Quick tips for making Windows Vista easier to use
Do you ever get frustrated by squinting to try and read the tiny text on your computer screen? Do you ever find yourself wishing you could just tell your computer what you want it to do, instead of trying to get your keyboard or mouse to cooperate? If so, check out these tips for making Windows just a little bit easier to use.
Make the screen easier to read
If you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen, chances are your eyes get a little tired. Here are some ways you can make your screen a little easier to see.
Change the screen resolution
One way to make text on your screen larger is to change the screen resolution. When you lower the resolution, items on the screen appear larger. For example, changing your resolution from 1024 × 768 to 800 × 600 (a lower resolution) will make everything on the screen larger. The downside of doing this is that fewer items will fit on the screen and sometimes making items larger might not make them more clear. You should experiment with different screen resolutions to see which one works the best for you. To get the best balance between size and clarity, it's important to make sure that you're using the right resolution for your monitor. In general, cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors can accommodate a wider range of resolutions. Flat panel LCD monitors have a specific resolution at which they will look best (called a native resolution), so sometimes it's not possible to have acceptable display results at different resolutions.
To change the screen resolution
Open Display Settings by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, clicking Personalization, and then clicking Display Settings.
Under Resolution, move the slider to the resolution you want, and then click Apply.
Increase the size of text and icons
Another way to make the text and icons on your screen bigger, without changing the overall screen resolution, is to increase the dots per inch (DPI) scale. This increases the number of dots that your computer displays per inch, which makes the text appear larger and crisper and makes it easier to read.
To increase the DPI scale
Open Personalization by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Personalization.
In the left pane, click Adjust font size (DPI).
If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
In the DPI Scaling dialog box, click Larger scale (120 DPI)–make text more readable, and then click OK.
To see the changes, close all of your programs, and then restart Windows.
Magnify the desktop
If you need to focus on a specific area of your computer without making the entire screen bigger, you can use Magnifier. Magnifier is a program that displays an enlarged copy of the area of the screen where you’re working so you can see it more clearly.
To learn how to turn on Magnifier, see Make items on the screen appear bigger.
If you're using a Microsoft mouse, you can use the mouse to zoom in on a specific item. This allows you to easily zoom in and out on an area without turning on Magnifier. To use this feature, download the latest Intellipoint drivers from the Mouse and Keyboard Software page on the Microsoft website.
Take it easy
The Ease of Access Center is a central location that contains many different settings that can be changed to help make Windows easier to use. There, you’ll find settings for controlling how your keyboard works, making the mouse pointer larger and easier to see, adjusting how items are displayed on the screen, and several other settings. There’s also a questionnaire that you can use to identify specific settings that can help make your computer easier to use.
To use the Ease of Access questionnaire
Open Ease of Access Center by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Ease of Access Center.
Click Get recommendations to make your computer easier to use.
Talk to your computer
If you’ve ever wanted to be able to tell your computer what you want it to do, you’re in luck. Set your keyboard and mouse aside and check out Windows Speech Recognition. You can use Speech Recognition to tell programs to open or close, browse the web, click items on your desktop, or even dictate an e-mail message. With a good microphone and a little bit of work setting up a speech profile, you might be surprised by how easy it is to make your computer respond to spoken commands. To get started, you'll need to set up your microphone and go through a quick Speech Recognition wizard. For more information, see Set up Speech Recognition.