Need more from your presentation? ZoomIt!

Often, during a presentation, you’ll want to focus on a particular area of the screen. A mouse cursor can help, custom tools like PointerStick are even better, but for real flexibility look no further than Sysinternals ZoomIt.

At its simplest, the program can deliver a simple, static zoom: just press the (configurable) hotkey, then use the mouse wheel or up and down arrow keys to zoom in on the area you need.

As with many similar tools, this is working on a single, still image of your display. So if you zoom to the system tray clock, say, time will appear to have stopped. As long as you’re using Windows Vista or later, though, you can alternatively launch a Live Zoom that uses a dynamic display: you can watch the clock (or any other application) continue to update, even in its zoomed-in form.

Maybe you’d prefer to draw on the screen? It’s just as easy to draw freehand with the mouse. If you’d like a little more help, then there are also options to draw straight lines, rectangles, ellipses or arrows. You can change the pen width and colour, too, and ZoomIt can even copy the image to the clipboard (or save it as a file) when you’re done.

And if you need to enter a text caption somewhere then that’s also straightforward. Press “t” to enter tying mode, use the mouse wheel or up and down arrow keys to set the font size, and enter whatever you need.

What you don’t get here is much in the way of an interface. There’s no convenient toolbar to display your drawing options, for instance -- you’ll have to remember that, say, holding down the Shift key draws straight lines, while holding Shift+Ctrl draws arrows.

This doesn’t exactly take long to learn, though. And by way of compensation for its basic nature, ZoomIt is also seriously lightweight, consuming only a fraction over 2MB RAM on our test PC. So if you need a little help during your presentations (or would just like a versatile screen magnifier), then give the program a try -- it’s compact, versatile and packed with powerful features.

Photo Credit: Login/Shutterstock

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