Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
There are a lot of ways that you can pan and zoom around inside an image in Photoshop. And I think it's because it is just something that you're going to be doing all the time. You're going to be zooming in. You're going to be zooming out. You're going to be moving the image around the screen. So, a lot of different ways to do the same thing. It's nice to have options. So I'm going to run you through a couple of different ways to do it and then you kind of decide which one makes sense to you and you can just stick with that one. So, the most basic way of course is to use the Zoom tool and the Hand tool. For the Zoom tool you can press the letter Z to switch to the magnifying glass or the Zoom tool or I can click on the actual icon itself.
And then the Hand tool is this little guy there of course. You can press the letter H. So H for Hand, Z for Zoom. Let's try with zooming. It starts out by giving a Plus sign in the magnifying. So if I click, it's going to zoom up. First thing to just kind of point out there, when you open an image, by default it's going to be in the Fit Screen view. Now, what particular zoom percentage you are at is going to be dictated by the size of your document, how many pixels are in it. So, this one happens to be 19%. You might open an image and it says 50%. So, it just depends on how many pixels are on that file.
Point being all of the view of that image can be fit into the screen. There's no scroll bars per se. If I start zooming I can click-and-hold and you'll see that the image starts zooming in, in this nice smooth kind of way that's kind of cool. If I zoom in far enough, I actually start to see a Pixel Grid and you can see pixels are a grid of squares. If I want to zoom out, the easiest way to that is to hold down the Option or Alt key and you'll see the Plus sign turns into a Minus sign and again I just click-and-hold, I'll start to zoom out and it animates gracefully there.
When I'm done getting to where I want to be, I just let go. Now if you click-and-drag with the Zoom tool, instead of clicking-and-holding you can actually zoom in a lot faster and I can actually just click-and-drag back and forth. And what's nice there is I don't have to hold any modifier key down, right? You'll see as I move the mouse down on my Desktop here, I'm zooming in and when I drag up with the mouse I'm zooming back out. So, this is actually probably the most fun and easy way just to zoom in and out, just by using this gesture. This is happening because this option up here in the Options bar called Scrubby Zoom is turned on.
If that's turned off, you get the traditional Marquee style of zooming. So if I click-and-drag, I'm dragging out an area, that when I let go will fill the screen. So that's the difference between a Drag Marquee with a Zoom tool versus the Scrubby Zoom. We'll go and turn that back on and this time we'll just click-and-drag up to start zooming out or to drag down to start zooming in. That's the difference between Scrubby Zoom being on or off. Once I've zoomed in, let's go ahead and click-and-hold to zoom in, I now want to move those pixels around on my screen.
You can see I have scroll bars. That's letting me know that there's more to this image that I can currently see in my view. I'm going to switch to the Hand tool, press the letter H to do so and that's just as simple as clicking-and-dragging the image around. Now there is kind of a cool fun way to do this, if you click-and-throw the image. This is called Flick Panning. You can click and just kind of move and let go the mouse at the same time. And the harder you flick it the faster it will scroll. If I click-and-drag really hard, I can just click to stop the pan. So you've got some really nice fluid ways to zoom in and out and move the image around on your screen.
If you don't want to have to actually switch to tools to go back and forth for zooming and panning of course there are keyboard shortcuts for that as well. These are just standard ones that you should learn. For instance, I have the Move tool selected. If I hold down the Spacebar it temporarily turns my current tool into the Hand tool. So I can pan around, let go the Space bar and I'm back to whatever tool I was using. Same thing to get to the Zoom tool. If I hold down Command+Space or Ctrl+Space, if you're on the Macintosh you might see the Spotlight Search coming up in the upper-right-hand corner, but just ignore that.
And I'm just holding down Command+Space or Ctrl+Space to temporarily get to Zoom tool to move in and out. And then when I let go over the keys, I'm back to whatever tool I was using. Then the final way to zoom in and out that I'll show you here is to use Command++ and Command+- or Ctrl++ Ctrl+- on your keyboard. This is just a more controlled way to do it. It goes down and larger increments, so Command+-, Command+-, Command+- rather than seeing it zoom in and out smoothly, this just goes down or up in chunks. So Command++ or Ctrl++, Command+- or Ctrl+-.
The two most common views that you are going to be working with in Photoshop is the Fit to Screen view and the 100% view. So there are a couple of ways to do that as well. Easy way first is to double-click on the Zoom tool or double-click on the Hand tool, so not double-clicking with the Hand tool, but double-clicking on the Hand tool. So if I double-click on the Hand that takes you back to the Fit to Screen view. If you double-click on the Zoom tool that takes you to the 100% view. So, nice easy gestures to get back to those two most common views.
And for those you who dream in keyboard shortcuts, of course there are keyboard shortcut ways to do that. The Fit to Screen keyboard short is Command+0 or Ctrl+0. And the 100% view is Command+1 or Ctrl+1. So there you have it, lots of different ways to zoom in and out and to pan around within an image. Stuff that you're just going to be doing all the times so start learning the way that feels most natural to you and then stick with it and over time you might pick up a couple of other methods depending on the context of what you're trying to accomplish.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
120 Video lessons · 57657 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 67207 Viewers
84 Video lessons · 16594 Viewers
125 Video lessons · 29499 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.