I'd like to have the functionality described in this video. Basically, use super+scrollup/down or pinch in/out on my touchpad to zoom in a certain area of the screen like on a phone or tablet.

Sadly I need compiz to get the described effect. How can I zoom in without using compiz?

I'm using Arch Linux with bspwm + compton.

What I've tried:

  • xzoom, which can zoom but spawns a new window instead of zooming in on the spot. Not what I want.
  • KDE's kmag, pretty much the same as xzoom but with a nice GUI.
  • Magnifier, where you can mouse over an area to zoom that area of the screen, which is not really what I want. I want to actually zoom in the whole screen like in the video above.

There's are open issues in compton's repositories:

  • This is ancient. I wonder if you could make it work. Virtual Magnifying Glass. Does the gnome accessibility help? – number9 Jul 16 '19 at 16:09
  • Also, this github page mangifier seems to be a newer version of the sourceforge one. – number9 Jul 16 '19 at 16:19
  • Thanks for the suggestions. I tried the software you linked but it doesn't zoom in the whole screen, just a box, which is not what I want. How can I use gnome's accessibility in bspwm? – zjeffer Jul 16 '19 at 16:55
  • Ah, I thought you said "to zoom in a certain area of the screen". I am not sure how to use the gnome in bspwm, specifically. – number9 Jul 16 '19 at 17:22
  • @number9 Yeah I didn't really know how to describe it. The video shows it pretty well. – zjeffer Jul 16 '19 at 19:36

I do not think there is any other way than these two.

You can either have a window, that contains the magnified part like xzoom and similar tools (some may use windows without border, what may look more like what you want) or a window manager that support zooming. I do not see another way to implement this.


For a similar zoom as compiz offers, you can resort to xfwm4 (xfce). It does full desktop zoom out of the box by using Alt + mousewheel.

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