What is ZoomText
ZoomText is a powerful computer access solution that allows low-vision computer users to see, hear and use everything on Windows desktops, laptops and tablet devices. ZoomText magnifies and enhances everything on your computer screen; echoes all of your actions including typing and navigation through menus, dialogs and other application controls; automatically reads documents, web pages and email, and much more. With ZoomText, all applications can be used with greater ease, speed and productivity.
What’s New in ZoomText 11
For the release of ZoomText 11 our goal was to make ZoomText faster and friendlier than ever before. So we streamlined the toolbars, simplified command keys, and unified the core features to make them easier to learn and use. We've also made sure that the ZoomText interface is fully accessible using the mouse or the keyboard.
Here's a list of the key changes in ZoomText 11.
New Modern Toolbar. ZoomText has a brand new toolbar with a fresh clean look. We've streamlined and modernised the layout to make it easier to learn and fast and fluid to use. You can now access and operate the entire toolbar with the mouse or the keyboard.
How to use the new toolbar
- Using only the arrow keys and Enter key, you can fully navigate and operate all of the toolbar controls.
- Pressing the arrow keys moves the focus in the desired direction, such as left and right across toolbar controls or upward from a toolbar button to the toolbar tab.
- Many of the toolbar buttons are split button controls that have a top button that toggles the feature on and off or cycles the features mode, and a bottom button that displays a menu of associated features. When the focus is on a split button, pressing the Enter key will trigger the top button, while pressing the down arrow will open the menu. Use the arrow keys and Enter to key navigate the menus and select menu items. To close the menu, press the left arrow.
- When the focus is in a spin box, pressing the up and down arrow keys will adjust the spin box value; pressing the left or right arrow will move the focus to the next control.
- When the focus is in the Zoom Level spin box, pressing the Enter key will toggle the Zoom to 1x feature. Note: Left-click on the icon below the Zoom Level spin box also toggles the Zoom to 1x feature.
New Command Keys. ZoomText 11 has a new system of 'Command Keys' that are easier to learn and use. The new command keys eliminate hotkey conflicts and use key combinations that are easy to on any desktop or laptop keyboard.
How to use the new command keys
- All of the new ZoomText hotkeys (factory defaults) work on all laptop and desktop keyboards; utilise key combinations that are easier to find and execute; and eliminate long-standing hotkey conflicts with Windows and other applications.
- The new hotkeys for the most commonly used commands:
- Demonstrate Finder in IE11.
- See description of the “New Unified Finder Tool” below.
- Launch ZoomText Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Z
- ZoomText On/Off Caps Lock + Ctrl + Enter
- Zoom In/Out Caps Lock + Up/Down
- Zoom to 1x (toggle) Caps Lock + Enter
- Enhance Color On/Off Caps Lock + C
- Voice On/Off Caps Lock + Alt + Enter
- Cycle Typing Echo Mode Caps Lock + Alt + T
- Launch AppReader Caps Lock + Alt + A
- Launch AppReader from Pointer Caps Lock + Alt + Left –Click (on a word)
- Launch Finder Caps Lock + Ctrl + F
New Zoom to 1x. The new Zoom to 1x feature lets you instantly switch between zoomed and 1x views, without having to zoom in and out one level at a time. And when you zoom out to 1x, all of the other ZoomText features are still there for you.
How to use the new Zoom to 1x feature
- This one is simple, just zoom in and then press Caps Lock + Enter to toggle back and forth between the zoomed view and 1x view.
New Geometric Smoothing. ZoomText now smooths the edges of text in places where xFont magnification can't go. Here's a hint; your magnified PDF documents never looked this good.
How to use the new feature
- The feature is best demonstrated in Adobe Reader, where ZoomText’s xFont magnification is not available to provide smooth magnified text in PDF documents. Geometric Smoothing works in Adobe Reader changing the text from blurry unreadable text to sharp readable text.
New Consolidated AppReader. We've made automatic reading more efficient and flexible by combining ZoomText's legacy reading tools into one new AppReader. With the new AppReader you can read right in the target application, or switch on-the-fly to a high contrast text view that's better for visual reading. You can also spot read blocks of text by clicking and dragging the mouse.
How to use the new AppReader
- Open a Word document or webpage in IE11.
- Move the mouse pointer over the desired word where you want to start reading and Press the Launch AppReader from Pointer command: Caps Lock + Alt + Left-click. AppReader will start reading at the word under the pointer.
