How to Use your iPhone as a Magnifier

Ever find yourself trying to read the small print on a menu or label and find you don’t have your reading glasses with you? Your iPhone can serve as a handy magnifier, enlarging the detail of whatever it is you need to see. Here we’ll show you how to access this feature more quickly than you could fish out your glasses even if you did have them with you!

Adding Magnifier to your shortcut menu

What is your shortcut or quick menu anyhow? It’s the subset of features included in your iPhone which you can quickly access when you swipe downward, starting from the top right corner of your screen. See image below, with the magnifier feature circled at bottom.

What if the magnifier is not already amongst the icons on your shortcut menu? No problem, you can add it with just a few simple steps….

Open Settings. Tap Accessibility (see first image below left, circled). Then find Magnifier (see below right, circled) and tap to select.

Toggle Magnifier on (see image below).

Once it’s on, go back to Settings and find and tap Control Centre (below left, circled). This will show you which features are already in your “Included Controls” ie already in your quick menu. You will find these at the top of the screen and indicated with a “- “sign meaning you can “un-include” them if you wish and which are not (found below, and marked with a + in a green circle, indicating it is not yet added but we are able to add by tapping the “+”.)

After we tap the “+” to add Magnifier, the Control Centre list will look like the below, and Magnifier will now be accessible in your shortcuts menu!

Accessing Magnifier once it’s added to shortcuts

Once it’s included in your shortcuts, you can either:

  1. access it from anywhere by quickly clicking the Home button three times. The Home button is the raised button on the right side (edge) of the phone.
  2. or simply swipe downward from the top right corner of the screen and tap the magnifier icon.
  3. When your Magnifier is open, you can adjust the level of magnification by sliding the yellow dot to the right to increase it. See image below:

You will notice below the sliding bar, there are also several other buttons you can tap to customize how your chosen text appears on your screen. Perhaps the handiest tool to find here is the flashlight or torch, which unsurprisingly, turns on your flashlight at the same time as magnifying.

The half circle icon provides contrast and the three interlocking circles icon gives you several options with filters. You may find text easier to read with a different color filter. Here is what this looks like, with the basic screen on the left vs. applying a yellow background or reverse print. Other combinations are at your fingertips.

Cheats’ Method to Magnifying

Finally, this topic wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that you can always magnify what you need to see by opening your camera icon and using pinch zoom (touching your screen with two fingers and moving them further apart from one another) to magnify your subject. Of course this hack doesn’t allow easy access to the other features like flashlight, and it can be a bit harder to regulate the amount of magnification you prefer without the sliding scale of the Magnifier tool.

Whichever method you choose, as long as your smartphone is to hand, you’ve got a handy way to read small print even without glasses.

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