Pointing Magnifier Pointing Magnifier in Photoshop

Alex Jansen
Leah Findlater
Jacob O. Wobbrock [contact]
University of Washington


Current Version 1.6.2

Executable Pointing Magnifier 1.6.2
Source code: pointingmag.zip

The Pointing Magnifier requires the Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework. Download it here.
This software is distributed under the New BSD License agreement.


The Pointing Magnifier is a two-stage pointing technique. During the first stage the user controls an area cursor of arbitrary size depending on the pointing accuracy of the user. To interact with a target, the user places the area cursor over that target and activates it by clicking any mouse button. This causes everything under the circular cursor to be magnified, and the cursor is pinned in place. While magnified, the user controls a standard mouse pointer inside the magnified area. Upon performing an action (e.g., clicking, dragging) in magnified space, the pointer’s location is transposed so that the interaction occurs at the correct position in unmagnified space. After the user performs an action, the Pointing Magnifier returns to its original size and the user resumes control of the area cursor.

There are currently a few known issues which we have documented in deploying the Pointing Magnifier to Windows, however most functions are fully supported.


Dr. Jacob O. Wobbrock was interviewed about this technology on Voice of America.



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. [acm] [youtube]


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.

Copyright © 2011-2013 Jacob O. Wobbrock. All rights reserved.
Last updated December 23, 2016.