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Computer Screen Adjustments For Poor Sighted Readers

Microsoft Windows and Word and Excel all contain built-in features to help you to see the computer screen more easily.  People with vision impairment may be able to read the computer more easily if they:

  • Increase the size of the type
  • Change the style of the type
  • Increase the contrast on the screen

In addition, the following adjustments have been useful for people with impaired sight:
  • Changing Contrast, Size, and Font Style
  • Changing the Magnification of the Screen by Changing the Resolution
  • Changing the Size of What You See On Your Screen in Microsoft Word or Excel
  • Another Way to Magnify Your Screen in Word or Excel
  • Changing the Size and Appearance of the Mouse Pointers
  • Changing the Background and Text Colors in Microsoft Word


Changing the Contrast, Size, and Font Style at the Same Time

  • Turn on your computer
  • While pointing to a blank spot on the screen, click the right button of your mouse.
  • Click Properties. This is on the bottom of the drop-down menu.
  • Click the Appearance tab at the top of the Display Properties box.
  • Go to the Scheme rectangle. Click the arrow on the right side of that rectangle. You will see many different schemes, all of which have different sizes and styles.
  • Scroll to the High Contrast Black (large).
  • You may try other schemes, i.e. High Contrast White (extra large).
  • Once you find one that is easiest for you to see, click Apply on the bottom right rectangle.


Changing the Magnification of Your Screen by Changing the Resolution

  • The resolution of your monitor can be changed. Lower resolution will increase the size of the words and images on your screen. Higher resolution will cause the images on your screen to be smaller.
  • Turn on your computer.
  • Click the right button of your mouse.
  • Click Properties.
  • Click the Settings tab at the top of the Display Properties box.
  • Go the rectangle that says Screen Area.
  • Move the arrow of your cursor to the lever that points down.
  • Click the left button on your mouse and move it to your left (640 x 480) to make the images larger on your screen.
  • Click the Apply rectangle.


Changing the Size of What You See On Your Screen in Microsoft Word or Excel

There may be times that you want a letter or report to print in small (10 or 12 pt.) type. Unfortunately, when you use small print, it is difficult to see on your computer screen. You can increase the size of what you see without having to increase the size of the font in which you will print. This allows you to see the layout of your document.

  • Go to Microsoft Word.
  • On the top right hand side of the screen, you will see a box with a number and a percent sign.
  • Click the Down arrow next to the number.
  • Click 200% or 500%.
  • Alternatively, click on the number in the box and type whatever magnification percentage you want, up to 500%.


Another Way to Magnify your Screen in Word or Excel

  • Look at the top of our screen. You will see File, Edit and then View.
  • Click View.
  • Click Zoom at the bottom of the menu.
  • Go to the Percent rectangle.
  • Type in the percentage of magnification you want- 125%, 300% etc.


Changing the Size and Appearance of the Mouse Pointers

You can make the mouse pointers larger, change their appearance altogether, add a “trail” to the mouse as it moves across the screen, change the mouse speed, change the double-click speed, and alter many other features that will make it easier to keep track of the pointer.

  • On the main screen, double click the My Computer icon
  • Double click Control Panel
  • Double click Mouse
  • Check out all the tabs at the top of the Mouse Properties box (Activities, Pointers, Pointer Options, etc.), and make any changes you desire.
  • You can also reach the Control Panel by clicking the Start button (bottom left of screen), clicking Settings, then clicking Control Panel.


Changing the Background and Text Colors in Microsoft Word

Many people with impaired sight find it more comfortable to type on a dark background because it reduces glare and eye fatigue.

  • Turn on your computer.
  • Go to Microsoft Word.
  • At the very top of your screen, click Tools.
  • Click Options.
  • Click the General tab at the top of the Options box.
  • Click the fourth box down, "Blue background, white text".
  • Click the OK rectangle.