Virtual Magnifying Glass / News: Recent posts

Version 3.6 available

This version brings as its most distinctive feature a much sharper magnification in Mac OS X and Linux. This should increase the usability of the magnifier for inspecting text and other small details. An anti-aliasing option is also provided and will in the future be improved. This new version can be downloaded from our Files section. Currently the Mac OS X version is available and soon the Linux one will be uploaded. This version will not feature a Windows download because there were no improvements for Windows this time, which is the opposite of the last version, 3.5, which was released only for Windows. Windows users should continue with 3.5 for now.

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2011-12-10

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.4 released

Virtual Magnifying Glass is designed for visually-impaired and others who need to magnify a part of the screen.

This is a major release which features as the most imporant features a new, much improved dynamic mode which should work on any computer with Windows 2000+ without requiring DirectX or a special video card. Just choose "Use Plugin" and then "Show the magnifier" to activate it. Move the dynamic mode glass using Ctrl+Alt+arrows... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2010-05-26

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.3.2 released

Virtual Magnifying Glass is designed for visually-impaired and others who need to magnify a part of the screen.

This is a bugfix release with many minor changes, althougth some progress on the dynamic mode was also achieved, but only for some video cards. We would like the next major release, v3.4, to have a fully working dynamic mode.

Changes since the last release:

* Improved mouse wheel handling... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2008-12-13

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.3.1 released

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.3.1 released

Virtual Magnifying Glass is designed for visually-impaired and others who need to magnify a part of the screen.

This is a bugfix release with many minor changes. Big changes, like improvements on the dynamic mode are scheduled for the next major release, 3.4.

Some new things on v3.3.1
* The first experimental Mac OS X release. Completely native to this operating system, and with an application bundle to be easely installed and started.
* When a new version of the magnifier is started on Windows it will check if it is already running, and in this case it will ask the running version to display itself, instead of opening a new copy. Implemented through semaphores
* Added a new configurations dialog where one can choose the plugin to be loaded and the hot key
* bug fix: The hot key is now initialized when the software starts
* Made the about box adjust itself to resize on the width... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2007-12-09

Next release planned for end of Dec 07

Hi all,

I would like to release the next version of VMG end of Dec 07. I plan to have fixes / better support for Dynamic Mode Full Screen.

I have promised many features over the last year and half, but haven't delivered yet, for that I apologize. Fortunately we have sekelsenmat and a new developer keeping this project moving. But I must make good on my commitments. I still firmly believe in this great project (as well as the OSS philosophy) and want to make VMG even better. ... read more

Posted by Chris O'Donnell 2007-11-19

Version 3.3 for FreeBSD released

We are happy to announce that a FreeBSD maintainer was found, and we now have a FreeBSD build for the latest version of the Virtual Magnifying Glass.

You can download it by following the download link on our website, or on our download area on the source-forge page.

thank you for your attention,

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2007-08-22

The magnifier now accepts donations


The Virtual Magnifying Glass project is now accepting donations.

With more then 300.00 downloads, the Virtual Magnifying Glass has a very large user base, but still we lack developers in key areas which could greatly improve the product.

We expect to use any donations we receive to sponsor the development of the software in areas such as:

* Improve the Dynamic Mode under Windows
* Implement a Dynamic Mode for X11 platforms (Linux, FreeBSD, etc)... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2007-07-23

FreeBSD maintainer wanted


We just found out that the old FreeBSD maintainer doesn't work with this operating system anymore, so we are looking for a new maintainer.

The FreeBSD binaries were a huge success, surpassing in download numbers the Linux port, and it would be a petty to have no-one to maintain it, specially when the work to be done is very easy. It doesn't require programming knowledge, just knowing how to use a console is enougth.... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2007-07-03

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.3 released

Virtual Magnifying Glass is designed for visually-impaired and others who need to magnify a part of the screen.

Some new things on v3.3
- An experimental Dynamic Mode is available on this version on Windows. Please read the PDF documentation that ships together with the magnifier for detailed information about how to use it.
- A plugin system was introduced. It should now be possible to write plugins that change dramatically how the magnifier works. We would like to encourage users with the adequate knowledge to write plugins to extend the functions of the magnifier. The first plugin created adds the experimental dynamic mode on Windows.
- The menu sometimes would get stuck when the glass opens. This is fixed.
- Fixed the keeping of the values of magnification and other options
- Added option to control if you wish the magnifier to show automatically when executed
- On Linux the command to execute the magnifier changed to vmg, to avoid incompatibilities with other tools
- On Linux the mouse cursor is now hidden, but this requires a very latest Lazarus, and the packages are compiled with the latest stable (0.9.22). If you download a subversion Lazarus (or 0.9.24 or superior when they are released). Build lazarus, and then use it to build the magnifier. The bug will be solved
- Updated the RPM packages to reflect that we no longer need ImageMagick
- Updated the build scripts
- Separated translations on a new file, called translations.pas, so they are more isolated from the code.
- Added German translation
- Lot's and lot's of minor bug fixes... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2007-07-03

