9 Zooming Tips for Adobe Photoshop Elements

with 21 Comments

Would you consider yourself a zooming expert?
How about an amateur? Maybe just a novice?

Let’s take a quiz to find out. Here’s your assignment (no peeking at the list below):

Open your Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and list how many ways you can think of to ZOOM in and out of your document.


All finished? Okay, let’s compare our lists.

ZOOM Tip #1
We’ll start out with the obvious—the Zoom Tool. These tips only work when the Zoom Tool is active.

  • Get the Zoom tool.
  • Click on the document to zoom in. Click again to zoom in more.
  • Hold down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key) and click on the document to zoom out.
  • In the Tool Options, use the Zoom slider or click on one of the Zoom icons.


ZOOM Tip #2
This tip also only works when the Zoom Tool is active, but it’s a quick way to zoom into a specific area of your document very quickly.

  • Get the Zoom tool.
  • On the document, click and drag to create a Zoom Selection. When you let go, it will fill the screen.


ZOOM Tip #3
Here is a shortcut that I often forget about. It works when any tool is active.

  • Press Ctrl + or – (Mac: Cmd + or -) to zoom in or out by Adobe preset increments.


ZOOM Tip #4
This one is extremely helpful when scrapbooking. It allows you to see your entire page quickly. It also works with any tool.

  • Press Ctrl 0 (Mac: Cmd 0) to fit the page to the screen.


ZOOM Tip #5
This shortcut is new to me and useful if you often need to zoom in 100%. Which I do.

  • Using any tool, press Alt Ctrl 0 (Mac: Opt Ctrl 0) to zoom in 100%.


ZOOM Tip #6
Here’s a new one on me. This works with any tool and it might come in handy.

  • Hold down Alt Spacebar (Mac: Opt Spacebar) and click on the document to zoom out.
  • Hold down Ctrl Spacebar (Mac: Cmd Spacebar) and click on the document to zoom in.


ZOOM Tip #7
This one only works if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel.

  • In the General Preferences (Ctrl/Cmd K), enable Zoom With Scroll Wheel.
  • Hover your mouse over your document, scroll up to ZOOM IN, scroll down to ZOOM OUT.


ZOOM Tip #8
This one is not so quick, but it is best way to get an exact percentage (other than 100%).

  • In Zoom field located in the lower left corner of the document screen, click and drag to highlight the current percentage.
  • Enter an exact percentage.
  • Press Enter or Return to commit.


ZOOM Tip #9
This is one that I didn’t know. I LOVE it when I find some new-to-me trick in Photoshop!

  • In the Tool bar, double click on the Zoom tool.
  • Your document will automatically zoom in 100%.


Okay. All through. How did you do? If you knew all nine of my tips, give yourself a gold star!!

But wait! Maybe there are even MORE! If you have one that I have not listed, please share it with us. If it tests out good in Photoshop Elements 12, I’ll add it to this list and give YOU the credit.

Credits: Recollection by Joanne Brisbois [notepaper], Sweet Comforts by Shabby Miss Jenn [pink paper], DJB Leoni Regular [font]


jenwhite-48x48Author: Jen White | jen@digitalscrapper.com
All comments are moderated.
Please allow time for your comment to appear.

21 Responses

  1. Thomas Spainhour
    | Reply

    I use PSE 14.1 on 2 PCs, one with a 4K display and an older one with 1080p.

    For years, various version of PSE would scroll to the mouse pointer, so that no matter where the pointer was on the image, it would zoom to that point (which is almost always exactly what I want). On the older PC this is still the case.

    On the system with the 4K display, however, PSE zooms to/from the center of the working area, not the pointer location. If the pointer happens to be near the center of the image, the effect is a bit inconvenient but workable. If the pointer is off-center, zooming in results in the visible portion of the image flying off-screen along the center-to-pointer location vector. The more off-center the pointer, the more pronounced the effect.

    Any ideas?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Thomas. Neither of my installs of PSE14 performs that way, but…

      Just recently that began happening to me in PSE 2018 and it drove me absolutely nuts for a week or more. Then another update came along to put Humpty back together again. Adobe fixed it.

