How to Zoom In or Out With Your Keyboard

Use a keyboard shortcut or accessibility options

What to Know

  • On Windows, press Ctrl + + to zoom in, and Ctrl + - to zoom out.
  • On Mac, press Option + Command + = to zoom in, and Option + Command + - to zoom out.
  • You can also press Ctrl/Command and use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out.

This guide will walk you through zooming in and out (aka making the text bigger) while using keyboard shortcuts on Windows and macOS.

While it's commonly referred to as zooming in on a computer, typically folks are looking to make the text bigger. Zooming in and out is usually reserved for accessibility features. If you need help with making the entire contents of the screen bigger because of eyesight issues, check out Apple's page on zooming with accessibility features or Microsoft's page on accessibility features.

How to Zoom In On a Windows PC With a Keyboard

You can always press and hold Ctrl and then scroll with your mouse wheel, but if you are limited to the keyboard or want to zoom one-handed, you can also use Ctrl + + (plus). Pressing once will zoom web browsers and some other applications by 10 percent. Each press adds 10% to the zoom, so you can zoom in as far as you like, though most applications will hit a limit of around 500% (depending on the application).

To zoom out using the keyboard, the scroll wheel trick still applies; you simply scroll down, instead of up. You can also press Ctrl + - (dash) to zoom out, again in increments of 10%. Each press will zoom out another step, with most browsers limiting you to zooming to just 25% of the original screen size.

Zooming in and out isn't possible on the Windows desktop, but you can scale icons and other interface elements using Windows display scaling.

How to Zoom In on a Mac With a Keyboard

The process for zooming in and on a Mac with a keyboard is much the same as a Windows PC, but with slightly different keyboard commands. You can also use Command and your mouse's scroll wheel to zoom in and out, though you may have to turn that option on in the MacOS Preferences menu.

To adjust the text size in applications like Safari, press Option + Command + + (plus) to increase the font size. Alternatively, press Option + Command + - (dash) to reduce the font size. This won't be the same in every application, however, so check Edit and View menus in other applications for other zoom options.

How to Use macOS' Accessibility Options to Zoom

You can magnify the entire screen using Accessibility options in macOS. To turn them on, navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom, and then check the box next to Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom.

Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom highlighted in Mac Accessibility menu

To zoom in and increase the size of everything on screen, not just the text, use the keyboard shortcut Option + Command + = (equals). Repeat this command to zoom in more.

To zoom out using just the keyboard, press Option + Command + - (dash). Like zooming in, this will zoom you one step out, with repeat presses zooming you out further.

You can also toggle your current zoom level on or off (defaulting to the standard position when off) by pressing Option + Command + 8.

Keyboard shortcut commands highlighted in Mac Accessibility menu
  • How do I zoom in and out in Excel?

    Press Ctrl + Alt + Equal (=) on your keyboard to zoom in, or Ctrl + Alt + Minus (-) to zoom out. Or, find the Zoom Slider in the Excel status bar, then click and drag the slider to the right to zoom in, or to the left to zoom out. You can also click on the + or - symbols on the slider to zoom in or out in set increments.

  • How do I zoom in and out in Photoshop with my keyboard?

    On a Mac, press Command + Plus (+) to zoom in or Command + Minus (-) to zoom out. On PC, press Ctrl + Plus (+) to zoom in, and Ctrl + Minus (-) to zoom out.

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