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[June 21, 2004]

Size Does Matter - Enhance Your Web-Viewing Experience!

BY MICHELLE PASQUERELLO


Working often on the computer can have a significantly negative effect, especially on the peepers!  There are a few options available for the über-computer devotee, from filter screens, eye drops and kitschy specialty glasses to diffuse what seems like only a little bit of harm. Surfing the Internet can become problematic for those with visual impairments, especially for those whose attention is constantly beckoned on the Net for research purposes.

 

Luckily, there is WebEyes, a simple form of adaptive technology that allows Web readers to breeze through pages faster than you can hit the refresh button. WebEyes is a simple Web plug-in that adheres to your browser bar and offers a variety of options for viewing.

 

WebEyes' Text Enlargement Feature

Michael Durance

One of the main features of WebEyes is text enlargement. While Internet Explorer offers a similar option to change font size, you are only given three choices: small, medium, and large. Perhaps such menial options should be left for the fast-food consumer. The frequent Web readers want a few more specific, maybe best-suited personal viewing selections. WebEyes lets you control the text using a drop down box and offers sizes all the way up to 144 point.

 

 

Tired of endlessly having to wear down that wheel on your mouse just so you can finally land at the bottom of a page to find what you are looking for? WebEyes offers a “read like a book” option that transforms your screen into a “page turner”, promoting a more comfortable left-to-right reading format. If graphics are the problem, you can simply eliminate all pictures in book format and keep your attention focused on the text of the document. As an added bonus, you can actually modify the font style in book format to your preference, especially if you’re a big fan of Webdings!

 

 

Who Uses WebEyes and Where To Get It

The Social Security Administration purchased WebEyes for external public and internal employee use. The external is free on all the SSA websites and can be viewed in action by visiting http://www.ssa.gov/textsize.htm. The IRS home page (http://www.irs.gov) is a perfect site to give WebEyes' text size feature a try. http://www.sec.gov and http://www.nybooks.com both have long scrolling documents. Use the "read like a book" feature here and see for yourself how easy it is. WebEyes works with Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher and is supported by Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP, and NT. The file is small (1.3MB) so no worries on the application taking up space on your hard drive.

To get a 15 day trial of WebEyes, visit http://www.webeyes.us and download the free version.

Michelle Pasquerello is the Assistant Online Content Director for TMCnet.

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