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Zoom and hand tools - a Photoshop guide

Photoshop's Zoom and Hand tools explained

| Adobe Photoshop

Words & Pictures Barry Beckham/David Rowley

The hand and zoom tool are both essential tools for working on your images and work together in many ways. They don't perform a direct function like the paint tools for example, but they affect do affect the environment you are working in. They make it easier to find your way around your image and easier to use the pixel editing tools.

Zoom tool

The easiest and most basic operation of the zoom tool is to move your zoom pointer (shortcut Z) over the area you want to magnify and click with your mouse. Photoshop will enlarge that area in steps every time you click up to a massive 1600%.

To zoom back out hold the alt key and a minus sign appears in the tool pointer. Every click will reduce the enlargement in the same steps. To magnify a defined area of your image call up the zoom tool then click and drag it over the area you want enlarged as shown above. Photoshop will fill the screen with the area you chose as we have shown below.

You can also use ctrl spacebar to call up the zoom tool even if you are using a different tool, which is a really useful shortcut.

Hand tool

Once you have zoomed into your image you can use the hand tool (shortcut H) to move around. Click and drag and you'll find you can move around the image in any direction.

Pressing the spacebar will turn whichever tool you have currently selected into the hand tool. This is a great way of being able to carry on working yet being able to manoeuvre at the same time around the magnified image at the same time.

The hand tool (shortcut H) and zoom tool (shortcut Z) can be used as soon as you have loaded your image into Photoshop. Under the option bar shown above you will find several useful commands.

Actual pixels will increase your image to show the pixels 100% zoom ratio, this is the most accurate view as you can see your image as it really is. Double clicking on the zoom tool or pressing ctrl+alt+0 will also open your image up to fit on the screen

Fit on screen will size your image to fit on the screen. Double clicking on the hand tool or pressing ctrl+0 will also open your image up to fit on the screen.

Print size this command will display your image on screen at the size it will print.







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