How To Magnify Text Input Fields In Windows 10

Tech companies, big and small, have been trying to make life on the whole easier for people with disabilities. The improvements target minor disabilities to major ones. Visual impairments are something Apple, Microsoft, and Google all try to work with by providing users with options to make using their respective products easier. On Windows 10, you have a navigator that helps you use the OS if you’re visually impaired, as well as a neat magnifying tool. Bigtype is a free Windows app that can magnify text input fields if the magnifier tool is too much for you.

Magnify Text Input Fields

Download Bigtype and run the app. You can change the zoom depth from the settings, and the size of the magnifying lens. Once you’re done, click Save, and minimize the app.

When you type in a text field, it will magnify only that part of it.

As per tests, this app works with Notepad, file Save as fields asking you to enter a name for the file, and the location bar in File Explorer. It doesn’t work with Chrome’s URL bar. The magnifier remains in the top left corner though since this is the first version of the app, perhaps it will improve in the next few versions.

Windows Limitations

Windows 10 lets you increase the size of text on an OS level. Unfortunately, this often results in blurred text in some apps, and it doesn’t seem to apply to fields like the Save as field. There’s also a scaling option in Windows 10 but it has the same limitations.

Microsoft does need to add more options for the visually impaired and it needs to make them as customizeable as possible. This is easier said than done of course. To give users fine control over what objects are magnified, there would need to be serious OS level changes and something will likely break during the process.

Personal Use

This app is likely something I’ll be trying out long term. I have severe myopia and while I can use large thumbnails, high level scaling, and zoom to work more easily, I do need to squint hard at the Save as fields and the location bar. This utility may be small but it does meet a very specific need that Windows 10 doesn’t. I can’t count the number of times I’ve typed something incorrectly simply because I had trouble seeing it clearly.

The built-in options are often overkill for me because I can see the UI elements and they’re often far easier to distinguish than text.

Read How To Magnify Text Input Fields In Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Enable Hyper-V In Windows 10

Hyper-V allows virtual machines to run on a Windows system. It is possible to run virtual machines without Hyper-V however, it makes things much easier. For one, it allows a VM to get direct access to the hardware on your system. As you can imagine, not everyone needs to run a VM which is why Hyper-V isn’t always on by default on most systems. If you’re about to run a VM, it a good idea to check if Hyper-V is enabled. If it isn’t, we’ll show you how to enable Hyper-V.

Hyper-V Requirements

Hyper-V is a Microsoft service that requires certain hardware to run. In a nutshell, the following are the basic requirements for Hyper-V support

  • An Intel or AMD CPU that supports virtualization and Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
  • A 64-bit version of Windows 10 or Windows 8/8.1
  • 4GB RAM

Check Hyper-V Support

There are two different ways to check if your system supports Hyper-V. The first, and the easiest method is to check in Task Manager.

Open Task Manager and go to the Performance tab. Select CPU from the column on the right, and look below the graph depicting CPU usage. You should see an option called ‘Virtualization’. It will either be enabled or disabled. If you do not see this option, your CPU does not support Hyper-V.

The second method which will also tell you if your CPU supports SLAT or not is to use Microsoft’s Coreinfo utility.

Download the utility and extract it. Open Command Prompt with admin rights, and use the cd command to go to the extracted folder. Run the following command. The output will tell you if your CPU supports Hyper-V or not.

coreinfo.exe –v

Enable Hyper-V

Assuming you ran the above checks and your system supports Hyper-V, you may still need to enable it. You cannot enable Hyper-V from inside Windows 10. This is a BIOS settings which means you need to access BIOS in order to enable Hyper-V.

The BIOS layout is not the same on all desktops and laptops. You will need to explore it to find the option. Some BIOS might have a dedicated Virtualization tab, while others might have placed the option under Advanced Settings, or Security.

All you need to do is find the option in BIOS, tap Enter to select it, and use the Up/Down arrow keys to change Disabled to Enabled. After that, tap the F10 key to save the change, and boot your system like normal.

Use the same checks in the previous section to make sure you’ve correctly enabled Hyper-V and you’re good to go.

Read How To Enable Hyper-V In Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

What Is Bandwidth: How Much Do I Need Each Month?

Bandwidth is understood synonymously with internet speed. The more you bandwidth you get, the faster internet you have. Equating bandwidth with internet speed is alright in laymen terms but you need to understand what speed is when it comes to sending and receiving information online.

When we talk about cars and their speed, or when we describe speed limits we refer to them in miles per hour, or kilometers per hour. Bandwidth is like that except, the units are different. Bandwidth is the amount of information that can be sent or received in one second.

Digital information is expressed in bits. Bandwidth is expressed as Mbps i.e. Megabits per second and a megabit is 60 million bits. Mbps is the standard unit for measuring bandwidth for broadband networks however, Ethernet networks can support much higher speeds and their bandwidth is sometimes expressed in Gbps i.e. Gigabits per second. Some broadband networks, especially those built using fiber optic cables can also support gigabits per second speeds.

Slow Vs Fast Internet

Slow and fast internet are again expressed in terms of speed i.e. 4Mbps is slower than 20Mbps. The numbers make it fairly easy to understand but what exactly happens, on a slightly technical level, when you have faster internet? Let’s expand on our car analogy from the previous section.

Let’s say there’s a one-way road with two lanes. Traffic can move in two lanes simultaneously. If the road is expanded and two more lanes are added, traffic can move twice as fast, assuming all cars are travelling at the same speed. Bandwidth is a lot like that. When you have 4Mbps bandwidth, you have 120 millions bits moving in one second. When you have 20Mbps, you have 1200 million bits moving per second.

Another popular analogy used to explain bandwidth is that of a tap. If you open a faucet half-way, less water comes out. This is your ‘slow’ internet i.e. low bandwidth. If you open a faucet all the way, more water comes out and this is your fast i.e. high bandwidth.

Slow and fast internet requirements are subject to how an internet connection is used. For example, if you’ve got one or two devices using the same connection, low bandwidth will meet most if not all of your needs. If you have far more devices and you intend to game online or binge on Netflix you’re going to need a much faster connection.

Bandwidth & Data Caps

Bandwidth always comes with data caps imposed by your ISP and your cellular network. A data cap limits how much information can be sent over a period of time. This period of time, usually a month defined by your billing period, dictates how much information can be sent and received.

Remember that bandwidth is essentially information travelling at a certain speed. ISPs and cellular networks impose data caps for three reasons;

  • To prevent network congestion
  • To prevent improper/unethical use of the network
  • To make money when they upsell the next data plan with a higher data cap

There is always a business side to data caps but not all data caps are bad so long as they’re reasonable and your ISP or cellular network allows you to roll over any remaining data to the next billing cycle.

A data cap of 80GB per month means that in one month, you can download 80GB of data. If you cross 80GB, you will have to pay for the additional data that you download. It’s also worth mentioning that data caps and bandwidth speeds aren’t just for downloads. They apply to uploads. Home users are less concerned with upload speeds and data caps on how much data they can upload but it matters a great deal to businesses that will likely upload a considerable amount of data on a regular basis e.g. when they back up data. This is why ISPs have separate data plans for  home users and businesses.

Bandwidth & Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is a very contentious topic at the moment and you might wonder what it has to do with bandwidth. At present all internet access i.e. everything you download and upload is treated the same. This means that you can download an email attachment or watch Netflix at the same speed. Your ISP treats all your internet activity the exact same way and this is net neutrality in the plainest of terms.

When net neutrality is limited, it allows ISPs to throttle your bandwidth depending on what you use your internet connection for. This means that if you have a 20Mbps connection, you can use it to download an email attachment but when you try to watch Netflix, your ISP will throttle the bandwidth speed to something much lower since you’re downloading media. In order to stream media, you will have to pay more more i.e. buy a different or separate data plan.

