Tech companies, big and small, have been trying to make life on the whole easier for people with disabilities. The improvements target minor disabilities to major ones. Visual impairments are something Apple, Microsoft, and Google all try to work with by providing users with options to make using their respective products easier. On Windows 10, you have a navigator that helps you use the OS if you’re visually impaired, as well as a neat magnifying tool. Bigtype is a free Windows app that can magnify text input fields if the magnifier tool is too much for you.
Magnify Text Input Fields
Download Bigtype and run the app. You can change the zoom depth from the settings, and the size of the magnifying lens. Once you’re done, click Save, and minimize the app.
When you type in a text field, it will magnify only that part of it.
As per tests, this app works with Notepad, file Save as fields asking you to enter a name for the file, and the location bar in File Explorer. It doesn’t work with Chrome’s URL bar. The magnifier remains in the top left corner though since this is the first version of the app, perhaps it will improve in the next few versions.
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Windows 10 lets you increase the size of text on an OS level. Unfortunately, this often results in blurred text in some apps, and it doesn’t seem to apply to fields like the Save as field. There’s also a scaling option in Windows 10 but it has the same limitations.
Microsoft does need to add more options for the visually impaired and it needs to make them as customizeable as possible. This is easier said than done of course. To give users fine control over what objects are magnified, there would need to be serious OS level changes and something will likely break during the process.
This app is likely something I’ll be trying out long term. I have severe myopia and while I can use large thumbnails, high level scaling, and zoom to work more easily, I do need to squint hard at the Save as fields and the location bar. This utility may be small but it does meet a very specific need that Windows 10 doesn’t. I can’t count the number of times I’ve typed something incorrectly simply because I had trouble seeing it clearly.
The built-in options are often overkill for me because I can see the UI elements and they’re often far easier to distinguish than text.