For Seniors: Improve Visibility on a Windows Laptop
If you're visually challenged, using a laptop's smaller screen is often difficult. Luckily, Windows provides tools to improve usability for those with visual disabilities, such as increasing screen contrast, improving cursor visibility, and even reading onscreen text for you.
Choose Start→Control Panel, then click the Optimize Visual Display link under the Ease of Access tools.
The Make the Computer Easier to See dialog box appears.
Utilize high contrast to improve readability by selecting the Turn On Or Off Higher Contrast When Alt+Left Shift+Print Screen Is Pressed setting.
High contrast is a color scheme that increases the darkness of darker elements and the lightness of lighter elements so it's easier for your eyes to distinguish one from the other. You can also choose to have a warning message appear when you turn this setting on, or play a sound when it’s turned off or on.
Have text read aloud by selecting the Turn On Narrator setting.
You can also have video descriptions read aloud by selecting the Turn On Audio Description setting.
Magnify part of the screen by selecting the Turn On Magnifier setting.
Magnifier displays two cursors onscreen. One cursor appears in the Magnifier window, where everything is shown enlarged, and one appears in whatever is showing on your laptop (for example, your desktop or an open application). You can maneuver either cursor to work in your document. (They’re both active, so it does take some getting used to.)
Improve visibility of onscreen elements by making selections from the Make Things On The Screen Easier To See section.
Here you can adjust onscreen contrast to make the focus rectangle and cursor easier to see, and get rid of distracting animations and backgrounds. The focus rectangle surrounds the active area of dialog boxes and other items you can navigate with the keyboard.
When you finish making your settings, click OK to apply them.
You're returned to the Control Panel; click the Close button to close it.
If you bought a laptop with a 12-inch screen and find things are hard to read, don’t run out and buy a new laptop. It’s possible to connect your laptop to a standalone monitor using a VGA port. If you mainly use your laptop at home, this may be a less expensive way to upgrade your screen to a larger size.