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Windows 7: Date and Time Help for Low Vision User

24 May 2016   #1
jdetray

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Date and Time Help for Low Vision User

I am looking for a way to display the current time, date, and day of the week on a computer display in a really HUGE size.

A member of my family has low vision but with the aid of Windows' 7 built-in magnifier and other "Ease of Use" features, he still manages to use his computer, just barely. However, he can no longer read a clock, watch, or calendar. As a result, he can easily lose track of the current time, date, and even the day of the week. It's very disorienting for him.

What he needs is a program that responds to a keypress by popping up a display of the time, date, and day of the week in a very large size on his display. Ideally, the program would temporarily display this information in a large black font on a white background for a few seconds, after which it would disappear until he presses the key to pop it up again.

I keep thinking that an application to do this sort of thing might already exist, but I have not been able to find it. The Windows Date and Time widget and Gadgets are too small and contain too much information. All we need is a means to display a bare minimum of information:

Monday
July 4
1:25 p.m.

Or something like that, but very, very large. The only options required are a means of specifying the font size and the duration of the display.

Any suggestions?

- Jeff


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
24 May 2016   #2
sgage

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Hi Jeff,

I empathize with your family member - my vision is going downhill year by year. The only thing I can think of are the stock Windows 7 Time and Calendar Gadgets - don't know if they are large enough, but they are much larger than the thing on the task bar. The downside would be is that when you enable them, they are there on your desktop all the time. I mean, you can right-click on the desktop and turn them off, but that would be a fiddly small thing to use.

Anyway, if you want to try it, just search for 'gadgets' in the control panel.

I'll bet there's a better solution out there - I just don't know of it.

Good luck,

- Steve

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jdetray View Post
I am looking for a way to display the current time, date, and day of the week on a computer display in a really HUGE size.

A member of my family has low vision but with the aid of Windows' 7 built-in magnifier and other "Ease of Use" features, he still manages to use his computer, just barely. However, he can no longer read a clock, watch, or calendar. As a result, he can easily lose track of the current time, date, and even the day of the week. It's very disorienting for him.

What he needs is a program that responds to a keypress by popping up a display of the time, date, and day of the week in a very large size on his display. Ideally, the program would temporarily display this information in a large black font on a white background for a few seconds, after which it would disappear until he presses the key to pop it up again.

I keep thinking that an application to do this sort of thing might already exist, but I have not been able to find it. The Windows Date and Time widget and Gadgets are too small and contain too much information. All we need is a means to display a bare minimum of information:

Monday
July 4
1:25 p.m.

Or something like that, but very, very large. The only options required are a means of specifying the font size and the duration of the display.

Any suggestions?

- Jeff
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2016   #3
jdetray

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

In the last few minutes, I had a minor brainstorm.

I could write create a HTML page that displays the day, time, and date. That's pretty easy to do. Then we need a way to open the HTML page in a new instance of the default browser with a keypress. I'll have to learn if that can be done by re-mapping say, the F12 key to do this.

I'd still rather have a widget that did this.

- Jeff
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

24 May 2016   #4
sgage

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jdetray View Post
In the last few minutes, I had a minor brainstorm.

I could write create a HTML page that displays the day, time, and date. That's pretty easy to do. Then we need a way to open the HTML page in a new instance of the default browser with a keypress. I'll have to learn if that can be done by re-mapping say, the F12 key to do this.

I'd still rather have a widget that did this.

- Jeff
Back in the day, Windows had a thing called 'Active Desktop' that would make your desktop display an HTML page. Not sure when they discontinued it - probably would have worked for what you want to do, and I think it could be toggled on and off with a key combination.

Oh well, that's progress for you. I think it was (probably rightly) deemed a security risk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2016   #5
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

There is a Gadget called HUD Time that has a large date and time display. Comes with the Windows 7 Gadgets.

Date and Time Help for Low Vision User-bigdatetime.jpg

The color and font are changeable.

If you set the opacity low it's invisible or almost invisible until you mouse over it, then it looks like above.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2016   #6
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
There is a Gadget called HUD Time that has a large date and time display. Comes with the Windows 7 Gadgets.

Attachment 387151

The color and font are changeable.

If you set the opacity low it's invisible or almost invisible until you mouse over it, then it looks like above.
I'm guessing this is what you are talking about?

Hud Time - Windows 7 Desktop Gadget
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2016   #7
jdetray

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks for the info about HUD Time. I'm going to check it out.

In the meantime, I have created the following web page.

Low Vision Time & Date

This is the sort of thing that my relative with low vision needs -- a plain white background with the time and date information in a large black font.

I have figured out how to open the page in a Windows computer's default browser by pressing a Ctrl-function key combination. I'd like to have the page open by pressing a single key, so I'm looking into ways to reprogram the function keys. If anyone knows of an easy way to open a URL with a function key, I would love to hear from you.

- Jeff
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2016   #8
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I would suggest using AutoIt to display your website:

Date and Time Help for Low Vision User-big-time.png

I have Windows themes off - hence the color of the title bar.


You can install AutoIt3 from here:
https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/downloads/
Accept all of the defaults during the installation.

After the installation completes:
Right click on the desktop and select New > AutoIt v3 Script from the context menu.
(You might need to select the desktop and press F5 to get that context menu.)
Then right click on the newly created file and select Edit Script from the context menu.

Copy/paste the info below into the newly created file:
(You can paste over the info that is already in the new file.)

Code:
Opt("TrayIconHide", 1)
Opt("TrayIconDebug", 1)

HotKeySet("{F6}", "_toggle")
HotKeySet("{F8}", "_exit")

#include <GUIConstantsEx.au3>
#include <IE.au3>

Local $oIE = _IECreateEmbedded()
$width = 1000
$height = 850
GUICreate("~BIG TIME~", $width, $height, (@DesktopWidth - $width), 0)
GUICtrlCreateObj($oIE, -1, -1, $width, $height)

GUISetState(@SW_SHOW)

_IENavigate($oIE, "http://www.astronomyboy.com/time/")
_IEAction($oIE, "stop")

Global $show = 1

While 1
    Local $iMsg = GUIGetMsg()
    If $iMsg = $GUI_EVENT_CLOSE Then
        $show = 0
        GUISetState(@SW_HIDE)
    EndIf
    Sleep(50)
WEnd


Func _toggle()
    If $show = 1 Then
        $show = 0
        GUISetState(@SW_HIDE)
    Else
        $show = 1
        GUISetState(@SW_SHOW)
    EndIf
EndFunc   ;==>_toggle


Func _exit()
    GUIDelete()
    Exit
EndFunc   ;==>_exit
I would suggest leaving the code as text.
(e.g. do not compile it into an EXE)

Put the text file (or a shortcut to it) in one of the Startup folders.

The app should run all of the time.

Pressing F6 will HIDE the window.
Pressing F6 again will SHOW the window.

Clicking on the X in that window will only HIDE the window. it does not exit the app.

Pressing F8 will exit the app. I would suggest doing away with that option.

You can change the function key(s) as desired.



edit: you could create the same type of display without using a website. Autoit's SplashTextOn function works, but flickers a bit with large fonts. AutoIt's help file suggests using ControlSetText to update the info in the splash screen to avoid flickering. Sadly, that still flickered for me.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2016   #9
jdetray

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thanks for letting me know about AutoIt and for providing the script. I've downloaded the program and will give it a try.

- Jeff
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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