Read What Is Bandwidth: How Much Do I Need Each Month? by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Apply Two Filters To One Photo In Snapchat

Instagram proved that filters can become popular. Snapchat improved on the concept. Instagram lets you add filters that enhance colors or manipulate the light in a photo. Snapchat has these same filters but it also popularized location tagging filters, weather filters, and then it brought out lenses and embraced AR. Unlike Instagram though, you can apply two filters to one photo in Snapchat.

The process isn’t exactly included in the on-boarding process and there doesn’t seem to be any visual cues that might indicate you can apply two filters to one photo in Snapchat which means there’s a bit of a trick to it.

To be clear, by filters we mean the ones that you apply to photos taken from the back end camera. The filters you apply to photos taken from the front-facing camera aren’t filters; they’re lenses.

Apply Two Filters

Open Snapchat and with the back-end camera take a photo. Remember that you can only apply two filters so perhaps you want to go through all the ones that are available and pick which two you want to use.

You’ll need two hands for this and it’s a good idea if you can put your phone down on a flat surface. Once you’ve taken the photo, swipe like you normally do and select the first filter that you want to apply. Next, place one finger on your screen and use a second finger to swipe to the next filter.

That’s about it. When you’re done, you can release both fingers and send the snap to your story, or to a friend.

The two filter trick works for when you want to add both Bitmoji and maybe your current location or the weather to Snapchat. If you’re trying to combine two different light filters you’re going to get mixed results. It’s hard to say which color will look good on top of the other so you’re in for some experimentation.

This same trick doesn’t work with lenses for obvious reasons. Most lenses are applied to a face, or faces (if you’re snapping with a friend). It doesn’t make sense to apply two different lenses to one face. There are some lenses like the dancing hotdog of 2017 that you can probably apply with another lens like your Bitmoji lens but generally, the idea is impractical.

If there was ever a Snapchat feature for Instagram to copy, it’s this one. It’s actually astounding that Instagram hasn’t thought to add an option that lets its users apply two filters to one photo.

Read How To Apply Two Filters To One Photo In Snapchat by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Fill Text With An Image In Photoshop

You can fill an image with another image, or fill text with an image in Photoshop. There’s a neat tool called the clipping mask tool that lets you do this easily and it’s been a part of Photoshop for years.

Choosing An Image

To get started you need a good image that is high resolution and that can fill the text you want to type. There’s no limit to how long the text should be but for the sake of aesthetics, don’t fill a paragraph’s worth of text with an image. Keep it as short as you can. Also, when you’re choosing an image, remember what your final file will look like. The image shouldn’t clash with the background or other elements in the file.

Fill Text With An Image

Open a new Photoshop file and paste the image you want to use into the file as its very own layer.

Next, use the text tool to type in your text. It’s best that you go with a bold typeface. If the letters are too thin, the image won’t show well and the overall effect is going to be poor.

Now that you have the two basic layers you need i.e., the image and the text, it’s time to add the clipping mask. But first, drag the image layer so that it’s on top of the text layer i.e., the text should be hidden behind the image.

Next, go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask.

And here’s the result;

It’s a little hard to read, and kind of tacky so maybe adding a stroke around it will make it better. It’s easier to read now and the point of all this is that you can still add effects to the text layer even after you’ve filled it with an image.

This effect is pretty easy to achieve and you can use it for filling images with images as well. You can resize the image you’ve filled the text with anytime by using the transform tools. Some effects, such as the color overlay effect can’t be used when you’ve added a clipped mask. The effect will apply like normal however it will hide the filled in image and leave you with a monotone colored text snippet.

Don’t get carried away with this effect. It’s easy to apply but tricky to get right. Always remember that your final image shouldn’t be so busy that it fails to deliver a message.

Read How To Fill Text With An Image In Photoshop by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter