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(Last updated on November 18th, 2021)

There’s a lot of amazing stuff you can do in Photoshop, from editing photos to drawing artwork. However, to make such immaculate artwork, you’ll need to know how to use the zoom tools. In this article, you’ll learn with a step-by-step guide on how to zoom in and out of your Photoshop canvas.

Adobe Photoshop is a program that is capable of multiple projects. You can edit your photographs for the best quality or illustrate the more elaborate designs. If you want the best detail for your images, you need to get up close and personal so you’re not squinting at the screen.

Step 1: Finding the zoom tools

Let’s use this photograph of a city for example. There’s a lot of detail we can see in this picture. Maybe we want to focus on one area to make some changes but don’t want to strain our eyes doing so. Rather than try to be extra careful with a tiny brush, let’s get in close with the zoom tools.


You can find the zoom tools in two places. You’ll see it located in your toolbar. Navigate over to your toolbar and find the icon that looks like a magnifying glass. If you hover over the tool, you’ll notice a small pop-up window will appear offering more info on using the zoom function. Feel free to click it for more extensive info.


Step 2: Zooming in on your photo.

Click on the Zoom button. Your icon should now turn into a magnifying glass when you hover over your canvas. Click anywhere in the photograph and the canvas will zoom in closer to the image.

The closer you get, keep an eye on the tab with your image name above the canvas. You’ll see the numbers grow higher in percentage the closer you zoom in because that’s how far you’ve zoomed. In the example below, you can see this photo has been zoomed in to the size of 100%.


Step 3: Editing while zooming

Now let’s move around a bit. Select the Hand tool from the toolbar and then click and drag on the canvas. As you drag, you can shift your perspective of the zoomed-in image. In this case, let’s move the perspective of the canvas more towards the ground so we can see the lights.

Now we’ll make some edits to the photo. In this case, let’s make the lights on the bottom of the skyscraper brighter. Select the Dodge tool, which will look like a filled-in magnifying glass. We can use this tool to make certain areas of the photo brighter.

Before making this change, we need to have the photo on a layer we can edit. Right-click on the Background layer in your layers tab and click the duplicate layer. With the duplicated layer selected as Background Copy, you can now start using the Dodge tool on the lights.


There are so many unique things you can do in Photoshop when you’re zoomed in on an image. You can touch up some pores on a face or add in some extra shading to that painting you’ve been working on. All of that can be done a little easier with the aid of zooming.

Step 4: Navigating with the zoom tools

Once we’ve made our changes, we’ll want to zoom out to see how the whole picture looks. To zoom out, select the Zoom tool again from the toolbar. On the canvas, right-click to open a mini-menu for zoom actions.

You should see options in this menu for zooming in and out, as well as a few percentages. To get a glance at everything, we’ll select the option Fit on Screen. This zoom function will give us the right size to see the entire picture based on our display.


Another area of the screen where you can find these options is the zoom settings above the canvas. When you have the zoom tool selected, look at the top bar for settings, and you’ll find the familiar options you get when right-clicking on the canvas.

If you’d prefer to zoom in on a particular area, you can select the zoom window function. It should be located in the zoom settings toolbar with an icon that looks like two windows and a magnifying glass. With this tool selected, you can click and drag to zoom in on the area you want to be highlighted.

Step 5: Zooming shortcuts

There are more ways to zoom in and out of a photo than just using the zoom tool. There are several other options for triggering zoom functions. You can choose to either use some keyboard shortcuts or find the options available in the View menu.

Let’s discuss the zooming shortcuts. For starters, you can engage the Zoom tool by merely hitting Z on the keyboard. For the fastest way to zoom in, you only need to press Control and +. This function will automatically zoom into your picture by a few percentages. If you want to zoom out, press Control and -.

There are even shortcuts for specific zooms. Pressing Control and 0 will automatically fit your view of the image to your screen and canvas size. Press Control and 1 to zoom in at the zoom level of 100%.

If you can’t remember the keyboard shortcuts or find the zoom tool in your toolbar, the zoom functions can be found in the top menus. In the topmost toolbar of Photoshop, navigate to View. Click on that menu, and it will open up a long menu of view options.

This menu controls the zoom functions we’ve previously discussed and shows the keyboard shortcuts for each. Fit on Screen is listed but also Actual Size and Print Size. These zoom functions are essential if you intend to print a large picture and want to get an idea of how much detail you’ll see.


If you ever get lost while zooming in and moving around, just remember the View menu. It’s a great way to reset the focus if you zoom in too far or just want a quick reminder of the shortcuts. With all of these menus considered, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to viewing your photos and illustrations.

These tools are essential for all Photoshop users to learn. Whether you’re editing a photo or drawing an illustration, zoom functions are necessary to ensure that you’re getting as much detail as you desire.

Frequently asked questions

How do you zoom in and out on Photoshop?

Zooming in and out of your canvas in Photoshop can easily be accomplished using keyboard shortcuts. Simple press Control and + to zoom in or Control and – to zoom out. You can also activate the Zoom tool by pressing Z on your keyboard or locating the magnifying glass on your toolbar. With the Zoom tool selected, you can edit the settings to zoom in as close or as far back as you like

What is the easiest way to zoom in on Photoshop?

Zooming in on a canvas in Photoshop can be accomplished in several ways. The quick keyboard shortcut is to press Control and +, which will zoom into the picture instantly. You can also press Z to activate the Zoom tool and click on the canvas to zoom in. The other method is to locate the View function in the top toolbar. With this tool, you’ll find even more options for zooming and fitting the picture to the size of the screen.

How do I reset the zoom tool in Photoshop?

If you find that you’ve zoomed too far into your canvas, you can pull back easily by fitting the canvas to the size of your screen. This function should reset your view of how your project first appeared when you either opened the project or opened an image. With the zoom tool selected, right-click on the canvas and select Fit to Screen. This will pull back your view so that you can see the entire image.

Where is the zoom tool in Photoshop?

You can find the zoom tool in your Photoshop toolbar. Locate the tool icon that appears like a magnifying glass. Click that icon and then use the tool settings at the top of the page or right-clicking the canvas. You can also select the zoom by simply pressing Z on your keyboard—additional zoom functions by clicking on the View menu in the top toolbar

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