For users who are visually impaired or suffer from eye fatigue Chrome OS offers a number of features to make your daily computing a little easier. Like most operating systems, these options can usually be found in your system menu under “Accessibility.”
The first feature is one that many users stumble upon accidentally. Looking at numerous forum posts, it also appears a lot of users have no idea how to enable or disable it which can turn into a major frustration.
High Contrast Mode
Whether you’re surfing the web, creating documents or reading a book, white backgrounds and traditional user interfaces can make it difficult to distinguish between object if you have a visual impairment. High contrast mode turns your desktop into a “photo negative” of the standard display. In many cases the increase of contrast between text, objects and backgrounds can make it easier to read and cause less strain on the eyes.
To give this feature a try head to Settings>Show advanced settings>Accessibility>Use high contrast mode. Alternately, you can enable high contrast mode by using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Search+H. If you ever enable this feature accidentally and aren’t sure why your display looks like a strange piece of art work you can see the high contrast mode notification in the system tray as seen here.
If high contrast mode isn’t for you there is also the option of changing the resolution of your display to increase the visible size of objects on your desktop. You can read more about that here.
Large Mouse Cursor
In the accessibility menu you will also find the option to “Show large mouse cursror.” This is exactly what is sounds like. Enabling this feature will increase the size of your cursor roughly 4 to 5 times its original size. It looks a little wonky at first but if you have difficulty with your vision it is a definite plus.
An alternative to changing your resolution, the screen magnifier options literally looks like you’ve placed a magnifying glass over your display. You will be zoomed in on the center of the display and moving your cursor to the left/right or top/bottom will give you access to screen areas out of your viewing area.
Highlight Mouse Cursor
This one is my favorite. It makes me feel like I’m in a first person shooter every time I use my Chromebook. Essentially, your cursor will be surrounded by a red ring that will illuminate when you move it then fades to nothing after you stop. Fun as it may be, many people have problems tracking objects or regaining visual focus and this feature can assist them with that.
These are just a few ways you can customize your Chrome OS experience. For a full list of features check out the accessibility menu for yourself.