ZoomText

ZoomText is a type of screen magnification technology primarily used by those with low vision.

Related terms

Illustration: A magnifying glass hovering over a piece of paper magnifying a portion of the text on the page. The zoom text logo is at the top of the paper.
Illustration: A magnifying glass hovering over a piece of paper magnifying a portion of the text on the page. The zoom text logo is at the top of the paper.

Long definition

ZoomText is one of two software screen magnifiers available on Windows computers and is primarily used by those with low vision. ZoomText provides features to adjust colour contrast, magnify the entire screen (or just some elements), read selected text aloud using text-to-speech, and smooth text to make it easier to read while magnified.

ZoomText was originally developed by AI Squared and first released for DOS in 1988. The first Windows version was released in 1991. In 2016, the company was purchased by Freedom Scientific, the developers of the JAWS screen reader, which is now known as Vispero.

After the purchase, a product called ZoomText Fusion was released, combining the features of the ZoomText magnifier and the JAWS screen reader. This product quickly became popular, as it allowed those who were experiencing gradual vision loss to slowly transition from a fully visual way of using the computer, towards eventually using a screen reader full time. It is also popular with those whose vision tires quickly or changes frequently, as it allows them to pick the best tool for the current time and the task that they’re currently performing.

As vision loss is a spectrum, rather than a binary, having access to a screen reader and screen magnifier at the same time is an advantage for many users.

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