Window's Built-in Magnifier

General discussions ColorWasher, FocalBlade, LightMachine, B/W Styler and ContrastMaster
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Window's Built-in Magnifier

Post by DBKettrey »

Hi, Harald;

I'm new to this Forum and I enjoy reading the posts and answers about four PhotoWiz plugins I am now fortunate to have: Color Washer, Contrast Master, Light Machine and Focal Blade. These are great tools, but one of the most fantastic things about these plugins is how much thought and how many features you have put into them. You seemed to have covered all the bases in each plugin by giving them the capability to handle any number of contingencies that may exist in a photo in the performance of their respective functions. (Boy! That was a tough sentence to write.)

I've read some older and newer posts where your plugin users wish there was the capability to zoom the image larger than 100% to better evaluate an effect without having to revert back to their host application in order to so. Because my screen resolution is set so that I can see more of the image and all of the user interface, things can appear pretty small on the screen - even at 100%. Some of the GUI's of my plugin tools are so small - for my old eyes - that I'd wish I had a magnifying glass just to see where the tool's cursor is so I'd know I was clicking where I needed to...

Then it dawned on me that Windows already provides such a tool: the Magnifier.

While using your's - or anyone's - plugins, users can access the Magnifier tool by going to START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > ACCESSIBILITY > MAGNIFIER.

On my Windows XP computer, the Magnifier utility allows me to zoom in up to 900%, although I don't remember ever using it at over 300%. The Magnifier launches a small view window which can be resized to the user's satisfaction simply by dragging a corner of the window with the mouse. It also brings up a small dialogue box (which can be minimized to get it off the screen) which allows the user to select a desired magnification factor. The view window can be moved anywhere on the user's screen by dragging the title bar of the window.

I've put the Magnifer both in my Start Menu List and in the Quick Launch Toolbar, so it's there for me in just a single click.

I've set the Magnifier to follow my cursor, so I can magnify and observe any portion of the plugin's image preview just by moving my cursor over it.

Users can activate the Magnifier at any time to get a zoomed-in view of the plugin's image preview, and this may be a quicker and just-as-effective alternative to going through the extra steps of applying and exiting the plugin and then using the host application to zoom in.

As long as the image previews in your plugins are set at 100% so that the pixel data is accurately reproduced, I don't know why viewing the image preview at, say, 400% with the Magnifier would be any different than viewing the image in the host application at 400%. Thus, using the built-in Magnifier might just reduce or eliminate the back-and-forth, trial-and-error steps that some users feel they have to resort to. It works for me.

That being said, I want to tell you that your plug-ins, to me, are masterpieces of intelligent design. I've been spoiled by them. I can no longer restore or enhance any photo without using at least one of them.

Regards, DB Kettrey
DB Kettrey

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Post by HaraldHeim »

Thanks for your compliments on my plugins and thanks for your tip on the Window's magnifier program.

There is another way to handle too small text and controls. You can use a larger dpi setting under Control Panel > Display > Settings > Advanced > General > DPI setting. However, many programs and plugins are not really used to work with such a setting, so you may get some ugly or partially unusable dialogs with this method. So the magnifier method may still be the better alternative.

The good news is that my plugins will soon support a preview zoom larger than 100%. I will be adding it with the next updates.

Thanks for the "masterpieces of intelligent design" comment. However, I got disatisfied with some of their functionality, so I will be doing a few changes to them in future. Some of it can already be seen in ContrastMaster, e.g. the tool bar above the preview, preview tab sheets, supporting visual styles and scripting. There are also a few smaller details that work a bit differently in one plugin than in the other, so I am also trying to make these things work the same in all plugins.

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