Computer Screen Magnifier Magical Glass

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 27, 2008
Updated • Dec 28, 2012
Software, Windows software

The Windows operating system comes with a magnifier that can be used to magnify parts of the computer screen. It can be started by opening a run dialog window with Windows-R, typing magnify and hitting the enter key. The magnifier has a few limitations, the main being that it will always display the magnified part of the screen in a fixed window on the screen. This means that you have to concentrate both on the mouse cursor and the part where the magnified screen is shown at the same time.

A better and more natural computer screen magnifier would be one that would magnify the screen around the cursor position. That is what Magical Glass brings to the table. The computer screen magnifier is completely hotkey driven. Hotkeys are available to turn the screen magnifier on and off, to lock it on the computer desktop, to zoom in or out, to change the size of the part of the screen that is magnified, to change the brightness and to capture the part of the screen.

The main hotkey is [CTRL ALT Q] which will turn on or off the screen magnifier. The rest of the functions can be accessed from the num pad on the keyboard.

Here is the full list of keyboard shortcuts and features it makes available:

  • Turn on or off: Strg-Alt-Q
  • Lock or unlock Numpad 0
  • Zoom+ Numpad 8
  • Zoom- Numpad 2
  • Size+ Numpad 6
  • Size- Numpad 4
  • Brightness+ Numpad 3
  • Brightness- Numpad 1
  • Capture Numpad 9

You can modify the shortcuts, configure the program to start on system start, and select the default magnifier size and zoom level in the program settings as well.

The software is low on resources while running in the background. It uses about 3.2 Megabytes of computer memory which goes up to about 8 Megabytes when the magnifier is turned on.

Update: The website does not mention Windows 7 or newer Windows operating systems. I have tested the magnifier under windows 7 and it is working just fine on the operating system. It is very likely therefore that it will also work fine under Windows 8 or newer versions of Windows once they come out. The program supports plugins, of which a few are installed alongside the program, and additional ones available for download on the screen magnifier's website.

Update 2: The program website is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest version of Magical Glass to our own server. You can download it with a click on the following link: (Download Removed)


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  1. Phao Loo said on December 27, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    That’s pretty good to prevent eyestrain.

  2. Obi-Wahn said on December 27, 2008 at 11:44 am

    If you are using a MS Mouse (like a Basic Optical Mouse), you can use IntelliPoint to modify your Mouse Settings, including a Magnifier Glass. MS Software (ipoint.exe) uses roughly 7.5 MB of Ram (with/without magnifier function)


  3. Dotan Cohen said on December 27, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Of course, it should be mentioned that this feature is built into Ubuntu and every other Linux distro that uses Compiz.

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