Zoom in Ubuntu Natty

One of the problems we reported after installing Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” is that the Zoom feature stopped working. We use zoom daily in teaching as it allows us to magnify the five foot monitors at the front of our classroom so the students can see the small items, such as menu selections, and follow what we are instructing them to do. The loss of the ability to zoom would mean the students would have to get up out of their seats and walk to the front of the room.

The closest fix I have found so far was found here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/36751/how-to-activate-superscroll-to-zoom and in a nutshell, the fix is to install CCSm like so:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then run CCSM from System / Preferences / CompizConfig Settings Manager. The needed item is located in the Accessibility group and it is called Enhanced Zoom Desktop. There is also a Magnify and a Zoom Desktop item, which is not the one. Click the box to enable it, then click the item to open a tabbed notebook with detailed configuration. On the Mouse Behavior tab set the Zoom Mode to Pan Area. It begins working immediately. The post says:

Download CCSM. Either search the software centre or pump this into a terminal.

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Run it. Whack ccsm into a run dialogue.
Under the “Enhanced Zoom Desktop” plugin, look at the “Zoom In/Out” tab. You want to alter the gestures so that you have something like the following:

Zoom in: <Super>Button4
Zoom out: <Super>Button5
Zoom box: <Super>Button2

That should return things to how they were. You should have a look at the other tabs too because they have improved some of the features. I’ve fallen for the panning mode.

The only drawback so far is that some parts of the desktop supposedly will not zoom in Unity.

One comment to this article

  1. kubulai

    on June 4, 2011 at 1:32 am -

    You can get most of the Zoom functionality in Unity. Go to the on/off symbol at top right, click System settings, then click CompizConfigSettings Manager. Under Accessibility find Enhanced Zoom Desktop, enable it, and set the Zoom In and Out as stated above. Zoom now works everywhere except the launcher bar on the left.

    The second real irritation I have been dealing with is the stupid bar auto-hides if you have a window maximized. It’s not the auto-hiding that is so irritating: rather it is when I move the mouse close to the left edge of the screen to do something, usually in Thunderbird, that the bar comes out again from the side and covers up whatever I am trying to work on. To turn it off Click System and Settings, then in the Personal section, click Launcher & Menus. Change the behavior so that it only comes out when you point to the top left corner fo the screen. Seems to be a little better now.