Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
March 18, 2022
12 minutes to read

In some cases, you might need to zoom in or zoom out the screen on your Mac. For example, you may need to zoom in when the text is too small and it’s hard to read. Also, you might want to zoom in to see photos and pictures in greater detail. This article will explain how to zoom in and zoom out on your Mac. zoom in or zoom outon Mac

Contents

  1. How to zoom in and zoom out on a Mac with a keyboard.
  2. How to zoom in and zoom out with a MacBook trackpad.
  3. How to zoom in and zoom out on a Mac with a scroll gesture.
  4. FAQ
Before we start
Customizing Mac features is great when you spend a lot of time working on your computer. Below we explain how to set up different ways to zoom in or out on your Mac.

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MacCleaner Pro helps you remove all junk files on your disk and optimize your system’s performance. Download the app and get a free trial to clean up your Mac from unneeded digital stuff.

You might want to zoom in/out of your Mac’s entire desktop screen or zoom in/out of text and pictures in a browser, the preview app, or other applications. We will provide a guide on how to use the zoom option in both cases.

How to zoom in and zoom out on a Mac with a keyboard

On a Mac, you can use special keyboard shortcuts for the most frequently used options, including the Zoom option. You can easily zoom in or zoom out with short key combinations on your keyboard.

The shortcuts to zoom in/out a window on a Mac:

Zoom in – Cmd(⌘)+
Zoom out – Cmd(⌘)- Mac keyboard showing the shortcut to zoom in and out

These shortcuts work for most Mac applications. You can use Cmd+(-) in browsers, the preview app, image editors (like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Pixelmator), some messengers, Microsoft Office apps, and more.

How to zoom in and zoom out the entire screen on a Mac

If you want to use shortcuts to zoom in or zoom out the entire screen on your Mac, you first have to set up this option in your Mac’s preferences. Here is how:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to the Accessibility section.
  3. On the sidebar, select Zoom.
  4. Enable the option Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom.
  5. For the Zoom style, select Full screen.
System Preferences window showing the Zoom option in Accessibility

Now you can use the ⌥ ⌘+ shortcut to zoom in and the ⌥ ⌘- shortcut to zoom out your desktop screen on your Mac. In System Preferences, you also can change the zoom style and select the full screen, split screen, or picture-in-picture option.

Mac keyboard showing the shortcut to zoom in or out the desktop

How to zoom out and zoom in with a MacBook trackpad

If you use a MacBook, you can zoom in or zoom out a particular window with the trackpad using the same gestures as you would on a smartphone or a tablet. You can set up this option in your Mac’s preferences. Follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to the Trackpad section.
  3. Switch to the Scroll & Zoom tab.
  4. Enable the option Zoom in or out.
Trackpad preferences showing where to enable the Zoom option

Now you can use your two fingers to zoom in or out.
Zoom in – put your two fingers on your trackpad and spread them.
Zoom out – put your two fingers on your trackpad and pinch them together.

Zoom in

a gesture to zoom in on a trackpad

Zoom out

a gesture to zoom out on a trackpad

How to zoom in and zoom out on a Mac with the scroll gesture

Another easy way to zoom in or zoom out with a Mac mouse or MacBook trackpad is by using the scroll gesture. But before you learn how to use it, check your Mac’s preferences and set up this option.

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to the Accessibility section.
  3. Select Zoom in the sidebar.
  4. Enable the option Use scroll gestures with modifier keys to zoom.
  5. Select which key you want to use to zoom in or out: Control, Option, Command.
system preferences window showing the zoom option with a scroll gesture

Once you check the checkbox for the scroll gesture, you can zoom in or out using the modifier key. For example, if your modifier key is Control, you need to press Control and scroll with your mouse or a trackpad to zoom in or out. If your modifier key is Option, press Option and scroll with your mouse or a trackpad.


Conclusion

We provided different ways to zoom in or zoom out on your Mac. You can do this with short key combinations, your trackpad, or your mouse. Mac also provides additional customizable options to zoom in/out on the desktop. Find them in System Preferences → Accessibility and set up the most convenient way to use the Zoom option on your computer.


FAQ

How to zoom in on Mac Safari?
How to zoom in on YouTube videos on a Mac?
How to zoom in on a Mac desktop?

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