Transcription of Make the Computer Easier to See Demo

Welcome to the demonstration of how to make the computer easier to see in Windows Vista.

Many accessibility settings in Windows Vista are available to make it easier to see items on the computer screen.

To explore settings, open the Ease of Access Center in Control Panel by pressing the Windows Logo key + U.

Then, select "Make the computer easier to see."

Here you'll explore:

  • High Contrast
  • Hear text and descriptions read aloud
  • Make things on the screen larger
  • Make things on the screen easier to see, and
  • Personalize appearance

High Contrast

Turn on High Contrast to heighten the color contrast of some text and images on your computer screen, making those items more distinct and easier to identify. Increasing the contrast in colors reduces eyestrain and makes things easier to read.

Hear text and descriptions read aloud

Narrator is a text-to-speech program that reads what is displayed on your screen, the contents of the active window, menu options, or the text you have typed. Narrator lets you customize the way screen elements are read.

Choose the text Narrator reads aloud such as:

  • Keystrokes
  • System messages, and
  • Scroll notifications

And, choose Narrator voice settings including:

  • Speed
  • Volume, and
  • Pitch

(Narrator voice)


Turn on audio descriptions if you want to hear descriptions of what's happening in videos.

Make things on the screen larger

Change the size of text and icons by adjusting the dots per inch (DPI) scale. By selecting a larger DPI scale, text becomes larger and easier to read.

Turn on Magnifier to enlarge a portion of your screen in a separate window to make it easier to see.

Choose the magnification level from 2 to 16 times the original.

For convenience and better visibility:

  • Invert the colors
  • Move the Magnifier window anywhere on your screen
  • Choose a docking position which places the magnifier window at left, top, right, or bottom of your screen, and
  • Adjust the tracking focus so that it follows the movement of the mouse cursor, keyboard focus, or text editing

Make things on the screen easier to see

Adjust the color and transparency of the windows borders to make windows borders easier to see.

  • Pick a color
  • Adjust the transparency
  • Select hue, saturation, and brightness from the color mixer, or
  • Open classic appearance properties for more color options

Fine tune display effects gives more color selection options including color scheme choices, standard or ClearType screen font smoothing, showing shadows under menus, showing window contents while dragging windows, and color or size options for use with Windows Classic color schemes.

Make the focus rectangle thicker so it's easier to see on screen.

Set the thickness of the blinking cursor (or insertion point) to make it easier to see where your cursor is located on screen. Select a size from 1 to 20, then preview it on screen before saving your selections.

Turn off all unnecessary animations if you find animations distracting.

And, you can choose to Remove background images if they make the screen difficult to see.

Personalize appearance

There are a number of options to make things on the screen easier to see in Appearance and Personalization, found in Control Panel.

To open "Personalize appearance and sounds" just right-click the mouse while on the desktop and select "Personalize" from the context menu.

Your desktop background adds personalization to your workspace. Choose a desktop background that makes it easier for you to see.

A screen saver is a picture or animation that appears on the screen and appears when your computer is idle for a set period of time. You can change or turn off the screen saver.

Change the sounds you hear when doing tasks such as closing a window. Customize the Mouse pointer used for specific tasks to make the mouse pointer easier to see. You can change pointer settings including:

  • Adjusting pointer speed (slow to fast)
  • Moving the pointer to the default button in a dialog box using SnapTo
  • Displaying pointer trails and adjusting their length
  • Hiding the pointer while typing, and
  • Showing the location of the pointer when the CTRL key is pressed

A desktop theme is a background, plus a set of sounds, icons, and other elements that help personalize your computer. You can make items on your screen more readable by choosing certain themes.

Depending on the type of display you use, you can adjust the resolution to make items on screen appear larger.

This concludes our demonstration.

Tutorials are provided for the accessibility settings and programs demonstrated.

For more information, visit the Microsoft Accessibility Web site at: