Doug Behl & Ken Getz: Make Windows easier to see
Special to The Union
I just bought a new laptop with a super high-resolution screen, and I often have a hard time reading the fonts on the screen—they’re just too small. Before I return the laptop, do you have any suggestions to help make the screen more readable? I can’t use this computer as it is.
Before we talk about screen fonts and resolution, just a general thought: In Windows, if you don’t like the way something works, looks, or “feels,” there’s almost always a setting that will change it to your liking.
Rather than giving up, it’s always better to do some searching (or asking your local tech tip guys) for a way to change the behavior of Windows, which has tons of settings that you can change to modify the way Windows works.
In this case, you have two options. You can either opt to change the size of all the fonts in Windows, or you can use an application that magnifies specific portions of the screen. To change the general font size, right-click on an empty area of the Windows desktop, and choose Display Settings from the context menu.
(You can also open Control Panel and select Display settings there.)
The resulting window allows you to change the font size for Windows, although the specifics of the options vary depending on the version of Windows that you’re running. In Windows 10, for example, the settings allow you to “Change the size of text, apps, and other items” using a slider. In Windows 7, you can select from there stock sizes (100 percent, 125 percent, or 150 percent) or you can select a custom size. In Windows 10, you can also select the Advanced Settings option, and modify the exact text items you want changed (title bars, menus, message box text, and so on).
If you want to view a specific area of the screen more closely, and don’t want to change all of Windows’ text sizes, you can use the Magnifier tool (type Magnifier into the Search bar). This application magnifies the area under its window, which you can move around on the screen.
No matter which solution you choose, you’ll find it easy to make Windows work the way you want it to work, using settings or the Magnifier application.
Enabling three-finger drag on a Mac in OS X 10.11
I recently saw a friend drag a window around on her Mac using a simple three-finger gesture, dragging across the trackpad on her Mac. I can’t figure out how to make this work. I looked in to the Trackpad settings on my Mac, but there’s no option to enable this gesture. What am I missing?
This question actually stumped Ken recently, as he tried to take advantage of this quick and easy method of moving windows around on the screen.
It seemed like there ought to be a setting in the standard System Preferences window, under the Trackpad settings. No setting exists, however.
The fact is, this setting did appear here at one point, but in later versions of OS X, it has been moved to the Accessibility settings.
To find it, start the System Preferences application, click the Accessibility options, and then, in the list on the left of the window, scroll down to find the Mouse & Trackpad options.
Click on Mouse & Trackpad, and then click the Trackpad Options… button. (They clearly worked hard to hide this feature!)
In the Trackpad Options window, select the Enable dragging option, and from the dropdown list, select “three finger drag”. Click OK to enable the feature.
Once you have taken these steps, you can drag any open window by first moving the cursor to the top portion of the window, and then moving three fingers together on the trackpad.
Try it! It’s easy, and it’s a great way to move windows around on the screen.
(If you use an iMac, or a Mac laptop with an external keyboard, make sure and check out the Magic Trackpad 2 — it’s much larger than the original Magic Trackpad, and works great with this method of moving windows.)
Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken’s tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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