How to Zoom in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

By Barbara Obermeier

Keyboard shortcuts are the quickest way to zoom. When you press a keyboard shortcut, Photoshop CS6 zooms in or out by one of its preset increments (such as 200%, 100%, 66.67%, 50%, 33%, 25%, and so forth). The maximum magnification Photoshop now allows is 3,200%; the minimum magnification is less than 1%, way more than you’d ever need.

To Do This Windows Shortcut Mac Shortcut
Zoom in. Ctrl+the plus key (Press Ctrl and the + key.) Command+the plus key
Zoom out. Ctrl+the minus key (Press Ctrl and then the – key.) Command+the minus key
Zoom in to a point centered on where you click the mouse
Spacebar+Ctrl-click Spacebar+Command-click
Zoom out from a point centered on where you click. Spacebar+Alt-click Spacebar+Option-click

Click the Zoom tool in the Tools panel or press Z to activate it. Click anywhere in the image to magnify it. Hold down the Alt key (or the Option key on the Mac) and click with the Zoom tool to zoom out. In either case, the zoom centers on the point you click.

Double-click the Zoom tool in the Tools panel to display your image at 100% magnification.

The Zoom tool’s big advantage is its zoom selection facility. With the Zoom tool, drag in your image to create a temporary selection. When you release the button, Photoshop zooms in to fill the image window at the highest magnification that includes the selected area.

When the Zoom tool is active, you also have additional zoom tools on the Options bar. Selecting plus (+) or minus (–) sets the default magnification of the Zoom tool to either enlarge or reduce the image.

When you zoom in and out, Photoshop doesn’t alter the size of the document window, so your image may become too large for its window (in which case, scroll bars appear so you can view the rest of the image) or too small (in which case, a gray border appears around the image).


Select the Resize Windows to Fit option on the Options bar to make Photoshop automatically change the size of the document window to show the full document in view, up to the size of the Photoshop working area.

Select the Zoom All Windows option to have Photoshop size all open documents simultaneously.

Select the Scrubby Zoom option for quick on-image zooming. With the Zoom tool, drag on your image to the left to zoom out and drag to the right to zoom in.

Photoshop offers animated zooms. This feature enables you to zoom in smoothly when you hold down your mouse button with the Zoom tool active. Be sure to select the Animated Zoom option in the Preferences settings.