phone: 1300 VISION (1300 84 74 66)

    Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm

    Page 2

    Setting up your work area ......................................................... 4 Large print stickers for keyboards ............................................. 5 Identifying your computer‟s operating system ........................... 5 Adjusting the computer for large print and magnifying .............. 6 Enlarging the text on Microsoft Word and Excel documents

    using the Zoom feature ............................................................. 7 Enhancing contrast and/or enlarging text display in Microsoft

    Windows 95 and 98 ................................................................... 8 Enhancing contrast and/or enlarging text display in Microsoft

    Windows XP ............................................................................ 12 Reducing the visual clutter on the desktop .............................. 17 Installing a large cursor ........................................................... 28 Putting a trail on the mouse to increase visibility ..................... 30 Low vision options for reading Internet pages ......................... 31 Using the Windows Magnifier .................................................. 34 Screen magnification software ................................................ 35 Screen reading programs ........................................................ 36 Features to look for when purchasing a computer monitor ...... 37 Other information sheets available from Vision Australia ........ 39 Vision Australia training courses ............................................. 39 Where to get further help ......................................................... 39 Supplier contact details ........................................................... 40

    Page 3

    ; Make yourself comfortable at the computer. Your monitor

    should be clean and positioned at eye level.

    ; Close your curtains or blinds so there is no glare from your

    windows. You may also need to angle your screen to avoid

    glare from other light sources. Anti-glare screens that fit over

    the computer screen are available from computer suppliers.

    These can reduce the contrast so choose carefully. ; Use a desk or task lamp to illuminate the keyboard or any

    reading material you may need to use.

    ; Don‟t eliminate all light in the room. You need to be able to

    see where you are going when you get up from the computer

    and walk around the room.

    Remember to take regular breaks from the computer to avoid eye fatigue.

    Page 4

    We recommend using ZoomCaps. These are adhesive labels for computer keys. The letters, numbers, and symbols have good colour contrast and are enlarged for easier viewing. Labels are available in black on ivory and white on black. ZoomCaps are customised for Windows and Macintosh keyboards and are available from Vision Australia.

    You will need to identify your operating system to follow some of the tips in this booklet. Do this now and write it down somewhere for future reference.

    1. Right click on the My Computer icon on your desktop.

    2. Left click on Properties. The General page will tell you what

    system you have on your computer i.e. Windows 95 or 98 or

    XP.

    The most common systems for home computers are Windows 98 and Windows XP.

    Page 5

    The optimum resolution for large print and magnifying is 800 x 600 pixels. You can change resolution by using the Settings tab in the Display Properties window.

    1. Right click on the desktop. 2. Choose Properties from the pop-up menu. The Display

    Properties window will appear. 3. In the Display Properties window click on the Settings tab. 4. Change the Screen Area to 800 x 600 pixels. 5. Click Apply.

    Page 6

There are two ways to use this feature.

    1. Left click on the View option (“A” on the diagram below). Try

    different percentages and pick one that suits you.

    OR

    2. Left click on the zoom box (“B” on the diagram below) to

    increase the size of a document. Try different percentages

    and pick one that suits you.

    A B

    Page 7

    The colours on your computer screen can be changed to enhance the contrast. The sizes of the menus, window titles, cursors, dialogue boxes and the icons can also be increased. These changes are made using the Appearance tab in the

    Display Properties window.

    1. Right click on the desktop.

    2. Choose Properties from the pop-up menu. The Display

    Properties window will appear (diagram overleaf).

    3. Click on the Appearance tab in the Display Properties

    window.

Then on the Appearance tab:

    1. Click the arrow on the Scheme box to see a list of options.

    2. As you click an option, a preview of what that colour scheme

    would look like appears in the window.

    3. Select the scheme you want. This would usually be “High

    Contrast White (Large)” or “High Contrast Black (Large)”

    (diagram overleaf).

    4. Click OK.

    Page 8

If the automatic size change that occurred with the Scheme

    change is not large enough, increase it further by using the Item box on the Appearance tab.

    1. Click the arrow on the Item box (bottom right) to see a list of

    options.

    2. Select Active Title Bar.

    3. Click the Size up arrow to increase the size of the bar. As

    you click, a preview of the size appears. 4. Click the Font arrow to select your preferred font, for

    example Arial.

    Page 9

    5. Click the font Size up arrow to increase the size of the font.

    As you click, a preview of the font size appears.

    The same steps are used to increase the sizes of the following items contained in the Item list: Icon, Inactive Title Bar and

    Menu.

    Select these via the Item arrow following steps 1-2 above and

    follow steps 3-5 as required to increase the sizes and fonts on the display.

    Page 10

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