Windows 8, has a amazing new updated Magnifier Application, improved from Win7 for those of us who cannot see clearly.

Does Ubuntu have a Magnifying application which you can either mouse over, or crop a section of the screen to zoom in on it?


Please see the following related answer:

Default screen magnifier?

The accessibility settings in 14.04 appear to have been changed to only include "enhanced zoom desktop", but you may find this a suitable alternative to a magnifier.

After installing compizconfig-settings-manager per the linked answer, you will want to configure the enhanced desktop zoom such that you have a zoom in and zoom out key, at a minimum. From there, you can zoom as needed. The zoom follows your mouse as well, making it somewhat similar to a magnifier.

  • Thank you so very much! One question: Is there a "Live Zoom, where you can drag your Mouse to select the area of the live zoom", instead of just a preset area of the screen? – SabinReneFigaro Apr 15 '15 at 0:37
  • Found it! CCSM > Zoom > Invoke Zoombox Button (This is the newer compiz, not the one from Ubuntu 09.10 which is my favorite). But the new version of Compiz in 14.04 has it!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Compiz just made me say good bye to Windows Magnifier... Thank you all for your efforts on this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – SabinReneFigaro Apr 15 '15 at 0:40
  • I hope that Ubuntu 15.04 and Unity8 onwards dont remove compiz plugins like this, as they are sooo important for the visually impared. Thank you again kindly – SabinReneFigaro Apr 15 '15 at 0:47
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    I also hope that features assisting those with impairments continue to be provided! Glad to have helped. – Gary Apr 15 '15 at 0:58

You can try KMag.

Just open Ubuntu Software Center, search for KMag and click install.

  • Kmag is really great. But I could not figure out if it allows you to draw a bounding box on the screen to focus the zoom on a certain area of an application. – SabinReneFigaro Apr 15 '15 at 3:09
  • Another Idea however in case other users similar to myself have tired eyes: You can install Ubuntu with 2 monitors, and always leave KMAG on the right monitor and set to "Mouse" mode. That way you will always have a zoom. (Although, if you have only 1 monitor, then the CCSM>ZoomBox lets you highlight and use a bounding box to zoom, and you can zoomout when you want to, which is much easier if you only have 1 monitor) – SabinReneFigaro Apr 15 '15 at 3:16
  • USC says 'kmag' is untrusted ? – NIMISHAN Dec 28 '15 at 0:39

Virtual Magnifying Glass for Windows and Linux


Note. The lastest version does not work with Ubuntu LTS 14.04 Trusty 64 bit version (it worked with the previous 64 bit LTS version), due to the 32 bit nature of the compiled version of vmg for Linux. If you dont feel like compiling the source, the solution is reverting to the older version 3.2.1-1 by manually installing the contents of the i586.rpm (older version = no direct control of zoom factor by mouse wheel within the magnified window).

  • This doesn't actually let me do anything while the magnifier is on the screen. Additionally, it seems to create a snapshot of the screen at the moment the program was started so I can't tab away to another app and still see the magnifier. – Michael May 8 '20 at 5:28

Welcome to Open source

you can find here multiple and huge number of choices to decide which to use:

  1. The default screen magnifier that you can enable from the compiz settings
  2. kmag
  3. gnome-mag
  4. xzoom sudo apt-get install xzoom
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    how to use xzoom? I want to magnify a word in a web page ? – NIMISHAN Dec 28 '15 at 0:31

This is an addition to the "Virtual Magnifying Glass" answer...

The Linux version 3.3 (the tar.bz2 file) also works under Ubuntu Trusty 14.04 64 bit. Not the more recent ones, seemingly due to a specific Trusty 64 bit problem with the mouse wheel input to VMG.

The latest version of Virtual Magnifying Glass works with all versions of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise LTS.

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