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Portable Screen magnifier??

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Luanialus
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Portable Screen magnifier??

Hey Gang I teach kids that are visually impaired, a big issue with them and many people with visual impairments, is that they are roped down to one machine since that is what has their software on it so they are able access the computer. Most my students are still print readers they just need the screen enlarged, I've looked into open source alternatives to the screen enlarger they use and honestly none of them that I have found come close to comparing to zoomtext or magic which are the applications of choice for many people with visual impairments. I have this software and licenses to it, but I would love a way to make it to where it could run from a USB drive so the kids could use, say any computer in the library or at the school if they need to. I understand there are likely restrictions to modifying the software in the EULA which is the hang up to it all, but man this would really make a great change in the world of people with visual impairments if they had an app that could travel with them. If I knew anything about coding I'd try to do this myself but I haven't a clue where to start in making an application portable. Is there anyone that would be willing to assist me in this? Thanks a ton! visionteacher at gmail dot com, if you don't want to post here. Forgive me please if I’m disregarding any list etiquette, it’s not my intention.

~Mickey

John T. Haller
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Yes and No

Something like Zoomtext is actually far more than a magnifier and, I think, requires installation of system-level bits to perform the functions it does. As such, it would be difficult (if not impossible) to make fully portable.

If you need something more like a general magnifier lens that just magnifies a specific area, then something like Virtual Magnifying Glass may be just the ticket. I UPXed it and created a test package for you to try out.

UPDATE: Test 1 Link Removed... Get the new version 2 posts down.

It's only a 283k download and even less installed. I removed it from its normal installer, added a default INI and UPX compressed the EXE. Give it a shot.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Luanialus
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Looks nice

Whoa that was fast Smile I tried it out, it seems to not have the mouse wheel scrolling for magnification functionality. That program is the best open source option I've seen, but not the best out there, when comparing to something like zoomtext, certainly not a fault of this community, and if I had some coding ability I would probably work to change that. Anyway as you say, zoomtext does a lot, the unfortunate thing is that many visually impaired users, use a lot of that functionality. I don't know much about these things, but is one able to trim out functions in an application if they require system level type things, or is it an all or nothing deal? The real thing would be the color changing, zooming, and their ability to smooth out the text even when its really enlarged. That's the big difference between zoomtext and other mags is that it somehow doesn't make the enlarged text all pixelated, perhaps adding that function would be the easier ticket to one of the open source apps. Though I'm sure I don't know what kind of work I'm asking for, oh and the ability to turn magnification onto the whole screen, a lot of people use that rather than the lens. Thanks so much for your help already. That little app that you sent by itself will be helpful. And adding the other functionality I mentioned would be just gravy.

~Mickey

edit: It does kind of do a full screen thing if you play with the lens size, but it's from what I can tell a "look turn it off, type and so forth, then turn the lens back on" would be nice if one could lay the "lens" over the screen and then still work under it. Any ideas? Or should I submit those to the project admins.

John T. Haller
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A Slight Update

I noticed that a new version of the base app came out yesterday (it wasn't yet on their homepage) so I added that in. It adds the ability for the scroll wheel to change the magnification amount and a couple other minor enhancements. It looks like they are eventually adding in the ability to interact with the zoomed app while magnifying and the ability to better antialias text when zoomed in later releases (obviously not something I can help with... you'll need to talk to the devs of the base app for any enhancements to the app itself).

Here's a portable package of the updated version to try out:
Download Portable Virtual Magnifying Glass Test 2

Give this a try.

As for ZoomText, there's nothing I can help you with. It's illegal to modify. And my time is better spent on open source apps that can be freely shared with everyone.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Luanialus
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Thanks!

Thank you for your help so far, I do appreciate it. I understand the concerns with the legality, its just a frustration with me I suppose. Thanks again.

John T. Haller
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Try the new one?

With the mousewheel zoom support? It should be closer to what you need.

Since this fills a real need, I think I'll polish this a bit and make it an official app.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Luanialus
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No all the extra features

The features I'd like to see are in the pipe with that app it looks like already, such as the text smoothing and working beneath the lens, but I want it NOW Smile Once they get those two things implemented this app will be awesome. I guess I should learn to code and put my time where my mouth is. I very much agree with you on it needing to be an app, I'll share it amongst the community of vi users that I know. Another "need" is going to be a decent screen reader that's portable, but I haven't even looked into that in regards to FOSS alternatives yet. I will watch this space for the polished version, and if you come up with a screen reader I'd be glad to test it out for you. Thanks for all you are doing, and from anyone else with know how to kick toward this.

~Mickey

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