The Basics

ZoomText is a powerful computer access solution designed for the visually impaired. Through a combination of magnification, speech and enhancements to colors, pointers and cursors, ZoomText makes using the computer fun and enjoyable, even when you have a visual impairment. Now you will be able to see and hear everything on the computer screen, providing you with complete access to applications, documents, email and the Internet.

ZoomText is designed for users of all ages and skill levels. With a precise mix of power and simplicity, ZoomText provides total independence at home, school and in the workplace.

Feature Set

ZoomText is an advanced magnification and screen reading program that enlarges and enhances everything on the computer screen. Our optional CamReader module grants access print matter by allowing you to photograph, OCR, magnify and hear physical documents.

ZoomText includes the following features:

  • Flexible Magnification
    Full range of magnification levels up to 36x. Levels include: 2x to 8x in steps of 1, 10x to 16x in steps of 2, and 20x to 36x in steps of 4. For those who just need a little boost of magnification, there are fractional powers of 1.0 – 2.0 in steps of .1, along with 2.5x.
  • Font Smoothing
    High definition smoothing of text for added legibility.
  • Image Sharpening
    Our custom smoothing techniques display images sharper at every magnification level.
  • Echo Features
    With Mouse and Focus Echo, listen to on-screen information being read aloud right through your computer's speakers. This audio feedback is extremely helpful and you can reduce eyestrain by giving your eyes a rest.
  • Reader
    Read busy webpages, text you've placed in your clipboard, text within an image or text file, and print documents you’ve photographed, with ease. Reader presents information in a special environment where the text has been reformatted for a clean viewing and reading experience.
  • Tracking
    As you move the mouse, type text, and navigate menus, dialogs and other program controls, the zoom window automatically scrolls around to keep what you’re trying to see in view.
  • Zoom Windows
    Two different ways to magnify the screen: Full Screen and Lens. Choose the one that best suits your needs.
  • Enhanced Screen Colors
    Innovative color controls improve screen clarity and reduce eyestrain. Special effects include a selection of two-color modes, reverse video and invert brightness.
  • Customizable Pointers and Cursors
    Adjusting the size and color of the mouse pointer and text cursor make them much easier to see and follow on screen.
  • Focus Enhancements
    Colorful locators are drawn around whatever item is “in focus”. This makes navigating application menus, dialogs and other application controls much easier and faster.

System Requirements

The following hardware and software is required to run ZoomText:

  • Mac OS X Ver 10.9 (Mavericks) or later
  • 2 GB memory

For a full hardware list, please go to our website.


Via CD

If you’ve received a trial CD or have purchased the product and would like to install via the included CD, simply insert it into your Mac’s CD/DVD drive, open it, and double click on the black and yellow Z icon.


Downloading from the Internet

Don’t have a CD/DVD drive or prefer to download your software from the Internet? No problem! Just head over to our website and download the free 30-day trial software. The download is the same whether you’re just trying out ZoomText or you’ve already purchased a serial number and are ready to run the final product.

Once the file has been downloaded, double click to start the installation process.


Whether you downloaded over the Internet or inserted a CD, the installer will launch and you will see the following screen:

Click the Continue button. You’ll now be on a screen displaying the Software License Agreement:

You can scroll down and read this; when you’re ready click the Continue button. Another screen pops up asking you to agree to the terms of the license:

Installation cannot proceed until you click the Agree button. Once you do this, installation begins. A series of message boxes will appear on screen, alerting you to the progress of the installation. It will ask you how you want to install the software:

Note: You may or may not see the above dialog during installation, depending on your system configuration.

You’ll find out how much space the install will take up:

During the installation process, you will need to enter your computer’s password.
If you do not have administrative rights on this machine, you will need to find the person who does and get them to enter their password to finish the installation:

After you input your password, click the Install Software button. A few seconds later, you’ll see a dialog letting you know that the installation was successful:

Click the Close button to finish the installation process. You can now launch ZoomText! One way to do this is to open the Spotlight Search by pressing COMMAND + SPACEBAR and type in ZoomText. Press Enter; ZoomText will start up and your screen will now be magnified.


