10 Tips for the Awkward Age of Computing
Aging computer users can use Windows to personalize and customize their computers to make them easier to see, hear, and more comfortably use.
As we rack up birthdays, sooner or later we all experience some loss of vision, hearing, or physical dexterity. Fortunately, personalization options in Windows make it easy to adjust your PC.
Here are ten tips from cartoon Brian Bassett on how to counter the effects of aging to make your computer more comfortable to use.
#1 A Screen Too Far
Do you find yourself fighting the urge to press your nose against the screen because you can't see text and objects clearly? Consider changing your monitor display settings to increase the size of icons or text for individual documents and Web pages. Learn how to make the computer easier by changing text size and zooming in on Web pages in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
#2 Easy on the Eyes
If the images on your computer screen appear indistinct, or don't seem quite as sharp as they once did, you can customize the colors displayed on screen to make things easier to see. Learn how to make the computer easier to see in Windows 8,
Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
#3 Built-in Bifocals
Having trouble seeing things that are close up? Magnifier, one of the accessibility utilities in Microsoft Windows, opens a window that enlarges all or parts of the screen you choose—just like a magnifying glass. Learn how to make the computer easier to see with Magnifier in Windows 8, Windows 7, and
#4 Lights, Camera, Action
If stiff joints or other dexterity issues are slowing you down, try using Windows Speech Recognition to write email and documents by speaking commands rather than using the keyboard and mouse. Learn how to use Speech Recognition in Windows 8, Windows 7
#5 Tune In, Tune Out
Are you having trouble hearing email alerts and other audible notifications of system events? Try to adjust the sound volume of your computer or use text or visual alternatives to sounds in Windows 8, Windows 7
#6 Talk to Me
If your vision is beyond the point where magnification is enough, Narrator in Windows can help by converting text and captions to speech. If this problem is persistent, you may need a device called a screen reader. Learn how to hear text read aloud with Narrator in Windows 8, Windows 7,
and Windows Vista.
#7 Cursor in a Haystack:
Who took the mouse pointer? If you find yourself searching for mouse pointer more often than you search the Web, you can change the size, appearance, width, speed, color and blink rate of your cursor, or the appearance of your pointer.
#8 Losing Your Grip
#9 All Together Now
For most people, the keyboard is the main way to enter information into and control their computer. But are you controlling your keyboard, or is your keyboard controlling you? Discover tips to make your keyboard easier to use in Windows 8,
Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
#10 All Shook Up
If you have a mild tremor or your stiff fingers are creating typos and other keyboard errors, Filter Keys can give you the equivalent of a steady hand by enabling your computer to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes that you make accidentally. You can set your PC to ignore or slow down brief or repeated keystrokes by turning on Filter Keys in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
Re-publication of Illustrations
If you would like to use any of the illustrations shown here for re-publication, please follow the instructions below:
- Position your mouse over the illustration
- Right click on your mouse
- Select "save picture as" from the pop-up menu
- Save the .gif file to your local machine
- In any accompanying text, please include the following credit: Courtesy of Brian Basset and Microsoft Corporation