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Low-vision X11 configuration
I use one of two approaches, depending on the circumstances:
- Low-resolution scrollable desktop
- Works well if you have older software that uses bitmap fonts, or if you have a Mac
- You can set the window you're working in to fit the "viewport", and quickly pan the viewport to see other windows
- May not work so well with desktop environments like GNOME; simple window managers are best
- Can be more trouble to set up on modern graphics hardware and/or laptops
- High-resolution non-scrollable desktop with larger fonts
- Needs newer software that does not use bitmap fonts
- You can work full-screen and use Alt-Tab or other mechanisms to switch windows
(can be slightly more fiddly than panning, but not too much if
you have tabbed terminals, editors and browsers)
- GNOME 3 and Unity introduced a different behaviour: Alt-Tab switches between applications, and Alt-` switches between windows within an application---a bit like Command-Tab and Command-` on the Mac
- Works well with modern "desktop environments" and laptops
If you run Windows programs using WINE, you can
change the overall size by adjusting the DPI setting
LogPixels in .wine/system.reg
(its value is hex). In newer versions you can also use
the winecfg program's "Graphics" tab to set DPI.
If you need a dark background in WINE apps you can
try appending this dark background registry snippet to .wine/user.reg
(here's a Unicode .reg version in case you want that scheme on real Windows: works on XP but a restart might be required).
If you want anti-aliasing (and don't already have it), try this antialiasing registry snippet also
(this sets greyscale anti-aliasing; ClearType is not recommended unless you
can calibrate the gamma setting to your monitor).
If you use the "Wineskin Winery" wrapper on a Mac, the .reg files will be located in your application's Contents/Resources directory.
If those colour changes cause unreadable text in printouts, you might need to
delete the relevant colour commands from the PostScript,
e.g. if you're using a machine behind a firewall that
runs CUPS and you have administrator access then
go to http://localhost:631 and Add Printer,
device LPD/LPR printer, URI
socket://localhost:12000, make Generic / Generic PostScript
printer; before printing to this printer do
nc -l -p 12000 | grep -v "^1.00 1.00 0.00 setrgbcolor$" | grep -v "^0.89 setgray$" | ps2pdf - output.pdf
(may need adjusting for some CUPS/Wine versions).
Alternatively if you don't have root access but have compiled your own WINE, you can temporarily disable accidental printing by moving wineps* out of lib/wine.
All material © Silas S. Brown unless otherwise stated.