From: John Stone (
Date: Thu Jun 01 2006 - 15:28:27 CDT

  I don't know of a nice solution for this. The VMD graphical interface
is written in FLTK, and so far as I know there isn't a way of redefining
the font size used for the widgets on-the-fly. Even if there was, it might
require redefining all of the window extents based on calculated font sizes
and the required spacing for the controls, and that would still leave you
with the problem of some of the widgets being too small (checkboxes,
FLTK "counters", etc).

The most likely reason the VMD OpenGL graphics window doesn't show up
in the magnifier view is because the windowing system doesn't have
direct access to manipulate the 3-D framebuffer contents on the fly
like it does for the other windows. OpenGL (Direct X, and so on) windows
are handled differently, much like a DVD player window would be.
This is all very problematic with the impaired vision issue due
to the behavior of the windowing systems and the graphical interface toolkits
that exist today (particularly the free ones like FLTK, Qt, etc).

A Mac may be the best bet for usability, as Apple has done much more
to integrate the accessibility functions into the core of their
windowing system as I recall. Do you have any Macs around?
It would be worth taking a look.
Windows would likely be next best after the Mac, but only with a video board
the "plays nice" with the magnifier apps (some do, some don't).

  John Stone

On Thu, Jun 01, 2006 at 10:12:20AM -0400, Dow Hurst DPHURST wrote:
> John,
> We have a visually impaired user who strains to read the fonts on the
> menus. Is there a way to control the VMD menu font sizes for all parts of
> the menus? I need really large bold fonts for her to easily see the
> screen. I've used mouseloupe software on Linux to do what ZoomText does on
> Windows. However, accelerated graphical software like VMD, Schrodinger's
> Maestro, or on Windows the program Powerpoint, seem to not play nice with
> the required Composite extension to predisplay an enlarged portion of the
> screen. I don't know how Windows does the Composite functionality but the
> effect is identical between Linux and Windows. If the ZoomText or
> mouseloupe magnifier hits a portion of the accelerated window, the
> accelerated window becomes blank with a black background. So, what works
> best for visually impaired users is to have the application enlarge the
> fonts for text and menu items. What do you think? The user has albinism
> so has color requirements too. Changing the font size and color would be
> optimal. A letter that is about a quarter of an inch high and bold is what
> I see her using a lot. We have two 17inch LCD monitors with the Nvidia
> TwinView for her right now on SUSE9.3 with the Quadro FX1400 Nvidia card.
> Dow

NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
Email:                 Phone: 217-244-3349
  WWW:      Fax: 217-244-6078