- To pause and resume reading (toggle), press the Enter key.
- To skim forward and backward by sentence, press the right and left keys.
- To skim forward and backward by paragraph, press the down and up keys.
- To switch between the App View and Text View, press the Tab key.
- While in App View and paused, click and drag to select a block of text to “spot read”.
- While in Text View, click the Settings button to open the Text View settings and adjust the font and color settings.
- To exit the AppReader, press the Esc key.
To learn about advanced AppReader capabilities, see Reader Features > AppReader in the ZoomText Help system. To open the Help system, on the ZoomText toolbar, select ZoomText > Help and Learning > ZoomText Help.
New Unified Finder Tool. Locating what you are looking for is easier than ever with the new Finder Tool. Finder lets you search and skim through documents, web pages and email to instantly find any word or phrase you are looking for. You can search through all of the text or only within specific items like headings, forms, links and images.
How to use the new Finder Tool
- Open a webpage containing good amount content with headers, links, images, etc. News pages and online magazines are good choices.
- Press the Launch Finder command: Caps Lock + Ctrl + F. The Finder Toolbar will appear.
- In the Search box type a word or phrase to find on the page, and then press the Enter key. The first instance of the word will be highlighted and a portion of the line or sentence containing the word will be spoken (so that the instance has meaningful context). Press Enter again to move to the next instance or Shift + Enter to move to the previous instance.
- Press start reading at the currently highlighted word, click the AppReader button.
- If the highlighted word is in a link, click the Execute button to trigger the link.
- To a view a list of all search matches on the page, click the List button. Click the List button again to close the list.
- To exit the Finder tool, press the Esc key.
To learn about advanced Finder capabilities, see Tools Features > Finder in the ZoomText Help system. To open the Help system, on the ZoomText toolbar, select ZoomText > Help and Learning > ZoomText Help.
New Smart Invert. See photos as they were meant to be seen in Internet Explorer 11. With ZoomText's new Smart Invert feature, photos are displayed in their natural colors when ZoomText's Invert Brightness and Invert Colors are active. It's not an illusion, it's Smart Invert.
How to use the new feature
- Open IE 11 to a webpage that contains photo images, such as a news page or a page of Google search results for images. Toggle ZoomText’s Color Enhancements on by pressing the Enhance Colors On/Off hotkey (Caps Lock + C) to enable the Invert Brightness or Invert Colors filter. The brightness or colors on the screen and in the webpage will be inverted. A moment later the brightness or colors in the photo images will un-invert to appear in their atural colors.
New ZoomText/JAWS Interoperability. Starting with the releases of ZoomText 11 and JAWS 18, ZoomText and JAWS are now officially compatible, giving you the best combination of speech and magnification available. You’ll enjoy how the two programs work together to keep your spoken point of interest in view, even when using the JAWS Say All command and virtual cursor. Now the two "Best in Category" are the "Best in Combination."
Demonstrating ZoomText/JAWS interop
- In JAWS 18, configure JAWS to use the laptop hotkey layout.
- In ZoomText 11, import the ZoomText for JAWS hotkeys as follows:
- On the ZoomText toolbar, choose ZoomText (menu) > Command Keys.
- Click the Import Hotkeys button.
- In the Import Hotkeys dialog box, select the ZT_11_JAWS_laptop_en-US.zxc file and click the Open button. The ZoomText for JAWS hotkeys will be loaded. Reading and voice related hotkeys will be disabled and all other ZoomText hotkeys will have the Alt key added to their key combination. For example, rather than pressing Caps Lock + Up/Down to zoom in and out, you will now press Caps Lock + Alt + Up/Down. These changes eliminate conflicts with the JAWS hotkeys.
- To make these hotkeys permanent when exiting and restarting ZoomText, on the ZoomText toolbar choose ZoomText > Configurations > Save As Default.
ZoomText 11 System Requirements
The following hardware and software are required to run ZoomText 11:
- Windows 10, 8.1 or 7 with Service Pack 1 (or later).
- Processor: 2 GHz i3 dual core processor or similar. i5 or i7 recommended.
- 4 GB Ram. 8 GB recommended.
- Video card with support for DirectX 10 or higher.
- Recommended: 256 MB dedicated video memory.
- 400 MB hard drive space. SSD drive recommended.
- 5-point multi-touch display for touch screen support.
- USB 2.0 for ZoomText Camera support.