Windows XP Accessibility Wizard

Starting the Accessibility Wizard

  1. Click the Start button,

  2. Point to All Programs,

  3. Point to Accessories,

  4. and then point to Accessibility.

  5. From the list, select Accessibility Wizard.


1. Text Size

The first question is to set the size of the fonts, when selected it will automatically modify the fonts for the rest of the Wizard.

2. Display Settings

Depending on the setting selected in the previous page, some of these options might be pre-selected.
a. Change Font Size
This option customises the font size within the Windows environment; it does not enlarge the text inside of windows.
b. Switch to a lower screen resolution
Screen resolution refers to how many dots (pixels) physically make up the computer screen, for most computers it is 1024 x 768. By selecting this option Windows will change what is being sent to the monitor to 800 x 600. This allows for the text and other objects to be drawn larger on the monitor, but has the disadvantage of giving less ‘working space’ on the screen, the display might also appear slightly blurry due to the mismatch in screen resolutions (between the software and hardware).
c. Use Microsoft Magnifier
Is a simple Magnifier that creates a separate window which displays a magnified copy of the screen. The magnifier can be customised to allow for 2-9 times magnification, inverting colours and for the magnifier to follow the mouse or the focus of the keyboard.
d. Disable personalised menus
Personalised menus is a feature which allows Windows to ‘hide’ menu items which haven’t been used for awhile, this affects the Start menu and other Microsoft Office applications. For a sighted user this can be confusing, as items are hidden until you click the ‘unfold’ double arrows at the bottom of the menu, it might also be a benefit because it automatically ‘de-clutters’ the menus. For a screen reader user this option can stop the screen reader from being able to find the menu option, for these users it is recommended personalised menus are disabled.

3. Set Wizard options

Here you are given four scenarios, this will customise the options given to you in the future steps. For this guide we will select ‘I am blind or having difficulty seeing things on the screen’.
a. Scroll bar and Window Border Size
Changes the size of the scroll bars within applications like Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, and My Computer (Windows Explorer).
b. Icon Size
Changes the size of the icons on the desktop and in My Computer (Windows Explorer). Please note that for My Computer (Windows Explorer) the icon size will only increase if the View setting is set as ‘Icons’. This feature also tends to crowd the icons on the desktop, this can be corrected by customising the display settings.

4. Display Colour Settings

Allows you to select from four high contrast display settings.

5. Mouse Cursor

Allows you to choose through three schemes (White, Black and Inverting) and three sizes (Regular, large and Extra Large) for the mouse cursors.

6. Cursor Settings

Allows you to modify the Cursor blink rate and the cursor width. Please note that this option only affects Widows text areas (edit boxes, address bar etc) and not Microsoft Word.