I was working on this week’s tip, when I got an email from Steve Laskevtich from Luminous Works with a PDF handout titled “11 Ways to Zoom in Photoshop CS4.” There are SO many ways to do the the same thing in Photoshop, that I (like I expect many of you will do) immediately set out to find ways of zooming that Steve had missed.

So let’s call this a group project. How many different ways are there to zoom in Photoshop CS4? I’ve started us off with the eleven from Steve. I’ll be contributing my own additions in the comments along with the rest of you.

Zoom #1. Choose the zoom tool.


You can select the zoom tool from the Toolbar (where it has always been) or at the top of the screen in the Photoshop Application Bar (shown below). Click to zoom in preset increments. Hold Alt or option to zoom out. You can also draw a box with the zoom cursor and the area you surround will fill the image window.

Tip: Press and hold in one place for an animated zoom effect.

Zoom #2. Press Z to select zoom. Press-and-hold Z to make it temporary.


With any tool active, hold down (no, not just click) the Z key to temporarily activate the Zoon tool. Release the Z key to return to the tool you were just using.

Zoom #3. Hold down Cmd/Ctrl+Spacebar to access the zoom tool.


Tip: On the Mac, the Command+Spacebar conflicts with the default Spotlight search shortcut. You can turn the Spotlight search shortcut off in System Preferences under Keyboard & Mouse (look under Keyboard Shortcuts).

Zoom #4. Type a magnification value at the top of the screen.


Same Application Bar as before. Choose the pop-down menu or type your an exact zoom percentage.

Zoom #5. Type a magnification at the lower left of your image.


Zoom #6. Hold down Alt/option and use your mouse’s scroll wheel.

On a Mac multitouch trackpad or Magic Mouse, you may also use option + two finger scrolling. (I borrowed this graphic from an old tip titled Use a scroll wheel to zoom in Adobe Photoshop.)

Zoom #7. Choose Zoom In or Zoom Out from the View menu.


Zoom #8. Use the shortcuts Cmd/Ctrl+= or Cmd/Ctrl+–


Although the shortcut is technically an equal sign, everyone thinks of these as plus (+) and minus (-) to zoom in and out.

Zoom-Navigation.pngZoom #9. Navigator Panel take 1: Use the slider along the bottom of the panel.

Zoom #10. Navigator Panel take 2: Click the buttons at either end of the slider to zoom in preset increments.

Zoom #11. Navigator Panel take 3: Enter a magnification value in the field at the lower left of the panel.

Source: Steve Laskevtich is lead instructor at Luminous Works, author of Photoshop CS4 Photographer’s Handbook and is currently teaching a terrific 10-Week Lightroom Course in our online classroom.