ZoomIt – An Awesome tool to use while giving Presentations

People who have attended my presentations would have seen me use a tool more often to zoom into a screen during demos. Few of them have come back to me post event and asked…what this cool thing is? Is it a new feature in Windows 7? How to get it run? What are the keyboard Shortcuts? etc..

I reckon, it would be worth to write a small note about this awesome Tool so that, even other readers would benefit out of it! Well, this is not a Windows 7 feature and its just a 270 kb sized tool, which can very well run in any version of Windows. This little wonder is called ZoomIt., and its from the team who have created some wonderful tools as a part of Sysinternals toolkit!

ZoomIt is a screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. You have hotkeys to control the Zoom and annotations. ZoomIt runs in the system tray and it gets activated whenever you use the hotkeys.  Once you zoom into an area, you can move around, draw annotations, and even draw images to showcase a particular section.

ZoomIt - Focusing on a segment of desktopYou can also change the HotKeys for this application, However the default keys are more user-friendly! Here are the default key combinations.

  • Cntl + 1 -> This will zoom into a screen. This is an image zoom, where you wont have access to control any text/button in it. You can zoom in and zoom out., and do all the annotations like Writing, drawing images, highlighting texts etc – (Check the image beside) .
  • Cntl + 2 -> This will not zoom into the screen, however it makes your desktop ready for annotations. You can write and draw! – (See below to understand on what types of annotations you can make).
  • Cntl + 4 -> Gives you live Zoom. (This works only if Aero is enabled on your Vista / Windows 7 Machine)

To come out of a zoomed state or an annotated screen, just press the ‘Esc’ key!

In this below screenshot, i have showcased the annotations feature of Zoomit. Once you zoom (ie., Cntl+1) or Cntl+2, you can do all of the below things-

ZoomIt Annotation Demo

  • You can draw an Arrow to make a point (using the key combination of Cntl+Shift+ Click and move your mouse to draw)
  • You can draw a free text as well – (just click your mouse and start dragging to write – If you have a tablet PC, you can also write using the pen!)
  • To draw a straight line – (Use Shift key + Click and move your mouse to draw)
  • To highlight a section of code – you can use the rectangle box to showcase a section. If you see in the screenshot below, I drew boxes to denote the same – (Cntl+Click and move your mouse to draw)
  • You can change colors of your Annotations – (Press the key ‘r’ for red, ‘b’ for blue, ‘g’ for green, ‘y’ for yellow and ‘p’ for pink)
  • If you want to completely clean the screen and write something and show to the audience, instead of running a notepad.exe and bringing up a white board… (press key ‘w’ for whiteboard, and ‘k’ for blackboard

ZoomIt can be downloaded here. You can also choose to run these tools live from – http://live.sysinternals.com/

ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows, so do give it a try now. Hope this quick little tip was useful.!


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