Security Settings

In order for ZoomText to track and follow the actions you take on a computer running OS X version 10.9 or above, you must adjust your Security settings in System Preferences. The first time you launch ZoomText, you will receive an alert from “ZoomTextAccessibility”:

Click the Open System Preferences button; the Security & Privacy dialog will now be displayed. In order to make any changes, you’ll first need to click on the padlock icon in the lower left hand corner of this window:

After clicking the padlock icon you will be asked to enter in your administrator password. Note that if you’re running at a higher magnification level, this prompt may be outside of your view because ZoomText is currently unable to track
on-screen information:

Type in your password and click the Unlock button. 

Under the list labeled “Allow the apps below to control your computer”, you’ll see an entry called “ZoomTextAccessibility”. Click the checkbox next to this item:

Close this window by clicking the red X button in the upper left hand corner, or pressing COMMAND + W.

Now that you’ve enabled this setting, ZoomText will be able to track on screen events, and the Cursor and Focus Enhancements will now function as well.


Another Important OS X Setting

Changing this OS X setting as directed below allows you to Tab around the computer instead of relying on the mouse.

  1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Go to Shortcuts tab.
  3. Click button next to “All controls”.
  4. Command + W to close the window.

Note: this is not a ZoomText issue. Apple has decided not to make this a default setting in the Mac OS.

First Launch

When ZoomText starts up, it changes your display to show a magnified view of the normal screen. By default, the screen is magnified at 2x, but you can adjust this to whatever size you need by going to the Quick Launch menu:

To see the rest of your screen, simply move the mouse around. Same goes for when you’re typing text and navigating within your applications; the magnified view automatically moves around with you.

Note that in the Quick Launch, you can also disable ZoomText, turn on color enhancements, enable or disable speech, launch Reader, bring up the Preferences Pane (where you have complete access to all of ZoomText’s features as well as activate your product), access the Help System, check for program updates, or quit the program entirely.

By default, ZoomText will not start automatically each time you log into your computer. If you’d like it to, open your Preferences Pane and check the “Start after login” checkbox in the lower left-hand corner:

To learn more about each of ZoomText’s features, see the Table of Contents and click on any topics that you are interested in.

Trial Period

We know you’ll love ZoomText from the first launch, but we want to make sure you have plenty of time to try it before you buy.

We offer a 30-day risk free trial available for downloading online or we can send you a trial CD. Call us at (800) 859-0270 or (802) 362-3612 if you’d like a CD mailed to you.

Each time you launch ZoomText in trial mode, we’ll let you know how many more days you have remaining:

Once your 30-day period is up, you will need to purchase a serial number to continue using the product. You can either call us at one of the phone numbers listed above, or simply click the Buy Now button in the About tab to purchase online.


ZoomText contains product activation technology designed to eliminate unauthorized use of the product, without imposing a burden on legitimate users. Product activation is a simple, straightforward and anonymous process that takes just a few seconds to complete when performed over the Internet.

After you install ZoomText, you have up to 30 days to activate the software. Until you do, ZoomText will run as a trial. You can activate immediately after installation or anytime during the 30-day trial period. All features are available during the trial period, so you have full use of the software. When the trial period expires you must activate ZoomText to continue using it.

During the 30-day trial period, each time you start ZoomText, the About tab is displayed. Within this window, you will see how many days you have remaining on your trial:



When you’re ready to purchase, call us at (800) 859-0270 or (802) 362-3612 or you can simply click the Buy Now button that appears in the About tab.

There are three ways to purchase ZoomText Mac. You can do any of them right within the software, or by calling us at the number above.

Full Purchase – One payment, you own the product.

Six Payment Plan – Six payments, then you own the product.

Subscription Plan – Pay-per-month, the end user does not own the product.

This article further defines the ZoomText Mac Subscription Plan.

No matter how you purchase, you get the product immediately and the ZoomText Mac software is identical. The only difference is that with either of the pay for ownership of product plans, you may purchase the optional USB camera to use for Live View and OCR. With the subscription plan, there is no option to purchase the CamReader add-on.

Once you purchase ZoomText, you are provided with a serial number that will convert your trial into a licensed copy. When you have obtained a serial number, simply click on the Enter Serial Number button to begin the activation process. 

Preparing to Activate ZoomText

To activate ZoomText, you will need your serial number. Your serial number can be found various ways, as described below.

  • In the email sent to you by an Ai Squared sales person 
  • On the ZoomText CD sleeve
  • On the side of the ZoomText product box
  • On the back of the ZoomText User Guide


Note: If you purchased ZoomText from Ai Squared's online store, your serial number will be included in your purchase confirmation email and is displayed on screen as soon as the purchase is complete.



As soon as you have your ZoomText serial number, click the Enter Serial Number button in the About tab. You will be prompted to enter your 25-digit serial number:

Note: You can copy the serial number from your email and paste it here. We’ll parse out the fields for you.

The Activate button becomes available as soon as you have entered in your serial number.

Assuming all goes correctly with the serial number entry, if you are connected to the Internet, your serial number and system code are automatically passed to the Ai Squared activation server for validation. An activation code is then passed back to your computer, activating your ZoomText license. This process takes just a few seconds to complete.

If all worked well, you’ll be taken back to the About tab, your serial number is now listed, and you’ll be asked to register your product:

If you made a mistake entering your serial number, you will be alerted after you click the Activate button with an error message on screen:

Double check the serial number – there’s probably just a mistyped character in there. Click the Go Back button to correct any errors.

If you continue to get this error message and are entering the serial number correctly, simply call us at (800) 859-0270 or (802) 362-3612 option #3.

Manual Activation

If you are not connected to the Internet, you’ll receive a “ZoomText Activation Error” message on screen:

Not to worry, you can activate your copy manually. You just need to call us at (866) 331-1233 or (802) 362-3612 option #3 and our support team can handle this for you. They will ask you for your serial number and system code (which are displayed on the error message screen) and then will supply you with your Activation Code.

Our support team is here Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern Time.


Activating ZoomText on Multiple Computers

You can install and activate ZoomText on up to three computers (in accordance with the ZoomText Software License Agreement). We provide multiple activations to accommodate individuals that use more than one computer, such as a home computer, a work computer and a laptop computer. While ZoomText may be installed on up to three computers, use of the collective installations is restricted to one user at any given time.

If you have reached your activation limit and try to activate that serial number on another computer, you will receive the following error message during activation:

If you feel that you have received this message in error, please contact our support team at (802) 362-3612 option #3.



To ensure that you get the most out of ZoomText and to protect your product license, we recommend that you register right after you complete product activation. Why register? You become eligible for technical support, low-cost upgrades, and you can choose to receive our email newsletter, which provides information about new product releases, special offers, and helpful ZoomText tips and tricks.

And don't worry, when registering with Ai Squared, your personal information is always held in the strictest confidence. Ai Squared does not share customer information with other organizations, so you’ll never receive unwanted solicitations from 3rd parties.

Simply click the Register Your Product button in the About tab after you activate:

You will be taken to our website where you can register in a few minutes:

Add New Feature

Once you purchase a new ZoomText Mac feature, such as CamReader, we’ll turn it on in our office and it will be available immediately on your computer. You can get access to the new feature with the click of a few buttons.

To make the purchase, call us at (800) 859-0270. Then go to the ZoomText Preferences page and click the “Add New Feature” button:

The next screen asks if you wish to continue:

Click the Continue button.

You’ll see a confirmation dialog:

Click the OK button. As soon as you receive your USB Camera from Ai Squared, you’ll be ready to use the CamReader to OCR print documents.

If you click the “Add New Feature” button and see this dialog:

There are two possible reasons. One, there was a glitch with your purchase; please call us. Two, you have not made a purchase.

Quick Launch Menu

Now that you’re up and running, you want to jump right in and see what ZoomText has to offer!

