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 Home » Freeware Downloads » Assistive Software and Injury Prevention » Pointing Magnifier 2 v2.0.7   
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Pointing Magnifier 2 v2.0.7

The Pointing Magnifier is a cursor replacement designed to reduce the need for fine motor control. It is also useful in getting a close look at any region of the screen without losing the surrounding context, which has been useful to graphic designers and people with low vision. With the Pointing Magnifier, the usual mouse cursor is replaced by a semi-transparent circular cursor. When the user clicks, the area beneath this circular cursor becomes magnified. Once magnified, the typical mouse cursor arrow appears within the magnified lens, allowing for normal mouse operations, now on much larger targets.

The Pointing Magnifier supports all button-based actions: clicking, double-clicking, right-clicking, dragging, and button dwelling, both on the cursor itself and within its magnified lens. It does not trigger mouse movement-based events—mouse over, mouse hover, mouse enter, or mouse leave—due to technical limitations.

The original Pointing Magnifier was developed in 2010-2011 by Alex Jansen, with lead designer Leah Findlater and help from Jacob O. Wobbrock, among others. A decade later, numerous feature requests and design improvements have resulted in the creation of Pointing Magnifier 2 by Jacob O. Wobbrock, with help from Alexis Hiniker.

Pointing Magnifier 2

Despite the many improvements in Pointing Magnifier 2, there are still some known issues.

Known Issues:

The Pointing Magnifier cannot trigger mouse movement-based events—mouse over, mouse hover, mouse enter, or mouse leave. Application features, like ToolTips, that require such signals will not respond to the Pointing Magnifier area cursor for these events. A remedy is to use the "suppress" key, which by default is the Ctrl key, to temporarily hide the circular cursor and reveal your regular mouse pointer.
The Pointing Magnifier will generally draw behind most menus because menus capture the mouse in order to operate. Thus, the Pointing Magnifier will not provide a magnification
advantage for clicking on menu items.
The Windows Start Menu is itself a (large) menu, and unfortunately will show on top of the Pointing Magnifier cursor. Fortunately, the regular mouse pointer still works fine on the Start Menu.
The Microsoft Ribbon at the top of File Explorer windows and other application windows is also a menu when it is not pinned. When it is unpinned and then opened, it will draw over the Pointing Magnifier cursor. If it is pinned to its window (recommended), then the Pointing Magnifier will operate above it, just like it should.
Due to its modal nature, the Pointing Magnifier's system menu, which opens at the top-left corner of its settings window with a click or by typing Alt+Space, requires the Pointing Magnifier cursor to be temporarily hidden. It will show again automatically when the system menu closes.
If the Pointing Magnifier cursor is active when the Windows Task Manager is opened, it will freeze as long as the Task Manager window has focus. The regular mouse pointer can still be used to control the Task Manager.
The Pointing Magnifier has not been tested in conjunction with other third-party accessibility software. Combinations of such software with the Pointing Magnifier might produce undesirable results.

Comparison to Windows Magnifier
Windows Magnifier tool

How does the Pointing Magnifier compare to the built-in Windows Magnifier tool? There are two major differences:

Windows Magnifier has three modes: full screen, lens, and docked. All three of these modes result in a persistent change to the user's view—either the entire screen is fully magnified, the lens is always present, or the dock is always subdividing the screeen. By contrast, the Pointing Magnifier is a circular area cursor that only magnifies a portion of the screen when and where the user clicks, better preserving surrounding context.
Windows Magnifier provides for a visually magnified view, but not for magnification in "motor space," which is the space in which the user moves the mouse cursor. Thus, Windows Magnifier does not provide a benefit to people with motor impairments, only visual impairments. By contrast, the Pointing Magnifier magnifies both the user's "visual space" and their "motor space," making targets not only easier to see but also easier to click.

This software is distributed for non-commercial use under the New BSD License agreement. For commercial use, please contact Prof. Wobbrock at

The Pointing Magnifier 2 runs on the Microsoft .NET 4.8 Framework. After installing the application, if it does not run properly, you might need to Download the .NET 4.8 Runtime. (This should only be necessary on Windows computers that have not been updated via Windows Update.)

Read this:

You can choose to run the PM2.msi installer (this download), or just download the file HERE and unzip it. Inside, you will find the PM2.exe file, which can be run directly. If you choose to use the PM2.msi installer, note that you might see a Windows Defender warning when you install. This is expected until the installer builds reputation with Microsoft. You can proceed to install it anyway – we promise no harm will come!


Jansen, A., Findlater, L. and Wobbrock, J.O. (2011). From the lab to the world: Lessons from extending a pointing technique for real-world use. Extended Abstracts of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '11). Vancouver, British Columbia (May 7-12, 2011). New York: ACM Press, pp. 1867-1872. [acm] [poster]

Findlater, L., Jansen, A., Shinohara, K., Dixon, M., Kamb, P., Rakita, J. and Wobbrock, J.O. (2010). Enhanced area cursors: Reducing fine-pointing demands for people with motor impairments. Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST '10). New York, NY (October 3-6, 2010). New York: ACM Press, pp. 153-162.


This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant IIS-0811063. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this work are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.

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Downloads Views Developer Last Update Version Size Type Rank
2,651 4,277 Dr. Jacob O. Wobbrock <img src=""border="0"> May 01, 2020 - 20:11 2.0.7 build 21442 4.71MB MSI 5/5, out of 39 Votes.
File Tags
Pointing  Magnifier  2  v2.0.7  
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