Must-Have Tool: ZoomIt for Technical Presenters
In one of my previous posts, I introduced the Remote Desktop Connection Manager. Here is yet another must-have tool: ZoomIt. If you frequently present technical contents on Windows, you will find it very useful, especially when you want to show source code or screen details to your audience.
I’ve found many cases in which presenters had trouble to walk through source code because the font was too small for audience to see clearly. Instead of using this tool, they often tried to change IDE editor settings for a larger font, which worked but not nearly convenient.
I guess because of the same pain, the author Mark Russinovich wrote this tool and shared with the community. According to him,
ZoomIt is a screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image. I wrote ZoomIt to fit my specific needs and use it in all my presentations. ZoomIt works on all versions of Windows and you can use pen input for ZoomIt drawing on tablet PCs.
Unlike a normal Windows application, the ZoomIt mostly hide on system tray after starting up. As a user, you mainly use it with customizable hotkeys. You can bring up a dialog box (see the following diagram) and change the settings there by clicking on the icon on system tray and picking the “Options” menu.
The available options that can be changed are pretty straightforward. Beyond zooming screen, you can also annotate and highlight on the screen without changing the underlying content. The last tab is actually for a timer that shows time left for a break on whole screen, which can be very handy to get audience back to seats when break is over.
I don’t think I need to explain it more here. Just download it here and play with it by yourself. The zip file is only 280K. You didn’t read it wrong, it’s 280K, not 280M. After downloading it, you can extract the ZoomIt.exe out to any folder. I simply put it on my desktop. If you want, you can turn on the “Run ZoomIt when Windows starts” (last checkbox in the above diagram) and no more need to start it by yourself.