Presenting with the iPad – Problem with Zoom – Full Screen Changes to Window

I lead many workshops and other learning activities on how to use the iPad. For me (and my learners) one of the most valuable features of the iPad is my ability to zoom the screen while presenting. With my iPad connected to a projector, I can enlarge a portion of the screen to encourage the audience to focus on that content. Zooming also allows those in the back of the room to more clearly see what I’m trying to show. You’ll find the controls for zoom in
Settings > General > Accessibility.

iPad zoom settings screen

I’ve used the iPad zoom function in hundreds of iPad sessions. For the last few months, I’ve had trouble with it. I suspect the trouble began with an update to iOS 8. Here’s the problem. Though I clearly selected Full Screen Zoom under zoom region, the iPad would occasionally and mysteriously switch to a window zoom. Window zoom is like a rectangular magnifying glass overlaid on the screen. Any screen content under the magnifier lens is enlarged. This is how Window Zoom is supposed to work, but this is clearly not what I wanted. I’d fix the problem by jumping into settings, switching zoom off, then on again. However, this interrupted the flow of the lesson and often caused curious stares as I paused to remedy the problem.

zoom setting full screen vs window

So I did a bit of web sleuthing and discovered a solution that seems to work. The trick is to turn Zoom Keyboard ON. Under iOS 7 we didn’t have this keyboard on/off option with zoom. Leaving the keyboard unzoomed keeps your content zoomed, but the keyboard stays the same size while typing. This can be a handy feature when composing text, but not when full screen zoom is what you really want.

Presentation tip: When tapping with three fingers to activate full screen zoom, tap on the area of the display you want to enlarge, not in the middle of the screen. Then you may not need to drag three fingers around to get to the intended part of the screen. Seems obvious, but I missed this when I first started using the zoom function.

About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, has over 30 years experience in educational technology, including teaching, administration and professional development. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. Andy now runs a professional development business, working on site and online to help others make sense and make use of digital tools. He started this iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale to help others become more comfortable and competent with the iPad, in person and online. Click Here for Video Lessons