How to Zoom In and Out in Adobe Illustrator

You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Command and plus (+) or minus (-) to zoom in and out in Adobe Illustrator. If you have an object selected while you zoom in and out, will zoom directly to that object as well. If it doesn’t, there is a setting in Preferences to change. 

My name is April, and I’ve been working in the graphic design field for 13+ years now. Keyboard shortcuts are everything when you are trying to work efficiently in Adobe programs. If you are adding any kind of details, you will need to be able to zoom in or out in Adobe Illustrator. 

There are several methods to zoom in and out, you will have to find which fits best in your workflow.

Key Takeaways

  • The Keyboard shortcut for zoom in is Ctrl/Command +  and zoom out is Ctrl/Command
  • If you have a mouse with a wheel, you can hold Alt/Option and scroll the mouse wheel to zoom.
  • If you have an object selected, it will zoom in or out of that object specifically
  • The keyboard shortcut for the Zoom Tool is Z.
  • Adobe provides a drop-down box with preset zoom preferences to view your design as certain percentages based on the size of your artboard.

Note: The screenshots from this tutorial are taken from Adobe Illustrator CC Windows version. 

Method 1: Keyboard Shortcut 

My favorite way to easily zoom in and out in Adobe Illustrator is to use the keyboard shortcut –  Ctrl/Command + to zoom in, and Ctrl/Command to zoom out.

Method 2: Zoom Tool

You can find the Zoom Tool in the toolbar or use the keyboard shortcut Z to select the tool. 

The default for the tool is zoom in, so click anywhere and you will zoom in. Keep clicking until you are zoomed in as far as you would like to be. 

If you want to zoom out, hold the Alt/Option key as you click and it will zoom back out. Do this as many times as necessary.

Method 3: Use the Mouse 

If you happen to have a computer mouse with a wheel, this method may be for you. You can hold Alt/Option and scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in or out. 

If you like this method, you can go into your Illustrator preferences (Edit > Preferences) and check Zoom with Mouse Wheel in the General section to automatically zoom with your mouse wheel instead of having to hold the Alt or Option key.

Method 4: Choose the Zoom Percentage 

You may also notice there is a small dropdown box with percentages in it, in the bottom left corner. This is another way to zoom in or out. 

100% is viewing your page at the same size as if it were printed. Choosing a higher percentage would zoom in and choosing a lower percentage would zoom back out.

Final Thoughts

Zooming in and out is a necessary skill to learn in Illustrator. Try out all the different methods and see what works best for you.

For the first 3 methods, if you select an object or image within Illustrator, it will zoom in or out directly based on that object. This is best if you are trying to check details within a certain area. If this doesn’t work properly, you may need to go to your preferences (Edit > Preferences) and make sure Zoom to Selection is checked in the Selection & Anchor Display section.

Have you tried the Zoom Tool in Illustrator? Which method is your favorite to zoom in or out in Illustrator? Let me know in the comments below.

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