Zoom in Excel: Changing Worksheet Magnification

Zoom Options in Excel: Zoom Slider and Zooming with the the Keyboard

Ted French

The zoom feature in Excel changes the scale of a worksheet on screen, allowing users to enlarge specific areas by zooming in or zooming out in order to see entire worksheets all at once.

Adjusting the zoom level does not, however, affect the actual size of a worksheet so printouts of the current sheet remain the same, regardless of the selected zoom level.

Zoom Locations

As shown in the image above, in the latest versions of Excel (2007 and later), zooming in on a worksheet can be accomplished using:

  1. The zoom slider located on the status bar as shown in the image above.
  2. The zoom option found on the View tab of the Excel ribbon.
  3. The Zoom on roll with IntelliMouse option.

Zoom Slider

Changing the magnification of a worksheet using the zoom slider is accomplished by dragging the slider box back and forth.

Dragging the slider box to the right zooms in resulting in less of the worksheet being seen and increases the size of objects, such as cells, row and column headers, and data, in the worksheet.

Dragging the slider box to the left zooms out and has the opposite results. The amount of the worksheet seen increases and objects in the worksheet decrease in size.

An alternative to using the slider box is to select the Zoom Out and Zoom In buttons located at either end of the slider. The buttons zoom the worksheet in or out in increments of 10%.

Zoom Option: View Tab

On the View tab the Zoom section of the ribbon contains three options:

  • Zoom
  • 100%
  • Zoom to Selection

Selecting the Zoom option on the View tab of the ribbon opens the Zoom dialog box as shown on the left side of the image. This dialog box contains pre-set magnification options ranging from 25% to 200%, as well as choices for custom magnification and zooming to fit the current selection.

This last option allows you to highlight a range of cells and then adjust the zoom level to show the selected area in its entirety on the screen.

Zooming With Shortcut Keys

Keyboard key combinations that can be used for zooming in and out of a worksheet involve using the ALT key. These shortcuts access the zoom options on the View tab of the ribbon using keyboard keys rather than the mouse.

For the shortcuts listed below, press and release the keys listed in the correct order.

  • ALT + W + J activates the 100% zoom option on the ribbon.
  • ALT + W + G activates Zoom to Selection on the ribbon.
  • ALT + V + Z opens the Zoom dialog box.
  • ALT + W + Q opens the Zoom dialog box.

Once the Zoom dialog box is open, pressing one of the keys below followed by the Enter key will change the magnification level.

  • 0 + Enter - 200% zoom.
  • 1 + Enter - 100% zoom.
  • 7 + Enter - 75% zoom.
  • 5 + Enter - 50% zoom.
  • 2 + Enter - 25% zoom.

Custom Zoom

Using the above keyboard keys to activate the Custom zoom option requires additional keystrokes in addition to those needed to open the Zoom dialog box.

After typing ALT + W + Q + C, enter numbers such as 33 for a 33% magnification level. Complete the sequence by pressing the Enter key.

Zoom on Roll With IntelliMouse

If you frequently adjust the zoom level of worksheets, you might want to use the Zoom on roll with IntelliMouse option

When activated, this option allows you to zoom in or out using the wheel on an IntelliMouse or any mouse with a scroll wheel rather than scrolling up and down in a worksheet.

This option is activated using the Excel Options dialog box as shown on the right side of the image.

In recent versions of Excel (2010 and later):

  1. Select the File tab of the ribbon to open the File menu.
  2. Select Options in the menu to open the Excel Options dialog box.
  3. Select Advanced in the left-hand panel of the dialog box.
  4. Select Zoom on roll with IntelliMouse in the right panel to activate this option.

Zoom Out to Display Named Ranges

If a worksheet contains one or more named ranges, zoom levels below 40% will display these named ranges surrounded by a border, providing a quick and easy way check of their location in a worksheet.