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.2.1 released

- On Windows the hability to control the magnification using the mouse whell was readded.
- The Linux version performance is greatly improved because now it uses Gtk directly to take the screenshot and magnify the screen, so no temporary files are needed at all. Also the memory usage is much smaller.
- ImageMagick is no longer a dependency of the Linux version, making it much easier to install and use.
- French translation added
- Hability to view the help files using pdf viewers
- The About box is now also translatable
- Anti-Aliasing is no longer available on Linux, because we no longer use ImageMagick, but it will be added back on the future.... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2006-06-11

Research on the usability of the magnifier

A scientific research about the usability of the Virtual Magnifying Glass is being conducted. Please consider answering our usability survay. You can find it here:

This research is anonymous and will help us improve the magnifier software, as well as to publish scientific researches about software usability.

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2006-05-11

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.2 (Linux and FreeBSD) released

Version 3.2 for Linux and FreeBSD contains a very important new feature. Now it uses a system tray icon just like the Windows version, so you don't have to exit the magnifier and restart it to use the len multiple times.

Also, performance was improved a lot, althought we plan to improve it much more. Many other new features and bug fixes. The documentation was improved.

One bonus from the choosen Pascal/Lazarus platform is that we found out that we can simply recompile the software to make it work many other Unixes aside from Linux without any extra coding. We decided to release a FreeBSD version, althought one can recompile the grass and it will probably work for all other BSDs and even Spark-Solaris.... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2006-03-23

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.2.0 (windows) released

- This release contains major changes to the code and some changes to the UI. Code changes are due to the fact that the code is now based on the Lazarus/Free Pascal environment. This facilitates multiplatform support as well as having the major benefit of using OSS development tools.
- Fixed a problem to allow the magnifier to run on mulitmonitor system with a 3 x 2 monitor-array. This required better handling of window's virtual desktop, most notably, arbitrary placement of the so-called "primary" monitor.
- The menu now has Portuguese and Spanish translations.
- Fixed a few other bugs including startup and "window confusion" on windows XP.... read more

Posted by Chris O'Donnell 2006-03-22

Virtual Magnifying Glass 3.1 (Linux) released

This version adds support for controling the Len with the keyboard on Linux, making it much easier to use and much more controlable while the systray icon isn´t ready yet. You can read more about controling the Len with the keyboard on the README.PDF file provided.

The next major version, 3.2 is expected to be released at least for Windows and Linux (i386), bringing both versions to the same level of development and fixing all issues except for the dynamic mode. It is scheduled for the end of January.... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2005-12-23

Virtual Magnifying Glass v3.0.0 (linux i386) released!

This is our first Linux release as well as the first release based on the new v3.0.0 code base utilizing Object Pascal / Lazarus.

This release also features translations: Portuguese and English.

Posted by Chris O'Donnell 2005-12-19

Coming Soon: Linux and Mac OS X Versions

The project is in the final stages of it´s port to Linux and Mac OS X. The Linux version should be available for download in about 2 weeks and the Mac OS X after that.

The code was completely revised to create a multiplatform version. One that can be easely ported for other platforms, including Palm OS.

Another feature to be added with this version is built-in support for multiple languages. Just change a drop-down box and the software is in another language!... read more

Posted by Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho 2005-12-07

Virtual Magnifying Glass welcomes Felipe!

Virtual Magnifying Glass welcomes Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho, who brings knowledge and experience in rapid cross-platform development!

Posted by Chris O'Donnell 2005-11-05

Virtual Magnifying Glass (win32) v2.36 released

- Toggle magnifier with middle mouse button.
- Major rewrites of source code (C to C++)

Virtual Magnifying Glass will soon have a properties dialog, such that the user can select all sorts of options, including Hotkey assignment.

Also, upcoming is a more interactive "dynamic mode" magnifier.

Posted by Chris O'Donnell 2005-11-05

"Dynamic mode" implementation suggestions?

I was hoping to implement the feature where you move the magnifier window around with the mouse, but the magnifier window has the "live data" of the screen graphics underneath it. Note that, if the mag win could be docked, then it would be easy to implement a dynamic mode.

However, I thought that I saw some app do this type of thing (but can't remember what it was) and so, thought it was feasible. Anyway, I only have 4 ideas at the moment on how to achieve this functionality:
1) Using win32 API, but I don't know if it's possible to grab the screen contents when your window is visible on top of the other windows.
2) Using the mouse cursor graphics as the magnifier window, but it seems that you would be limited to a small window size, possibly only 64x64.
3) Using DirectDraw, it is probably possible to draw the magnifier window in the overlay buffer, but this is limited to certain hardware/ddraw implementations.
4) Write a miniport driver that hooks into the video driver, uh... maybe not :-) As fun as this sounds, this option would be limited to certain hardware and probably quite difficult to write/debug.... read more

Posted by Chris O'Donnell 2004-09-07

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