21 November 2006

How to magnify online images

Are you finding online census images and other original genealogy record images increasingly difficult to read? I am, so I've taken to using technology to help. Here are some ways to do it; not news but perhaps news to you.

You can get a free magnifier add-on for IE7, but reportedly it is spyware. If you're not using the excellent Firefox browser give it a try. It has an add-on called ColorZilla that allows you to zoom the entire screen up to 1000%. That's far too much for most purposes. 200% or 300% is usually sufficient. You can scroll the image to see it all. From the Firefox browser follow the menu items tools, then add-ons, then extensions. Alternatively Google for ColorZilla for information.

There's also a built in magnifier in Windows XP. It opens a window showing a magnified version of part of the main window. I use it to magnify the image near the cursor but there are other options. You can open the magnifier window by clicking Start, pointing to All Programs, then Accessories, then Accessibility. Then click Magnifier. There's also keyboard access by pressing CTRL+ESC, pressing R, typing magnify, and then pressing ENTER.

Now if only they'd invent a technology to read difficult handwriting!