I have been trying numerous DEs in Debian, but every magnifier has a quirk. What magnifier is the best? I'm visually impaired so a magnifier is vital for me. What I have tried:
Have you tried Gnome shell ?
Yes, but unfortunately the text appears populated upon zooming in
Gnome Shell 3.12 or 3.14. 3.8 and 3.10 were pretty crappy versions with a lot of problems in terms of r&r and text rendering.
Gnome is awesome in terms of assistance. Certainly also check out the gnome extensions, there is plenty in there also that may be useful for you.
Is it possible to manually refine the text?
Yes it is but the new fonts in linux are really nice, in comparison, everything else is utter crap. You can tweak the fonts as much as you want though, even to the very lowest level, as the fonts are open source, but chances are you won't need to.
With Wayland, the fonts look even better still. For viewing assistance, I would really recommend using the new Fedora 21, now still in beta but it's very usable already, basically the only main difference with the release version in a couple of weeks will be that it's still on kernel 3.16 now, and will be on kernel 3.17 at release. It has Wayland activated by default and runs Gnome 3.14, which steps up scaling and graphics support again in comparison to the already pretty awesome 3.12.
If you like KDE better, try out KDE 5 on SuSE Factory, but it's not entirely finished yet, and still pretty rough, but that boosts scaling and viewing comfort to again a new height, with full convergence of the entire environment, a crazy fast developing framework, and a crazy fast Qt foundation. I think it'll take a couple of more months before it's ready for prime time though, it's basically a complete redesign from scratch in comparison to KDE 4.
Thank you so much! I really wish there was a SolydG, but I've used fedora forever as even though it's bleeding edge it's stable. Really like Debian, but I could always try to find people willing to help with testing the repos for fedora and essentially creating a Solyd version of fedora. I've been awaiting fedora 21 to go into beta, but got caught off track by my first computer build ever (for the most part, it's a bunch of Dell 690 and T7400 parts I've scavenged from eBay). Maybe CentOS will get Wayland? I do prefer some of the aesthetics from KDE and XFCE, but until Kmag is full screen and KDE 5 adds something similar to Wayland I'll use Gnome.