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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature System
I've been a Mac user since the 512, yet this took me by surprise. Suddenly the type on just about everything on my desktop seemed a bit darker and a little blurry. I was convinced that my monitor was going ... or worse, the computer was not sending it the correct voltages anymore. I was minutes from getting it ready for repair, then I decided to look around a bit.

Somehow I had hit a keystroke combination which barely engaged a zoom feature -- just about 1% or so, barely off of zero. I didn't even know I had a zoom feature! I went to the System Preferences » System » Universal Access, and turned Zoom off (how did it get turned on?). This immediately brought my monitor back to the razor-sharp images I had been looking at for years. Whew! A close call, based on a very simple thing that many of us forget is even there.

[robg adds: The keyboard combo is Command-Option-Equals, and I think Zoom is enabled by default.]
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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: Shawn Parr on May 07, '07 08:39:52AM

Since mid-10.4 (10.4.7 maybe?) you can zoom via the control key and a scroll wheel on a mouse, or via the two finger method on a laptop touchpad.

This method of zoom works whether the zoom function is on or off in Universal Access.

When I just tried it on my Macbook, if I only zoomed a very small amount it would snap back to normal, I had to do better than 10% or so before it would 'stick.'

It might be possible that this is how the screen ended up zoomed in the first place.



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: Dephex Twin on May 07, '07 08:42:45AM

Cmd-option-8 will turn the zoom feature on and off. Even though you disabled the zoom from being on, if you are worried about enabling the zoom again and aren't really interested in using it, you can go into the Keyboard Shortcuts in the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane, and just disable that key combo all together.

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"Knicks suck, Yankees suck, Mets suck..."
"...Krypton sucks"



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: paulpro on May 07, '07 08:49:09AM
An additional zoom default is to hold the Control key while using a mouse scroll wheel or ball, which I believe was introduced in 10.4.8.

I have my screen zoom set to F5 and F6, which I find much more convenient than the default settings.

Small article on the zoom features of OS X on Macskill.

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Preferences
Authored by: MrHen on May 07, '07 03:32:15PM

The settings can all be changed by opening the System Preferences and selecting Universal Access and finding the Zoom area.

The shortcut to zoom out is Command Option - (that is the negative sign, next to the equals key)



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: swgs on May 07, '07 06:52:13PM

Actually Rob, the Zoom feature you mention in Universal Access is off by default in Mac OS X 10.4.

But the control-scrollwheel feature mentioned in the comments here is on by default.



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: cg on May 07, '07 07:22:47PM

"Command-Option-Equal" zooms in (keep typing the key combination to zoom more and more)

"Command-Option-Minus" zooms back out

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Toggle antialiasing
Authored by: joho on May 08, '07 03:23:27AM

While zoomed in press "alt" + "command" + "@" to toggle antialiasing.
(substitute the "@" with "\" on american keyboards (I think))
Great for the times you want study a bunch of pixles real closely.



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: zpjet on May 08, '07 03:30:42AM
this somehow reminds me one hint from the past, where display contrast changed strangely. i work in an apple service centre and "repaired" a few such displays and computers. the shortcut is somehow similar to quark's font resizing (or kerning or leading, i don't remember exactly) and the user usually hasn't notice it imediately. the hint is - if you are not (visually) impaired, go to Keyboard and Mouse preferences, and (completely) disable Universal Access shortcuts. perhaps it should be off by default, or with a big visible option during first boot and install, apple!

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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: osxpounder on May 08, '07 03:10:38PM

Now you've discovered one of my top favorite things about using Macs, something I've come to love since switching.

I use this feature often -- why not? It makes things easy on me, and it's very quick. Apple-Option-= zooms in, Apple-Option-- [the minus, or dash, key] zooms out. No matter what app. Love it.

I think YouTube videos look better zoomed in like this than when I click the full-screen link provided by YouTube.

I also appreciate the way Apple-= and Apple-- [the dash key again] enlarge text in most programs that use text. If I'm using a program that doesn't offer that, and I think it should, I definitely let the authors know. Having control over text size, instantly and casually, is a Good Thing about OSX.



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: billy.kessler on May 08, '07 10:00:02PM

Previous commenters have not pointed out that there are big differences between Cmd-Option-= and Control-Scroll. The first zooms the whole screen, the second just the window the cursor is in (and only a subset of application windows at that).

Secondly, Cmd-Option-= will only zoom in (and can only be reversed back to normal size, not smaller). Control-Scroll will go both in and out. (It can be hard to refind your "normal" size, too!)

Finally, Cmd-Option zooms at pixel level (that is, the screen gets fuzzy as lcarroll saw), while Control-Scroll zooms the display vectors: text remains crisp at a wide range of zooming.

I don't understand, though, why Control-Scroll only works in some windows (Firefox, Word), but not Terminal, Safari, Preview .... and seems to be dependent on what is in the window as well.



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: cosmicpop on May 08, '07 11:54:31PM

Put simply, cmd-shft- - will make the font in your current app bigger, if that happens to be the shortcut for making fonts bigger in that app. It goes back to the Quark days I believe.
cmd-opt-+ just zooms the screen.



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Of fuzzy monitors and the zoom feature
Authored by: thinkyhead on May 09, '07 10:29:18AM

Sounds like you have the system-wide mousewheel-zoom feature turned off, or Firefox is just overriding it, because recent versions of Mac OS X Tiger do map Control-Mousewheel to fullscreen zooming. It just so happens that Firefox uses the same key modifier to zoom its text size.

To avoid such a conflict on my system I mapped mousewheel-zooming to the Command key instead, and this manages not to coincide with scroll-wheel shortcuts in any of the software I use.

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lcarroll you rock!
Authored by: shadowvine on Feb 06, '08 07:03:18AM

Ok so this AM I come in, boot up, and find my MAC display wildly scrolling about everytime I use my mouse (no dual screens), to the point I am getting seasick over here. I try everything, turn off the zoom feature through the mouse controls, swap keyboard and mouse out, chance display settings, totally freaking out... then I find your post. Like a ray of golden sunshine :) I think hmmm, let me checkout this universal access thing, and low & behold....there it is... FIXED! Apparently before logging out last night I somehow managed to hit that 3 key combo shortcut to turn that feature on. You have saved my MAC and my sanity. Thank you :)



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