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If you work with Google Docs a lot, you probably know how much it’d help to be able to zoom in or out as needed. While it probably wouldn’t be a huge boon for typing, knowing how to zoom out on Google Docs can really help when you’re trying to adjust a layout or want to be able to glance through multiple pages quickly. Being able to zoom in or out is also useful if you accidentally hit a key and end up at the wrong magnification.

If you don’t already know how to zoom in Google Docs, keep reading. This handy guide will show you all of the different ways to change the magnification of your files and take the guesswork out of creating polished, well-laid-out documents.

How to Zoom In/Out on Google Docs (Step by Step)

Fortunately, the ability to zoom in and out is pretty standard for document programs. Google Docs makes it very simple, and there are tons of ways to do it. Some will allow you to zoom in directly on the document itself, while others let you magnify the menu bar as well.

Here's How to Zoom in Google Docs in Just a Few Easy Steps:

1. Open your document.

You can either practice with an existing document, or open a new one just to play around with. If you’re not very familiar with Google Docs just yet, you may want to start with a blank page.

2. Look for the percentage dropdown menu in the menu bar.

If this document is yours, or you have editing privileges, you should see a box with a percentage. It’ll be just beneath the word “Insert,” and beside the “Paint format” icon. By default, this box will display 100%. If you mouse over the dropdown, the word “Zoom” will pop up.

3. Click on it.

Once you click it, you’ll see several numerical options, as well as the word “Fit.”

Fit Click on this option if you want to make your document fill the entire width of your screen. This is usually the best option when you’re trying to type or edit.

Percentages from 50-90% Click on any of these to zoom out relative to the document’s full size. For example, choosing 50% will zoom out until it’s half size.

100% This is normal size. Go back to this once you’re done working at a different magnification.

Percentages from 125-200% Click on any of these to zoom in. As an example, clicking on 200% will double the document’s size.

How to Zoom Out on Google Docs Without Editing Privileges

If you don’t see the zoom dropdown menu, it’s possible that the document wasn’t originally yours. It may have been shared with you, and you may not have been granted editing privileges by the original creator. In that case, here’s how to zoom out on Google Docs if you aren’t able to use the “Zoom” dropdown:

1. Click on "View."

In the top menu bar, you should see the words “File,” “Edit, “View,” “Tools,” and “Help.” Click on “View,” and it will produce a dropdown menu.

2. Find "Zoom."

At the very bottom of this dropdown, there should be an option marked “Zoom” with a small right arrow icon beside it.

3. Click on it.

Click on or move your cursor over “Zoom” in the “View” dropdown. This will make a smaller menu appear to the right, with a list of magnifications.

4. Select your desired zoom.

In the “Zoom” menu, choose your magnification. You can pick “Fit” to make the document fill the width of your screen or any zoom level from 50-200%.

How to Zoom Out on Google Docs Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Whether you have editing privileges or not, you can use keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out. This is helpful if you need to quickly zoom out to find something, then zoom right in again to read or edit it.

In Windows:

Hold down Control + Alt. Then, to zoom in, press the + key. Each press will zoom in a little more, to a maximum of 200%. To zoom out, press the – key. Each press will zoom out a bit more, to 50%.

On a Mac:

Hold down Command (or ⌘) + Option (or ⌥). To zoom in, press +. As with Windows, each press will zoom in until you reach a maximum of 200% magnification. To zoom out, press the – key.

More Ways to Zoom In and Out:

There are other ways you can zoom, depending on your device. These may be helpful for people with visual impairments since they will magnify the whole screen.

1. Cmd or Ctrl + Mouse wheel.

On Windows, you can hold down the control key and simultaneously scroll with your mouse wheel. On a Mac, hold down the command key and use your scroll wheel. Scrolling upward will magnify your view, while scrolling down will shrink it. When you’re through, do it again to get things back to normal.

This is probably the fastest way to zoom in but isn’t exactly like using the Google Docs keyboard shortcut. While the keyboard shortcut just magnifies or shrinks the document, bear in mind that this makes everything bigger.

2. Pinch zoom.

If you’re using Google Docs on mobile or with a touch screen monitor, you can pinch-zoom to make things bigger. This won’t let you zoom out beyond 100%, but it is helpful if you’re on mobile and can’t easily use other methods to change a document’s magnification.

Q&As:

Why is my Google Docs zoomed in?

If your document is zoomed in, it’s because it was set that way. If you’re asking “why is my Google Docs zoomed in,” it’s also very likely that this was unintentional. You may have hit Ctrl or Command while you were scrolling, which will zoom in on the whole screen. Press that key again, and scroll down until everything returns to normal.

What is the shortcut to zoom out on Google Docs?

Here’s how to zoom out on Google Docs using shortcuts: For Windows, use Control + Alt, then hit the – key. For Mac, use Command (or ⌘) + Option (or ⌥), then the – key. This will let you zoom out to 50% magnification.

To zoom in, do the same, but hit the + key instead. That will let you zoom in to a maximum of 200% magnification.

How do I get Google Docs back to normal?

Set the magnification back to 100%. If you have editing privileges, tap on the “Zoom” dropdown box in the menu bar and pick 100%. If you don’t, go to “View,” then “Zoom,” and choose 100%. If you’ve used another method to zoom in or out, you can use Ctrl or Command + your mouse wheel, pinch zoom, or the magnifying glass icon on your browser to go back to 100% magnification.

How do you change the size of the document on Google Docs?

You can change the magnification of the document by zooming in or out, using any of the methods outlined in this guide. To change the actual size of the printed document, go to “File,” then “Page Setup,” and choose the larger paper size. The default is letter paper, which is 8.5″x11″. Selecting a bigger size will let you print in a larger format.

Tips and Tricks:

Need to fix typos quickly? There's a shortcut for that.

If you’re trying to zoom out to spot typographical errors quickly, don’t worry. You can use Control + ‘ to quickly jump to the next typo. To go back to a previous typo, use Control + ;.

Formatting an academic paper? Google Docs can help.

Go to “Tools,” then “Research” to open the Google Docs research toolbar. With this, you can search for academic studies, create footnotes, and insert them into your documents in APA, MLA, or Chicago format.

Need to Know How to Zoom Out on Google Docs?

Zooming can help you get a bird’s eye view of your documents, so you can check your alignments, format, typos, and artistic features like images or drop caps. Fortunately, Docs makes it very easy to do. Here’s how to zoom out on Google Docs, no matter what your operating system, device, or editing status may be:

  1. Go to the “Zoom” dropdown in the menu bar, click it, and choose your preferred magnification.
  2. Go to “View,” then “Zoom,” and choose your desired magnification.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt and the + or – key on Windows, or Command + Option and the + or – key on a Mac. The + key zooms in, while – zooms out.
  4. Pinch zoom, or use Ctrl or Command and the mouse wheel to zoom in or out on the entire screen.

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