Explanation of Zoom and Zoom Window Features on the iPad

(Excerpts from Introduction to iPad Accessibility Features for Blind and Low Vision Students manual and from the iPad Accessibility Settings manual © 2014 SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC USA written by Diane Brauner and Ed Summers.  Used with Permission.)*

In the Settings app, users have many built-in magnification options.  This post will discuss the various Zoom and Zoom Window options and how to use these features.  Zoom and Zoom Window work can work in conjunction with VoiceOver or separately.

Mainstream Magnification

Mainstream magnification allows you to tap or pinch to magnify within specific apps, such as Mail, Maps and web pages.  It does not allow you to magnify the Home screen, Calendar, Settings, etc.

Accessibility Shortcut

Before using Zoom, it is strongly recommended to include Zoom in the Accessibility Shortcut.  This allows users to instantly toggle Zoom on/off using the Triple Click Home button. 

To set the Accessibility Shortcut, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > (scroll to the bottom of the page) Accessibility Shortcut.  Select your desired options (VoiceOver, Invert Colors, Grayscale, Zoom, Switch Control, AsistiveTouch).

Teacher Hint:  If your student only uses Zoom, select only Zoom as an Accessibility Shortcut.  When Zoom is the only option, pressing the home button three times quickly will automatically turn Zoom on/off.

To select your desired Zoom options, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom.  The following describes the various magnification options in Settings.

Zoom

“Zoom” is the traditional way to magnify the entire screen.  Prior to iOS 8, Zoom magnified the entire screen.  iOS 8 introduced the Zoom Window – the ability to magnify a section of the screen while maintaining the normal settings on the rest of the screen.  The Zoom magnification range is 100 to 1,500%.

The full screen Zoom continues to work and the commands are the same. 

  • Double tap-three fingers to Zoom in/out
  • Drag three fingers to move around the screen
  • Double tap (holding on second tap) three-fingers and drag up to increase the Zoom
  • Double tap (holding on the second tap) three-fingers and drag down to decrease the Zoom
  • 1-finger hold on the top, bottom, right or left edge of the screen to quickly scroll in that direction

Follow Focus

This setting determines if the Zoom lens (magnified area) will follow the text cursor.

Teacher Hint:  previously, when typing, Zoom did not follow as text was added.  Follow Focus will automatically display the text he/she which is currently being typed.

Smart Typing

Typing on a magnified keyboard used to require scrolling around the screen in order to locate the keys.  When Smart Typing is on, Smart Typing will switch to Window Zoom when a keyboard appears and move the Window so that the text is zoomed but the keyboard is not.

Teacher Hint: For many students – especially students who are used to typing on the traditional keyboard - it is easier and more efficient to type when the keyboard remains the normal size.

Zoom Window                                                        screenshot of iPad home screen with Zoom Window on iBook app

The following features are found in Zoom Window.

Show Controller

This toggle setting adds the Zoom Controller - a circle - to the screen.  The Zoom Controller is used to move Zoom focus around, to bring up the new Zoom Menu and to quickly zoom in and out of an area.  The Zoom Menu is a popup box with options/settings that you can select.

To Hide/Show the Zoom Controller:

  •  When the Zoom Menu is displayed, tap on Hide/Show Controller option.
  •  When the Zoom Menu is NOT displayed, three-finger triple tap will show the Zoom Menu.  Then, tap on Show Controller.
  •  When the Zoom Controller is displayed, single tap on the Zoom Controller to display the Zoom Menu.  Then, tap on Hide Controller.

The Zoom Controller allows quick access to Zoom Controls

  • Tap once on the Zoom Controller circle to show the Zoom menu.
  • Double tap on the Zoom Controller circle to zoom in and out.
  • When Zoomed in, hold then drag the Zoom Controller circle to a new area on the iPad’s screen.
  • When Zoomed in, touch and immediately drag up/down/right/left to scroll/pan around the magnified content on the screen.

The Zoom Menu has the options of:

  • Zoom In/Out (Removes/shows Zoom Window; removes Zoom menu)
  • Full Screen Zoom/Window Zoom*
  • Resize Lens (Allows you to change the size of the window)
  • Choose Filter (None, Inverted, Grayscale, Grayscale Inverted, Low light
  • Hide/Show Controller
  • Slider to increase/decrease the magnification

*When Window Zoom is selected, the Zoom Menu options change to:

  • Zoom In/Out (Zoom Out will remove the Zoom Window & screen converts to native size)
  • Full Screen Zoom (disables Zoom Window and full screen is magnified)
  • Resize Lens (Allows you to change the size of the window)
  • Choose Filter (None, Inverted, Grayscale, Grayscale Inverted, Low light
  • Hide/Show Controller
  • Slider to increase/decrease the magnification

Idle Visibility

When Show Controller is turned on, Idle Visibility appears.  This reduces the visibility of the Zoom controller when the controller is not in use.  The slider’s default is 50%.

Teacher Hint: Students that struggle with physically scrolling around the page may prefer to use the Show Controller feature.

Zoom Region

This setting enables the student to choose Full Screen Zoom or the Window Zoom (partial screen zoom).

Teacher Hint:  If the student does not like the Zoom Window or if the student does not use the Zoom Window feature, turn Zoom Region to Full Screen Zoom.

Zoom Filter

This feature allows the user to determine the filter options: none, inverted, grayscale, grayscale inverted, low light.

Maximum Zoom Level

This feature allows students to limit the amount of magnification.  The maximum amount is 15x.  Limiting the amount of magnification can be beneficial when using an iPod or iPhone, due to the small screen sizes.  Some students may benefit from having his/her TVI set the maximum level of Zoom.

Teacher Hint:  The greater the magnification, the smaller the field – which requires more scrolling.  Bigger is not always better!

To set the Zoom options, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom

Teacher Hint:  If the student does not use Zoom, turn Zoom Off.  Adjust the Maximum Zoom level for your student’s specific needs.

 

The Introduction to iPad Accessibility Features for Blind and Low Vision Students and the iPad Accessibility Settings manuals are available only through the corresponding iPad Accessibility workshops.  For more information about iPad Accessibility workshops by Diane Brauner and Ed Summers, please contact dianebrauner@me.com

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