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Optimize zoom options for web development System
One of the great things in OS X is its ability to zoom in on screen content, using the zoom options in the Universal Access System Preferences pane. In addition to the visually impaired, this feature is especially useful for web developers, who often need to get up close and personal with their pixels.

Unfortunately, the default settings aren't ideally suited to this purpose. I've found that zooming is much more useful if you set your options as shown in this image. First and foremost, you'll want to turn off the Smooth Images option, so you can see your enlarged pixels in their natural state. Second, you may want to turn off Zoom Follows Keyboard Focus -- this allows you to stay zoomed on one spot, regardless of what's happening on-screen. This is especially useful when switching tabs in Safari to compare two versions of the same page while zoomed in.

The most important (and least intuitive) change is to set the maximum zoom to 2x, using the topmost slider. With this setting, your initial zoom will jump straight to 2x, skipping the seven steps between 1x and 2x. These seven levels aren't very useful to a web developer, as the pixels become distorted and weird looking since they're being magnified by some non-whole number. Once you jump to 2x, you can continue zooming in for 3x, 4x, etc.

The one downside of this zoom setting is that you can't zoom back out in increments -- it jumps all the way out to normal magnification. But for me, this is actually useful, as when I'm done zooming, it's easier to jump out of zoom with one keypress.

Try it -- you'll like it!
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Optimize zoom options for web development
Authored by: ElectusUnum on Mar 01, '05 10:01:17AM

Or you can use Pixie

/Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools/

Obviously you need the developers tools installed.

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Optimize zoom options for web development
Authored by: kirkmc on Mar 01, '05 11:25:56AM

I started fiddling with this a couple of months ago, and found that when I go to Apple's movie trailer page, or use iTunes to view trailers or music videos, that I can use it to zoom the video and get better quality than if you were doubling the size in QuickTime Player. Also, I no longer save videos after download to view in QT; the zoom makes it a lot easier.

I'm sure that there are other reasons why zooming like this can be useful...

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Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more

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The "snap back" zoom level is configurable.
Authored by: avramd on Mar 01, '05 11:46:47AM

That's what the other slider does. The top one sets what % zooming jumps to when it is initiated (cmd opt =). The lower slider sets what % it jumps back out to when you reduce the zoom (cmd opt -).

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Optimize zoom options for web development
Authored by: genericuser on Mar 01, '05 09:52:14PM

I often use the zoomy thing but I never really looked at the options panel. Thanks!

My favourite use is for my GameBoy emulator. Yay, I can play full screen!

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