Tips for low vision users

Introduction

This page is meant to collect solutions and note problems for low vision users of the superb PMDG aircraft. I suggest using "Tips" for useful info and "NOTAMS" for concerns or problems you have not been able to work around. As always, discussions should be directed to the AVSIM PMDG forum. Please check the discussion page for credits on these tips & NOTAMS.

TIPS

1. Most panels can be undocked and enlarged to the full size of the screen. This works for the PFD, ND, EICAS, and MFD. The MCP does not (see next tip).

2. If you are willing to fly in "windowed mode", a utility like Virtual Magnifying Glass will let you momentarily magnify a secton of the screen.

3. The Windows built-in screen magnifier "strip" utility may be helpful.

4. On the Microsoft Windows download site, there is a "toolbar magnifier powertoy" which can be helpful when trying to read small sections of the sim (MCP speed, or heading, or one of the knobs).

5. As you gain more experience with the sim, you will be able to use the overhead panel without needing magnification.

6. Adobe Reader 8.01 and later has a considerably improved reader. The a/c manual, the type rating courses, and other documentation can be read aloud. The screenshots of gauges and panels do not magnify well, unfortunately.

7. If available to you, having two screens (or three) will change your flight experience. Put the CDU, PDF, and ND on a second screen enlarged as needed.

8. It is not helpful to enlarge the overhead, throttle, and COM (radio) panels (See NOTAM #1)

NOTAMS

1. On the PMDG 747X and 747XF flight deck, there are a few controls and panels which cannot be magnified. The panels were created at a lower resolution such that magnifying any part of them - either by undocking and resizing or screen magnification (or both) - results in nothing viewable:

- The throttle quadrant: when enlarged to full size on a 12" LCD, the wording around the stablizer dissolves into pixels

- Similarly, the entire COM panel is unreadable. If you have to set the transponder codes or radio frequencies by hand, Virtual Magnifying Glass will not help. The MS Toolbar Magnifier Powertoy may be of help with the transponder setting, but the knobs are too far away from the number display. You'll have to bounce back and forth between the two. Be sure to pause the sim ("P" or hit scroll lock)
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