How to Use Specific Zoom Functions in Photoshop CS6

In addition to its basic zoom options, Photoshop CS6 offers some extra, specific ways to zoom that come in handy from time to time as well:

  • Zooming from the View menu: Choose View→Zoom In or View→Zoom Out to enlarge or reduce the image from the Menu bar. You can also choose from these options on the View menu:

    • Fit on Screen: Enlarges the image to the maximum size that fits within the application window.

    • Actual Pixels: Shows your image onscreen at a 1:1 pixel ratio.

    • Print Size: Shows the image at the size that it will print.

      The above options also appear on the Options bar — with the additional option of Fill Screen, which does just that with your image.

    To resize windows to fit onscreen when you’re not using the Zoom tool, choose Edit→Preferences→General (or Photoshop→Preferences→General on the Mac) and select the Zoom Resizes Windows option.

  • Typing percentages in the Magnification box: The Magnification box at the bottom of each document shows the current magnification percentage. Type an exact magnification percentage in this box and press Enter (Return on the Mac) to produce a custom zoom level. This box is handy if you need a specific amount of enlargement or reduction.

    Another Magnification box appears in the Navigator panel, along with some other options for zooming.

  • The following commands live on the Window→Arrange submenu:

    • Match Zoom: Choose Match Zoom to have all your open documents match the magnification percentage of your active document.

    • Match Location: Choose this command to match the locations of all your open documents with the location of your active document. For example, if you’re viewing the center portion of an image, choosing this command then adjusts the views of all your open documents to the center, as well.

    • Match Rotation: This command enables you to match the canvas rotation of your active document, created by using the Rotate View tool.

    • Match All: And finally, Match All does all three commands simultaneously.

  • Magnifying by dragging: With the Zoom tool, drag around the portion of the image you want to zoom into. A selection marquee appears, and when you release the mouse button, that portion of the image fills your document window. To freeze and then move the selection marquee around the image, begin your drag and then hold down the spacebar while dragging the marquee to a new location.

    Note that when you now zoom in greater than 500%, a pixel grid appears. Instead of having pixels butt up against one another flush, like in previous versions of Photoshop, a thin, gray line separates each pixel.

    If you don’t like the display of the pixel grid, disable it by deselecting Pixel Grid under the View→Show submenu.

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