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Shortcut Week: Sarah Mann-Voss on Increasing Screen Readability

I’m Sarah Mann-DeVos and I’m kicking off shortcut week. What are shortcuts? They are shorter, faster, easier ways to get something done. Our criteria for the week was that the shortcuts not only had to make something shorter, faster, or easier, but also that you also mustn’t be shortchanged on the way and that they had to be reasonably applicable to evaluators (thus no shortcuts to the Home Depot in West Des Moines). Most of our shortcuts this week apply to technology tools generally in use. As such, we encourage you to spread the word to your friends, beyond the evaluation community, come learn how to make your everyday tasks easier, faster, shorter, more efficient!

Dirty little secret: My eyes just aren’t what they used to be. I squint and my reading has slowed a bit. Sometimes I forget to bring my glasses, and even when I have them on I regularly wish that type was just a bit bigger. I’ve been known to copy text from a website into a word document so I could enlarge the font. Then, my nephew solved my problem, at least for web reading.

Hot Tip – Make websites larger (or smaller) using your keyboard: Hold down the “ctrl” key and press “+” to enlarge or “-“ to shrink the size of a site in your browser. Be sure that your cursor is somewhere on the website page when you do this. I’m on a pc and have tried this in Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome and it has worked consistently on most sites, for all three browsers. If you are on a mac, I believe that the same thing works with the command key.  To get back to the standard view, neither enlarged nor shrunk, hold the “ctrl” key and press “0” (that’s zero, not the letter O).

Hot Tip – Make websites larger (or smaller) using your mouse: If you are on a pc and have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can scroll in and out by holding down “ctrl” key scrolling with the scroll wheel – forward for larger, backwards (towards you) for smaller. This works not only in web browsers but for many other programs as well.

This shortcut has not only saved me time, but also lessened my eye strain. I now resize constantly, quickly, and on the fly.

Hot Tip – Share your shortcuts: Join us this week by sharing your favorite shortcuts in the comments.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “Shortcut Week: Sarah Mann-Voss on Increasing Screen Readability”

  1. Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing! We use snagit here a lot in the AEA office to take screenshots (pictures of part or all of your screen or a window or portion of your screen) to insert into an aea365 post, or to send to someone via email to provide assistance, or to illustrate something in a word document or slide presentation.

    You can couple the resizing with the clipping to help get the right size photo without then having to resize it again. Thus, if I need only a small picture to insert in something, I’ll resize the screen to about the right size and take the screen clipping then. It is definitely faster than clipping and then resizing and I’ve found that the resolution remains quite good as well.

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Great tips–I’m only 26 and find myself frequently zooming in on my screen!

    On the Mac, one can easily zoom in by holding down the “control” key (though, this needs to be enabled in system preferences). Though, the new operating system will debut next week, which will allow for pinch-to-zoom (as it is on the iPhone and iPad), which will make this more intuitive.

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