Screen-zooming and Annotating Tool

I have been using ZoomIt for about 6 years. It is my go-to zoom and drawing tool. I have tried a few others, but always return to Zoomit. Mainly because of all it can do in one tiny program.

Zoomit program icon

Zoomit from Microsoft Sysinternals is a useful screen-zooming and annotating tool for presentations.

It’s free, portable, and compatible with all versions of Windows. I have a copy installed on my laptop, plus, I keep a copy in a OneDrive folder and on a thumb drive. As a college instructor, my classroom is not always the same, so I might need to load it on another computer.

You can use it to zoom in on portions of the screen, move the zoomed portion, and even draw on the screen, (you don’t have to be in zoom mode to draw).

When you first run Zoomit, the Options dialog appears; there you can set your hot key choices or accept the defaults. I have always used the default settings.

Zoomit option settings

These settings include various other options, such as fonts on the Type tab and a Timer on the Break tab.

You can use the Zoomit functions by clicking the program icon in the System Tray or, once you know the hot key combination, you can just use that.

Zoomit menu options

Zoom or Ctrl + 1, will zoom in on a portion of the screen. You will zoom in to where your mouse is positioned. Move around to different areas of the screen with the mouse and use the mouse wheel or the up and down arrows on the keyboard, to zoom in and out.

To exit out of zoom mode, you can press Esc on the keyboard or use the hotkey you used to initially activate.

If you want to type on the screen while in Zoom, there is a LiveZoom option (Ctrl + 4). For example, you want to zoom in on a portion of a Word document and make changes to a paragraph.

The Drawing tool works great by using the mouse or a digital pen (such as the Wacom pen) to draw. The older version 4.2 allowed me to use my finger or my Targus touch screen pen to draw on my laptop touch screen. This current version does not allow that.

The default drawing color is red, but you can change that once in Draw mode by simply selecting the y, o, b, g, p key on the keyboard (yellow, orange, blue, green or pink.)  You can also change the width of the drawing pen.

If you read the instructions for the Draw feature, it seems complicated. I think you just pick what you like to use and stick with that. I always just go with the default red.

Draw Tab

The Break Timer is set at 10 minutes by default. You can change the default time by clicking on Options. When the break time is over, the screen returns to normal. You can click on Advanced to see more setting for the timer.

Break tab

When I am in a classroom, I use the Zoom feature quite a bit. The smartboards in my classroom are not really sized proportionately to where students sit. I do have to be careful with the Zoom though. I think it can cause a little motion sickness if you move it around too much.

On WebEx or Zoom meeting, I do not tend to use the Zoom feature as much. I have actually had it lock my screen while in a class Zoom session. It has happened a couple of times and could possibly be user error. I haven’t tried it in a WebEx session yet.

I use the Draw feature A LOT. I love circling things, drawing arrows, etc. to emphasize a point. I actually have both the V4.2 and V4.5 installed. I tend to default to the older version because I do like using my finger to do the drawing or my touch screen pen.

Drawing on a document with touch penDrawing on a document with finger

With a little practice, using Zoomit becomes second nature. I can enter and exit draw mode or zoom mode without thinking.

To download the program and give it a try, go to:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/zoomit

I am not affiliated with this program in any way. I have simply used it a long time, really like it and wanted to share.

Check out my YouTube video where I give a quick review of the ZoomIt program: ZoomIt Video

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