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Great Magnification Software for the Visually Impaired

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 5/31/2015

Magnification software helps in enlargement of text and graphics on the monitor of the computer. The article lists some popular magnification software for the visually impaired.

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    What is a Magnifier Software?

    Magnification software can be added to your suite of computer software. For all intents and purposes, it will take the place of a magnifying glass. The magnifying Magnifier glass follows the cursor and magnifies the area around it. The magnified area can be highlighted using color and shading. The fonts used by these programs are usually designed to even-out the appearance.

    These magnifiers magnify all items including the text cursor, mouse pointer, buttons, bars, and icons. They also come with a set of tracking features. Many magnifiers have also added a text-to-speech facility on their softwares. This feature allows the text to be read aloud by the computer.

    When purchasing magnification software, consider the following points:

    • The software must be compatible with your PC's operating system.
    • The software must include cursor enhancements.
    • The highest magnification level of the magnifier.
    • Is the screen-reading feature needed?
    • If the software allows for inverted colors.

    The following sections lists some of the most popular magnification software products available for the visually impaired.

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    Guide

    Dolphin Guide is an all-in-one software that is designed for large print and speech access by Dolphin Computer Access Inc. Moreover, the software is easy-to-understand and use. The software magnifies text and pictures, and reads text aloud.

    Price: $795.

    Language Availability: English.

    Compatible Operating System: Windows Vista, XP Home, XP Pro, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

    Hardware Requirements: CD ROM drive, IBM compatible PC, sound card, and keyboard.

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    Lunar Screen Magnifier

    Lunar has been designed by Dolphin Computer Access Inc. and works with Windows and all Windows applications like Internet, spreadsheets, word processing, and email.

    Price: $395.

    Language Availability: Cantonese, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English (American), English (British), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), and Swedish languages.

    Compatible Operating System: Windows 98, 2000, ME, NT, Vista, XP Home, XP Pro, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

    Hardware Requirements: CD ROM drive, IBM compatible PC, Intel Pentium @ 400 Mhz equivalent or higher, PCI or AGB graphics card, sound card, keyboard, 125 MB free hard disk and 128 MB RAM.

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    Magic Professional without Speech

    MAGic Professional software was originally manufactured by Freedom Scientific and is now on the Access Ingenuity website. It magnifies up to 1x-36x. The software provides full screen and adjustable views, which allows you to see both magnified and unmagnified portions of the screen simultaneously. A speech feature is synchronized with the screen activities. The software allows Internet browsing and word processing magnification.

    Price: $395.

    Language Availability: English (American), Brazilian Portuguese, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian), and Spanish (Latin American).

    Compatible Operating System: Windows 2000, Server 2003, Vista, XP Home, XP Pro, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

    Hardware Requirements: CD ROM drive, IBM compatible PC, sound card, keyboard, 200 MB free hard disk and 256 MB RAM.

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    Screen Loupe

    This software by Gregory Braun enlarges whatever information is beneath the mouse cursor. The contents can be copied to a clipboard and the image can be pasted into the word processor. However, the magnification is only up to 8X.

    Price: $14.95.

    Language Availability: English

    Compatible Operating Systems: The software is compatible with Windows 2000, 95, 98, ME, NT, Vista, XP Home, XP Pro, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

    Hardware Requirements: The hardware requirements for this software are a CD-ROM drive, IBM compatible PC, and keyboard. Additionally, the software needs 200 KB free hard disk and 200 KB RAM to work.

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    ZoomText Magnifier

    Zoom Text Magnifier has eight zoom window types. Features include 1x to 36x magnification, color control, brightness control, contrast controls, visible pointers, visible cursors, dual monitor support and application-specific settings. The product has been designed and manufactured by Ai Squared.

    Price: $395 under the single-user license.

    Language Availability: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (American), English (British), Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish (Castilian), and Swedish.

    Compatible Operating Systems: Windows 2000, Vista, XP Home,XP Pro, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

    Hardware Requirements: CD-ROM drive, IBM compatible PC, Intel Pentium 450 MHz or higher, keyboard, 25 MB free hard disk and 256 KB RAM.

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    LunarPlus Enhanced Screen Magnifier

    LunarPlus is also designed by Dolphin Computer Access Inc. and works with Windows and Windows applications like spreadsheets, word processing, email, and Internet. Additionally, it also has a speech output. The software can magnify up to 1.2x to 32x.

    Price: $595.

    Language Availability: Cantonese, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English (American), English (British), Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), and Swedish.

    Compatible Operating System: Windows 98, 2000, ME, NT, Vista, XP Home, XP Pro, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

    Hardware Requirements: CD ROM drive, IBM compatible PC, Intel Pentium @ 400 Mhz equivalent or higher, PCI or AGB graphics card, sound card, keyboard, 125 MB free hard disk and 128 MB RAM.