Universal Access

The Universal Access panel is designed for people who type with one hand, find it difficult to use a mouse, or have trouble seeing or hearing. (These features can also be handy when the mouse is broken or missing.)


The Mac actually speaks aloud the names of the Universal Access panel’s various buttons and tabs, as you move your cursor over them. This, of course, is intended to help people who have trouble reading the screen. If it bothers you, turn off “Enable text-to-speech for Universal Access preferences” at the bottom of the window.

Seeing Tab (Magnifying the Screen)

If you have trouble seeing the screen, one quick solution is to reduce your monitor’s resolution—thus magnifying the image—using the Displays panel described earlier in this chapter. If you have a 17-inch or larger monitor set to, say, 640 x 480, the result is a greatly magnified picture.

That method doesn’t give you much flexibility, however, and it’s something of a hassle to adjust.

If you agree, then try out the features offered by the Seeing panel (called CloseView in earlier Mac OS versions). This feature lets you enlarge the area surrounding your cursor in any increment—and, if you like, also to invert the colors of the screen so that white is black, blue is yellow, and so on.

To make it work, press Option-Seeing Tab (Magnifying the Screen)-8 as you’re working. Or, if the Seeing panel is open in front of you, just click the gigantic ...

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