Excel Shortcut to Zoom In and Out (6 Ways)

I’m an instructor… OK, I write blog articles too. But a big part of my job involves showing people how to do various things in Excel.

Whether I’m doing Excel training in person or remotely using Microsoft Teams or Zoom, there are times when it’s useful to be able to zoom in and give participants a better look at my Excel worksheet.

This article outlines 6 ways to adjust zoom levels in Microsoft Excel.

Use the Excel Zoom Shortcut on the Ribbon

The ribbon has a collection of commands that let you adjust the zoom level while working in Excel. Simply navigate to the View tab and locate the Zoom group.

The Zoom group on the ribbon in Excel

Here is what each of the commands in the Zoom group does:

  • Click Zoom on the View tab in the Zoom group to display the Zoom dialog box.
  • Click the 100% button on the View tab in the Zoom group to quickly zoom out to 100% – this my favorite zoom out shortcut!
  • Click Zoom to Selection button on the View tab in the Zoom group to zoom in (or out) so that only selected cells are displayed.

Use a Keyboard Shortcut with the Zoom Dialog Box

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to display adjust Zoom settings.

Press these keys in sequence:

  • Press Alt to display keyboard shortcuts for the commands in Excel’s ribbon.
  • Press W to activate the View tab.
  • Press Q to open the Zoom dialog box.
The Zoom dialog box

When the dialog box is displayed, you can type an underlined number to adjust the zoom level then press Enter to apply the change. (1 for 100%, 7 for 75%, etc.)

Use the Zoom Slider

Many of the Microsoft Office applications have a zoom slider on the status bar, along the bottom of the application window to adjust the zoom level.

The Zoom slider on Excel's Status Bar

Click the plus sign (+) to zoom in, click the minus sign (-) to zoom out, or drag the zoom slider on the status bar to zoom in or out. Clicking the number (displayed as a percentage) beside the slider displays the Zoom dialog box.

Use the Scroll Wheel on Your Mouse

This method is faster than using keyboard shortcuts. It’s my personal favorite!

If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can press the Ctrl key to adjust the zoom level:

  • Press and hold the Ctrl key while rolling the scroll wheel up to quickly zoom in.
  • Press and hold the Ctrl key while rolling the mouse wheel down to quickly zoom out.
Mouse, keyboard, and ear buds

Use a Keyboard Shortcut to Zoom In and Out

You’ll need Excel 2016 (or later) to use these keyboard shortcuts, but they’ll save you time and make you look like an Excel guru!

  • Press Ctrl + Alt + plus key (+) to zoom in.
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + minus key (-) to zoom out.

Using a keyboard shortcut, Excel increases or decreases the magnification by a zoom percentage of 15% percent.

Both of these shortcuts are very similar. Simply press Ctrl + Alt then tap one of the plus or minus keys to adjust zoom levels.

Add Zoom Buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar

Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar in Excel is definitely a power user move – but it can make performing certain tasks a lot easier.

To add Zoom buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar:

  1. Click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar button then select More Commands.
    The Excel Options dialog box appears.
  2. Select Commands Not in the Ribbon from the drop-down menu under Choose commands from.
  3. Select Zoom In from the list of commands then click Add.
  4. Select Zoom Out then click Add.
  5. Click OK.

The screenshot below shows the Zoom In / Zoom Out buttons after they’ve been added to the Quick Access Toolbar.

For your reference, the Customize Quick Access Toolbar button is displayed on the right side of the toolbar, next to the Zoom Out control.

The Quick Access Toolbar in Excel

Use These Excel Shortcuts to Zoom In and Out Like a Pro!

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the various ways you can zoom in and out to focus on different parts of your spreadsheet. Shortcuts like these can help you work much more efficiently in Excel.

Keep in mind that all of the techniques mentioned in this article accomplish the same results. Whether you prefer keyboard shortcuts or controls in the Zoom group (on the View tab), you can use whichever method(s) you find most intuitive!

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.