      That story doesn’t really help you, but the problem bothers you…
      my suggestion would be to reinstall the program on that machine from scratch. A fresh install is sometimes the ticket.

      Good luck!

  2. Geoff
    | Reply

    What a shame that Adobe Elements 13 cannot use the same facility for zooming as PaintShop Pro. That is; simply the use of the mouse wheel which is extremely quick and you don’t have to fiddle about with key-strokes or anything else when in the middle of important tasks.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Geoff. Glad to hear you’ve put PSE13 to the test. 😀
      Try this…
      Open Preferences (Ctrl/Cmd K). In the General settings, place a checkmark next to ‘Zoom with Scroll Wheel’.
      Now you should be good to go. 😉

      • Mitch
        | Reply

        I am using PSE 14… preferences-general seettings doesnt have a zoom with scoll wheel option… this is EXTREMELY frustrating as it is the most logical way to zoom… do you know why this is?

        • Jen White
          | Reply

          Hi Mitch. Sorry to see you are frustrated.

          Just to clear things up, PSE14 does indeed have a Zoom with Scroll Wheel option in Preferences > General. Here are a few things you could try.

          1. Make sure you are in PSE, not Organizer, when you get Preferences (Ctrl/Cmd K). It’s sometimes confusing to know which program is being accessed.

          2. If you still don’t see the Scroll Wheel option (on the right side, one option down), then Google how to reset your preferences. Computer programs often get confused … just like we do. 😀

          Let me know if this helped.

  3. mycats2829
    | Reply

    I don’t think I saw this one anywhere above but could have missed it. Hold down Ctrl+SpaceBar and draw an outline around the area you want zoomed. This should work with any tool, although sometimes I have to switch to the Move tool to get it to work. This is the primary method I use.

  4. Linda H
    | Reply

    Hi Jen, These tips were very useful. I had to enable my scroll wheel also. When saving it wouldn’t save to a pdf just other formats.

  5. Louise
    | Reply

    I find it really simple to use my mouse with most tools, click inside the work area and scroll up and down with the wheel on my mouse. Works good for me.

  6. B Suplita
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for the tips. I only knew a couple so this will be really helpful.

  7. Michelle
    | Reply

    Great article! I predominantly use Ctrl + or – to zoom in and out and occasionally Ctrl 0 when I have something so big it’s hanging off the edges this allows you to see the bounding box outside canvas edge. I will now be adding in ZOOM Tip #2 and it will be easier to remember to double-click the Hand tool to fit the page to the screen instead of Ctrl 0 (thanks Diana).

  8. Chris (far wife)
    | Reply

    If you have a touch pad, you can use finger motions to zoom. Starting with two fingers close together, spread them apart to zoom in, pinch them back close to zoom out.

  9. Diane
    | Reply

    So many ways to do one thing in PS. Most of these zoom tricks I knew but you provided some new ones. Thanks! You ladies just keep coming up with good information.

  10. Gail
    | Reply

    Great tips – thank you, Jen!

  11. Joanne
    | Reply

    Is there a way to save this tip as a .pdf file?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Joanne. You should be able to save the webpage as a PDF in the file menu of the browser. You can also Pin the blogpost on Pinterest. Or, as a last resort, you can copy the info and paste it into a doc and then save it as a PDF. Hope this helps. 😀

      • Carol aka Traveller
        | Reply

        highlight the text you want to save, ctrl + P or cmd+P to print. In the print pop up window check ‘print selection’ and then check the ‘save as pdf’ option.

  12. Virginia
    | Reply

    Thanks, Jen!
    Somehow I had lost my ability to zoom with the scroll wheel. Your tip reminded me it’s in general preferences. A thousand thanks!!!

  13. Diana
    | Reply

    Double-click the Hand tool to fit the page to the screen. Thanks for the great tips. I use my mouse scroll wheel the most.

  14. Mungo
    | Reply

    Thanks for the reminders – yes I had forgotten some of these), tip 8 is a good one

  15. Maryb
    | Reply

    To zoom in or out you can also go to Windows menu, select, Navigator. Left to zoom out or Right to Zoom in. You can dock this dialog box or leave it floating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.