We have placed the most commonly used features in the Quick Launch menu. Just click on the small black and yellow Z in the upper right side of your Apple Menu Bar to see what you can adjust without ever bringing up a toolbar or interrupting your work:

From here, you can adjust your magnification level either by choosing the exact level you’d like or by simply increasing or decreasing by one step at a time:

ZoomText gives you visual feedback when you change magnification by temporarily displaying a message on screen that indicates your current magnification level:

Notice that increasing and decreasing by one step (as well as a few other items in the Quick Launch menu) have “” associated with them – these are keyboard combinations that can save you even more time. If an action has a corresponding hotkey, the keystrokes that generate the action are listed to the right of the item in the Quick Launch menu. We will cover those in more detail in the Hotkeys section.

From the Quick Launch, you can also quickly disable ZoomText if it’s already running – this doesn’t quit the program but will turn off magnification along with any enhancements you have selected. Think of it like an on/off switch. If ZoomText is currently disabled, the Quick Launch menu changes to give you the option to enable.

You can also turn color enhancements on and off from the Quick Launch. By default, turning color enhancements on will enable the scheme “Invert Brightness” which dramatically improves contrast on screen:

You may want to turn color enhancements off when looking at images on screen in order to view them in real colors.

You can enable / disable speech quickly and open the Reader tool. The Reader menu allows you to pull in the content from the active browser tab, your clipboard, a file, a print document placed under your camera or open the reading window:

There are many more features within ZoomText – to explore them all, simply choose Preferences.

You’ll see a dialog box with six different tabs on the left: Magnification, Enhancements, Speech, Tracking, Mouse, and About:

For complete information about everything you see in the Preferences Pane, head over to the Preferences section of the User Guide.

Now back to the Quick Launch menu – there’s still a few more things you can do there! You can pull up the Help System, check for program updates or quit the ZoomText program.

The great thing about quitting ZoomText is the next time you start it up, all of your settings remain exactly how you left them. No need to save as default, the program simply does it for you automatically.



The Quick Launch menu provides an easy way to access the essentials. The remaining features are available via the Preferences Pane – which you can access on that Quick Launch menu or by pressing the hotkey: COMMAND + OPTION + RETURN (ENTER).

There are six key sections in the Preferences Pane: Magnification, Enhancements, Speech, Tracking, Mouse and About. Let’s go through each one.



In the Magnification tab, you can adjust your zoom level, change how the screen is magnified, and configure Gesture Zooming:

For more detailed information, please see the Magnification chapter of the User Guide.



In the Enhancements tab, you can adjust each of ZoomText’s enhancements; Screen Colors, Pointer, Cursor, and Focus:

For more detailed information, please see the Screen Enhancements chapter of the User Guide.



In the Speech tab, you can tweak settings for both Focus and Mouse Echo as well as adjust your global speech settings:

For more detailed information, please see the Speech chapter of the User Guide.


As you move the mouse, type text, and navigate menus, dialogs and other program controls, the zoom window automatically scrolls around to keep what you’re trying to see in view.

This behavior is driven by ZoomText's tracking options, which allow you to choose the items that you want ZoomText to track (when they become active).

In the Tracking tab of the Preferences Pane, you can choose which items or actions
ZoomText tracks:

For more detailed information, please see the Tracking chapter of the User Guide.



The Mouse navigation options make it easy to explore and move about the screen.

With Positioning, the mouse pointer is always brought into view when you need it.

With Pointer Constraint, you can limit mouse pointer movement to horizontal or vertical directions, or within the active window.

You can adjust these settings in the Mouse tab of the Preferences Pane:



The About tab of the Preferences Pane displays pertinent information about your copy of ZoomText:

If you’re still running in trial mode, this is where you can see how many days are remaining in your 30-day trial. You can also go here to purchase your own copy or enter your serial number.

If you’ve activated your copy of ZoomText already, here is where you can reference your serial number.

After activation, you can also register your copy to gain access to support, low cost upgrades, and more.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk