Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Zooming with the Keyboard.

Zooming with the Keyboard

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 6, 2013)

For most purposes, Word allows you to issue commands and perform functions by using either the mouse or the keyboard. Unfortunately, Word does not provide "equal access" for all commands. For instance, it is relatively easy to zoom in or out using the mouse, but there is no easy way to do it using the keyboard.

Apparently, Microsoft feels that you can zoom simply by choosing the menu commands necessary and then typing whatever percentage you desire. The steps to do this would be as follows:

  1. Press Alt+V. This displays the View menu.
  2. Press Z. This displays the Zoom dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Zoom dialog box.

  4. Press Tab. This moves the cursor to the Percent box.
  5. Type a new zoom percentage.
  6. Press Enter.

While this provides quite a bit of flexibility, it does not allow you to easily zoom in or out. If you want this ability in Word, the only way to get it is to create a macro and then assign the macro to a keyboard combination. For instance, the following macro will zoom into (enlarge) a document by 10%.

Sub MyZoomIn()
    Dim ZP As Integer
    ZP = Int(ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Zoom.Percentage * 1.1)
    If ZP > 200 Then ZP = 200
    ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Zoom.Percentage = ZP
End Sub

Notice that the macro only allows you to zoom in up to 200%. This is because Word allows you to only zoom that high, and any higher would generate an error. A slight variation on the same theme results in a macro I call MyZoomOut. It zooms out of (reduces) a document by 10%:

Sub MyZoomOut()
    Dim ZP As Integer
    ZP = Int(ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Zoom.Percentage * 0.9)
    If ZP < 10 Then ZP = 10
    ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Zoom.Percentage = ZP
End Sub

This macro sets the bottom boundary at 10%, which is the smallest you can go. Any smaller, and Word would generate an error again.

The final trick to make these macros really useful is to assign them to a keyboard combination. You can then quickly zoom in or out by 10% with a simple keystroke. How you assign a macro to a keyboard combination is covered in other issues of WordTips.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1734) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Zooming with the Keyboard.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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