The BEAM XVI Magnification Software
The BEAM XVI magnification application is responsible for magnifying the
screens display and providing panning and other tools to assist the visually
impaired user. The software can be driven from a GUI interface or, more
commonly, though hot keys from the keyboard. The features supported include
The whole of the screens display can be magnified up to 8 times. This is
done in hardware for fast and smooth response.
Once the display has been magnified the user can pan the visible portion
by means of the mouse or keyboard. The system uses hardware to perform
the pan for a fast responsive feel. Moving the mouse to the edge of the
screen automatically causes a pan of the display.
The system can automatically pan the display to the current centre of attention.
For example, the screen can be panned to display the current text entry
box as the centre of attention is moved by pressing the TAB to next object
function. Various options are provided to track most screen operations
including, text cursors, Motif window focus, text display, drawing commands
and screen reader system.
This feature provides the user with a magnified view of the area around
the mouse cursor and moves with the mouse cursor in real-time. The view,
which can be magnified up to 8 times on top of the screen magnification,
is displayed in an on screen window. The magnification glasses window can
be set to any size and any position on the screen. Hot keys enable the
activation of the feature and control the level of zoom.
Mouse Cursor Options
In order to assist with the visibility of the mouse cursor, the system
provides the ability to increase the size of the displayed cursor and change
its colour. The cursors size can be changed in relation to the current
screen magnification level, so that the cursor size is roughly the same
independent of screen magnification level. Both the foreground and background
colours of the displayed cursor can be changed. Also provided is a "cursor
locater". This feature, driven by a hot key, flashes the cursor on the
display to aid location.
The system provides the ability to change the colour and pattern of the
screen background. This can aid the visibility of the on screen windows.
The software provides the ability to change any on screen colour, for any
application. This can be used to great effect with some forms of colour
based visual impairment.
Linkage with Screen Reader Software
The software has been designed and works with the BEAM screen reader software.
The magnification software can be made to track the screen readers centre
of attention making it easy to use magnification with speech and/or braille.