Visual Studio 2013: Zooming In and Out of Text in the Editor

This week I thought we would focus on some fun quickies that have been in Visual Studio since at least VS2010. The first one we will look at is simply zooming your text in the editor. The concept is really simple. For example, you may want to go from this:

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To this:

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Being able to zoom in and out is useful if you have trouble seeing or you are doing extreme programming or any situation where making text more readable is necessary. One other thing to keep in mind is that zooming is a per tab activity so zooming in one tab does not set the same zoom level in other tabs. Each tab has it's own zoom level.



Mouse Wheel

You can zoom in and out of text using the wheel on your mouse. Just hold down CTRL+Mouse Wheel and you can instantly zoom in and out of text in the editor.


Most people discover this accidentally. If this annoys you then you can see if there is an update to the Disable Mouse Wheel Zoom extension:


At the time of writing there isn’t a version that works with VS2013 but that could change.



Combo Box

You can go “old school” and use the combo box at the bottom left of the IDE:

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If you prefer to use the keyboard, you can always use CTRL+SHIFT+>[Greater Than] and CTRL+SHIFT+<[Less Than].

Comments (16)
  1. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the tips.  I was not aware of the keyboard method for changing the zoom.  Is there a hot-key or other quick way to get back to 100%?  It would be helpful after I keep "redescovering" the mouse wheel feature 🙂

  2. matt says:

    Yea, I agree, it would be nice to have something like web browsers which use ctrl + 0

  3. zainnab says:

    Jeff / Matt 🙂

    There is no zoom back to 100% command that I am aware of in VS. I've been wanting this for a while now so I'll ping the team and see if this is something that could be implemented.


  4. Dave Sexton says:

    Does the team know that the Disable Mouse Wheel Zoom extension has over 10K downloads?  Wouldn't you agree that this feature should be configurable in VS out of the box?

  5. says:

    This is one of those death by a thousand cuts irritants thats been bugging me forever. Please consider making this a VS option as Dave suggests. I suspect that for every 1 person who likes it, there are 10^6 who don't.

  6. John Madison Grant says:

    In Visual Studio 2013, adjusting zoom only affects the currently opened document. It would be nice if there was a way to set the default zoom level on newly opened documents. This would be particularly useful for coders with impaired eye sight. There have been extensions in previous version of Visual Studio to do this, but there is not one available for 2013.

  7. Ross says:

    @John Madison Grant: The default font size for all text can be changed in the regular "Fonts and Colors" settings under Tools -> Options. It has been there forever.

  8. Brandon says:

    @Ross… Thanks! I found this post while looking for a default zoom setting… I had already searched the Options and overlooked the "Fonts and Colors". This worked perfectly for me!!

  9. Reset View font size says:

    What the …. is wrong with MS devs?

    Reset view with CTRL+0 still now available? It is 2015 !

  10. monkish says:

    @Ross.. the unfortunate issue with the global font size is that decimal values are not allowed, and font smoothing goes to crap. In my case, I want smaller than 8pt, but 7pt font smoothing is too jagged. 8pt font with 80% zoom is more ideal, but a pain to set each new window. Font size AND default zoom level would be ideal.

  11. Jeff Straathof says:

    If you use Visual Assist, assign Ctrl+0 to VAssistX.ResetEditorZoom.

  12. Hal Diggs says:

    I love it… but yeah I found it by accident as I kept zooming during my scroll operations… hah. Agree though I wish it had been setup to work like the browsers with ctrl-0 as the reset.

  13. mckenna says:

    Congratulations on one of the stupidest features in the world. "People discover this by accident". No kidding. And then they are annoyed they can't figure out how to unzoom.

  14. mckenna says:

    I "discovered" this on a laptop.. and I don't even know what the equivalent of mouse wheel is. Can't turn it off now.

  15. Rolf says:

    As others have noted above, I am incredulous that this "feature" is included with no way to reset the view once zoom has (accidently) been changed.

  16. Hoku says:

    There is a dropdown on bottom left of the text editor. Select "100%", should do what you're asking.

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