Zooming Around Photoshop

with 5 Comments

Zooming Around Photoshop (Elements)
by Jen White

Are you a history buff? Here’s quick timeline of the Zoom Tool.

Prehistoric Zooming – No Shortcut

Always having to manually switch between tools can get time consuming and distracts you from the creation process. This method is just plain silly.

  • Open an image.
  • Get the Zoom tool.
  • Mess with the Tool Options.
  • Click on the document to zoom in or out.

Middle Aged Zooming Shortcut – Annoying

The problem with this shortcut is that you cannot choose the zoom point. It will always zoom from the center of the viewing area. That’s not really a time saver, in my opinion.

  • Open an image.
  • Press Ctrl + (Mac: Cmd +) to zoom in.
  • Press Ctrl – (Mac: Cmd –) to zoom out.
  • Press Ctrl 0 (Mac: Cmd 0) to fit your photo to the available desktop space.

New Aged Zooming Shortcut – Pretty Slick

  • Open an image.
  • Holding down Ctrl Space Bar (Mac: Cmd Space Bar), click on a portion of the document to zoom in, or click and drag a selection outline around a portion of the document to zoom in to that spot.
  • Hold down Alt Space Bar (Mac: Opt Space Bar), to zoom out. (Or simply press Ctrl 0 (Mac: Cmd 0) to fill the available desktop with your photo.)
  • When you let go of the keys, you will be returned to the previous tool.

Scroll Wheel Zooming – The Bee’s Knees

This shortcut is for mice with scroll wheels.
NOTE: The Magic Mouse that comes with a Mac computer also utilizes this preference.

  • Open an image.
  • Press Ctrl K (Mac: Cmd K) to open Preferences.
  • In the dialog box, go to General. Check Zoom with Scroll Wheel. Click OK. (PS: Go to Tools. Check Zoom with Scroll Wheel.)
  • On the document, hover your cursor over the document.
  • Move your finger forward and backward on the wheel of the mouse (or on the top of the Magic Mouse) to zoom in and out.

Photoshop Users Only

The shortcuts above are mainly for Elements users. Photoshop users have the best zooming shortcut capability known to man.

  • Open an image.
  • Holding down the letter Z, click on a portion of the document to zoom in.
  • Hold down Alt Z (Mac: Opt Z) to zoom out.
  • When you let go of the keys, you will be returned to the previous tool.


Looking for the part of this post that was different than the newsletter version? It’s the Bee’s Knees up above.

jenwhite-48x48Author: Jen White | Contact Us
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5 Responses

  1. Lee B. James
    | Reply

    I can’t believe you missed out the best zooming method of all!

    Hold down Control + Space but then instead of clicking to zoom, hold down the mouse button and move left and right to zoom in and out!

    This method of zooming is by far the best and I wouldn’t dream of using any other way! Much better than scroll wheel zooming!

  2. norah
    | Reply

    Also in PS after zooming in just use ALT+0 to go back to original size.

  3. Ruth316
    | Reply

    I have a Magic Mouse and I have used the zoom feature on maps but did not have a clue how to use it in PSE. I’ll give it a try.

  4. Su Hall
    | Reply

    The ‘Zoom with the Mouse Wheel’ was not in the original. I know, because that is my preferred method and it wasn’t mentioned. LOL
    ‘Tis still a jam-packed column of advice!

  5. Vivian
    | Reply

    I’ve always used the scroll wheel to zoom in…but when I would like just a portion of the page zoomed in, I like your other hints better.

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