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5 Ways to Zoom In/Out of your Spreadsheet Window

By Chris Newman •  Updated: 06/10/21 •  4 min read
5 ways to zoom in and out of an Excel Spreadsheet window.

There a many reasons why you might need to adjust your zoom levels while working in Excel. You might need to hone in on some numbers, ensure a dashboard fits perfectly, or zoom out to 35% so you can see all your named ranges. Whatever you need at the time is, it is very useful to understand the different ways you have access to adjusting the zoom levels in Excel. Let me walk you through five methods you can use to get to that perfect zoom percentage.


Zoom With Excel’s Status Bar

At the very bottom right of Excel’s application window, there are a couple of buttons available to you so that you can adjust the zoom levels. This is by far the most utilized method to adjust the zoom by Office users.

Excel Zoom Slider

Plus/Minus Buttons - adjust the zoom in increments of 10%

Slider - Drag the slider right or left to adjust the zoom in increments of 1%

Percentage Button - This launches the Zoom dialog box which gives you various options to manually adjust the zoom


Zoom With A Keyboard Shortcut

Most programs utilize the keyboard shortcut for zooming in/out with the Control and the plus/minus signs. Unfortunately, Excel assigns these two keyboard combinations to other functions (I assume these were assigned well before the zooming functionality was the standard keyboard shortcut for PC applications).

For a long time, Excel was without any zoom keyboard shortcut, but the release of Excel 2016 changed that. The keyboard shortcuts for Excel are:

  • Zoom Out: CTRL + ALT + Minus Sign
  • Zoom In: CTRL + ALT + Plus Sign

NOTE: These keyboard shortcuts zoom in and out by increments of 10%.


Zoom With A Scroll Wheel

Mouse Scroll Wheel Diagram

If your mouse has a scroll wheel you have the ability to zoom in and out of your spreadsheet in increments of 15%. Simply hold down your CTRL key on your keyboard and scroll your wheel up and down. The up direction will zoom you in and the down direction will allow you to zoom out.


Zoom With Excel’s Ribbon

In Excel’s Ribbon, you can access the Zoom group of buttons by navigating to the View tab.

Excel Ribbon Zoom Button Group
  • Zoom Button - Launches Zoom Dialog Box
  • 100% Button - Resets zoom to 100%
  • Zoom To Selection Button - Adjusts the zoom based on the current range of cells selected so they all are visible on the screen

With A VBA Macro

You’ll notice the built-in methods to toggle the zoom in Excel have rather large increments (10%-15%). But what if you would like a bit more precision? Unfortunately, there currently it’s an option available for us to control this in the Excel Options dialog box. So what do we do if Microsoft doesn’t give us a feature we want? We build it ourself of course!

Below are two VBA macros you can add to your Personal Macro Workbook to increment your zoom up and down by any amount. These can easily be added to your QAT (Quick Access Toolbar) or assigned your own keyboard shortcut to call on a second’s notice.

VBA Code To Zoom In

Sub ZoomIn()
'PURPOSE: Zoom in on the ActiveSheet by a given increment

Dim Increment As Integer

'Desired Zoom Increment (Whole Number Represents %)
  Increment = 5

'Adjust the zoom percentage
  On Error GoTo MaxZoomReached
  ActiveWindow.Zoom = ActiveWindow.Zoom + Increment
  On Error GoTo 0
  
Exit Sub

'ERROR MESSAGE
MaxZoomReached:
  MsgBox "Cannot zoom in any further", vbExclamation
  
End Sub

VBA Code To Zoom Out

Sub ZoomOut()
'PURPOSE: Zoom out on the ActiveSheet by a given increment

Dim Increment As Integer

'Desired Zoom Increment (Whole Number Represents %)
  Increment = 5

'Adjust the zoom percentage
  On Error GoTo MaxZoomReached
  ActiveWindow.Zoom = ActiveWindow.Zoom - Increment
  On Error GoTo 0
  
Exit Sub

'ERROR MESSAGE
MaxZoomReached:
  MsgBox "Cannot zoom out any further", vbExclamation
  
End Sub

I Hope This Helped!

Hopefully, I was able to explain all the options you have to zoom in and out while working/viewing your spreadsheets. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve this article, please let me know in the comments section below.

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Chris Newman

Chris Newman

Chris is a finance professional and Excel MVP recognized by Microsoft since 2016. With his expertise, he founded TheSpreadsheetGuru blog to help fellow Excel users, where he shares his vast creative solutions & expertise. In addition, he has developed over 7 widely-used Excel Add-ins that have been embraced by individuals and companies worldwide.