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Tech Q&A: Adjusting the screen zoom function in Windows 10

This June 28, 2016 file photo shows Windows 10 operating on a Microsoft Surface computer in New York. Pressing the Windows and plus (+) keys together automatically activates the Magnifier, the built-in Ease of Access utility for enlarging the screen, and you can adjust the level of magnification. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
This June 28, 2016 file photo shows Windows 10 operating on a Microsoft Surface computer in New York. Pressing the Windows and plus (+) keys together automatically activates the Magnifier, the built-in Ease of Access utility for enlarging the screen, and you can adjust the level of magnification. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) AP

Q: I recently discovered the keyboard shortcut in Windows 10 that automatically zooms in the whole screen, but it’s often a little too close-up. Is there a way to adjust this zooming?

A: Pressing the Windows and plus (+) keys together automatically activates the Magnifier, the built-in Ease of Access utility for enlarging the screen, and yes, you can adjust the level of magnification. (For those who have found the shortcut by accident, pressing the Windows and Escape keys turns off the Magnifier.)

To change the magnification level, press the Windows, Control and M keys to open the Magnifier settings box. (You can also take the long way by going to the Start menu, clicking the gear-shaped settings icon on the left side, choosing the Ease of Access icon and then selecting Magnifier.) When the settings box opens, go to the Magnifier options area and under “Zoom level increments,” select a smaller percentage than the default 100 percent.

Choosing a lower number — like 25 percent — gives you smaller degrees of magnification for zooming. For example, instead of zooming in by 100 percent each time you press the Windows and + keys to turn on the Magnifier and then increase the zoom level of the screen, you can zoom in more gradually in 25 percent increments as you repeatedly press the keyboard shortcut.

The Magnifier utility has quite a few shortcuts of its own, which can save you from fiddling with the mouse while you enlarge parts of the desktop for easier reading. To see the list of commands, scroll down to the Keyboard Shortcuts section of the Magnifier settings box.

Mac users have a similar screen-magnification tool that comes with macOS. To turn on the Zoom feature and adjust its behavior, click the System Preferences icon in the Mac’s desktop dock and in the System Preferences box, click Accessibility. On the left side of the Accessibility box, click Zoom to get to the feature’s settings.

When dinosaurs roam in Chrome

Q: My network router often flakes out and I get the “There is no internet connection” error screen in Google Chrome. I was staring at the error screen the other day, and it looked like the little dinosaur winked at me. Is that for real or a bug?

A: The error page you see when Google Chrome cannot get to the internet does indeed feature a small graphic of a Tyrannosaurus rex that occasionally blinks. However, with a little help from you, the little dinosaur can do much more in your browser window.

For the past several years, the dinosaur has been part of a game hidden inside Google Chrome, perhaps as a gift from a programmer sympathizing with the lack of internet access. To activate the game when you get the connection-error message, press the space bar. The dinosaur then takes off across the screen in the style of one of those old-fashioned 8-bit “endless runner” games.

As the T. rex gallops along, press the Up arrow key to jump over cactuses and other obstacles. A special blip sounds as you pile up each set of 100 points. After 500 points, pterodactyls enter the game, and you must press the Down arrow key to avoid them. If the dinosaur wipes out, click the replay button on the Game Over screen to make another run.

If you like runner games, you do not have to wait for Google Chrome to go offline to play. Variations of the T. rex runner game can be found online or as an app. You can also manually switch to the game, even if your internet connection is working perfectly fine. Just enter “chrome://network-error/-106” in the address bar (without the quotation marks), press the Enter key and tap the space bar to get those little dino legs moving.

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