Zoom Tool

The Zoom Tool magnifies or "zooms in" on part of the canvas and, conversely, "zooms out".

Because of its utility, zooming can be accomplished from the Tool Commands Bar, the keyboard or the mouse (or a combination thereof), and often does not require the Zoom Tool to be activated.

How to use

The Zoom Tool can be activated in the following ways:

  • by clicking on the Zoom Tool in the Tool Box:
  • by pressing F3



Zooming in sets the zoom factor to a higher lever so that one can see more detail and work more precisely.

You can zoom in by:

  • Left Clicking on the canvas with the Zoom Tool active
  • Left Click + Drag to select the area of the image you want to zoom into
  • Press + (Shift + =)
  • Hold Ctrl + Roll Mouse Wheel up
  • Press Middle Mouse Button



Unzooming (or Zooming out) can be used to have a larger view of the drawing or area.

You can unzoom by:

  • Right Clicking on the canvas with the Zoom Tool active
  • Press - (minus)
  • Hold Ctrl + Roll Mouse Wheel down
  • Press Shift + Middle Click

Zoom to 1:1 


Displays the drawing at real pixel size. This way a banner drawing (for example) which is 468 pixels wide, will be 468 pixels on screen.  This zoom level can also be activated by pressing 1.

NOTE: If the Inkscape window is smaller than the image, some part of the drawing may be invisible, drag with the Middle Mouse Button to pan around the image.

Zoom to 1:2 


Displays the drawing at half the real pixel size. This way a Banner drawing  which is 468 pixels wide, will be 234 pixels on screen.  The keyboard shortcut for this zoom level is 2.

Zoom to 2:1 


Just displays the drawing at twice the real pixel size. This way a Banner drawing which is 468 pixels wide, will be 936 pixels on screen.

Zoom to fit selection in window


The selected area will fill the entire Inkscape window.  This can also be achieved by pressing 3.

Zoom to fit drawing in window 


The zoom level will be adjusted to fit all existing drawing elements in the window.  Click on the icon or press 4.

Zoom to fit page in window 


Best to have a complete overview of the page and work on a layout, makes the whole page fit the window size depending on the orientation. Pressing 5 does the same action.

Zoom to fit page width in window 


This is similar to zooming to fit page in window, however if the orientation is portrait Inkscape will go in closer to fill the window with the page width. Gives a better result than previous with landscape drawing. Press 6 to activate it with keyboard.

Previous zoom 


Move back to the previous zoom factor, as saved in the zoom history. Inkscape now preserves the history of zoom settings for each document. The ` key restores previous zoom; pressing ` repeatedly will guide you through all the zoom settings you've used in this session.

Next zoom 


Goes back to the next zoom factor, as saved in the zoom history, especially when previous zoom has just be used.  Shift + ` also moves forward in the zoom history.


Shift is diminishing zoom factor.

Middle click zooms in, Shift + middle click zooms out (in addition to middle button + drag which pans canvas).


  1. Zooming with the Mouse Wheel performs a precision zoom directly under the cursor.  The other incremental zoom methods zoom at the middle of the canvas.
  2. By default, rotating the mouse wheel scrolls the canvas vertically and Ctrl+wheel zooms in and out. Selecting the Mouse wheel zooms by default checkbox in the Scrolling tab of the Inkscape Preferences Dialog, this behavior is reversed: the mouse wheel zooms without Ctrl and scrolls with Ctrl. This new mode should be familiar for users of AutoCAD and CorelDraw.
  3. You can use Shift+middle button drag, in any tool, to zoom into a specific area. This works the same as simple drag in Zoom tool, but is faster because it does not require switching away from your current tool. Together with middle button drag (panning), middle button click (zoom in) and Shift+middle button click (zoom out), this completes the set of canvas navigation shortcuts available in any tool or context.
  4. In the Zoom Tool, the Right Mouse Button usually zooms out instead of calling the context menu if it is clicked on empty canvas.