Command (Cntrl) and = gives zoom in, in Adobe Illustrator.

Is there a way to set it so that it zooms to the selected object rather than the centre of the screen?

  • For me (CC) it zooms not to the center of the screen but to the mouse location. Presumably that's not what you're looking for either?
    – JohnB
    May 13, 2014 at 19:29
  • How did you get that turned on? I don't have that, at all. It's not ideal, but it's better than the blind centre zoom.
    – Confused
    May 13, 2014 at 19:33
  • Oops, didn't read your question properly. To zoom, I always use Cmd/Ctrl + Alt + Mouse Scroll, that will zoom in on the mouse pointer's location. I have the same behavior as you for Cmd/Ctrl + =
    – JohnB
    May 13, 2014 at 19:37
  • 1
    Yeah, mouse wheel and two finger does that, but I'm trying to get object zoom. It seems like such a logical thing to have... but... no.
    – Confused
    May 13, 2014 at 19:38
  • It's the norm in Indesign/PS — with an object selected you hit command + 1 to go to 100% view with the zoom centered on selected object. It's far quicker to toggle between a zoomed mode and 100% with a keystroke than it is to futz with a scroll wheel + modifier (the amount of precision to get that right is ridiculous) or command + space... or the navigation panel. Why the Adobe Illustrator design team thinks it's better for that zoom to be based on the art board AND ALSO not give the user the option to customize, is a mystery to me.
    – John
    May 5, 2016 at 20:27

12 Answers 12


2016 UPDATE:

Illustrator CC now has the ability to smooth zoom.

If your graphics card supports it - just hold Command/Ctrl+Spacebar and move the cursor over the area you want to zoom in to... That's all there is to it.

Pre-CC answer.....

No. Illustrator provides no mechanism to "zoom to selected".

It may be possible via scripting.


You can temporarily access the Zoom Tool by holding the Command/Ctrl+Spacebar key combination. This will allow you to draw a rectangle around what you want to zoom in on. (Add Option/Alt and it becomes Zoom Out.) Then just hit Command/Ctrl+0 to zoom to page again. Pressing Z toggles the magnifying glass tool to give the same functionality without holding down buttons, but will require switching tools after (probably A or V for most things.)

And you may find the Navigator Panel (Window > Navigator) handy. It's designed to move the "zoom" around with a click-drag in the panel.

You can also open an additional window for the document you are working on via Window > New Window. With this option you can set the zoom differently for each window allowing you to work zoomed in, then view the art zoomed out, without the need to continually zoom in and out. Changes in one window are reflected in both windows.

  • Thanks. None of those help me, I'm looking for something super quick to go in and out on different objects as I select them, as and when I want to assess, edit, assess, edit... etc. Just another reason to despise the UX of AI.
    – Confused
    May 13, 2014 at 19:50
  • 1
    @Confused added key combo which may help (it's what I use).
    – Scott
    May 13, 2014 at 20:30
  • I know all these, they're kind of universal-ish. It's just that a few other apps I use zoom to selected, or have zoom to extents of selected built in. Thought for sure Illustrator would have something like it. But was being optimistic.
    – Confused
    May 13, 2014 at 21:16
  • Smooth Zoom is not the same as "zoom to selection".
    – Confused
    Dec 6, 2016 at 5:39
  • Agreed.. but smooth zoom is pretty darn close since you target the zoom with the cursor position.
    – Scott
    Dec 6, 2016 at 6:47

I built the following scripts to replace Ctrl+1 (zoom to 100%). When nothing is selected, it will center the view to centerpoint of active artboard. When one or more elements are selected, it will center the view on the object(s) centerpoint.


GitHub repo created to host these adobe scripts to handle the functionality described:

Save the linked code into your scripts folder (assuming default install location of Adobe 2017 for Windows 10): C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC 2017\Presets\en_US\Scripts.

*Additional note: I've also created some AutoHotkey scripts to help Windows users with creation of hotkeys to execute these scripts easier. I'll update this post when they've been added to the repo.

  • Is it possible to make this centre the view to the current object and "zoom to fill" the screen with that current object?
    – Confused
    Dec 8, 2016 at 20:11
  • 1
    @Confused certainly possible I think I'll put this in a GitHub repo so I can iterate on it and take addition requests there. I'll provide a link shortly.
    – holler
    Dec 8, 2016 at 20:18
  • YOU ARE A LEGEND!!! Buy yourself a round of Tooheys Old.
    – Confused
    Dec 8, 2016 at 20:49
  • link to repo: github.com/stev0thegreat/adobe-scripts/blob/master/…
    – holler
    Dec 8, 2016 at 20:54
  • a man with good code stylings, too. Upgrade that Tooheys Old to a Guinness, and call it a day!
    – Confused
    Dec 8, 2016 at 21:10

Using the Alt modifier key and the Scroll wheel, you can zoom around the mouse pointer. Point at what you want to zoom into, and use this shortcut key combination to zoom.

  • 1
    Closest answer for me, but with apple mouse it's pretty bad. Still can't really believe there's no option to enable this like in Sketch, or even Fireworks.
    – Matt W
    Oct 9, 2015 at 11:46

Zoom to selected is a great feature that I also use constantly on other design programs...the closest I can find in illustrator is to assign a hotkey to "Object >> Artboards >> Fit to selected art" which creates an artboard around your selected object and then you can use the hotkey (CTRL + 0 on mine) to "Zoom to Artboard"...I know this is not ideal because you end up creating a bunch of useless artboards but it is the closest way I can find to duplicate the effect...my latest problem is I realized that it zooms differently if I am in outline mode or preview mode. After pressing 'z' for the 'Zoom tool' I get marquee zoom in outline mode and "scrubby zoom" in preview mode...can't find settings to change either...baffles me how core functionality like this is still not right after all these versions...


I got the proper solution from the very easy script Zoom Selection which can be downloaded from here.

The script Zoom Selection (developed by John Wundes) is designed for instant zooming in of the objects to a full screen. This feature will help you quickly view and edit objects.


if anyone else is looking for a quick way to locate or zoom to a selection / layer in the viewport, you can do this without scripts in Illustrator CC by creating an automated Action.

Works on text too!

Use the Insert Menu Item... option in the drawer menu to choose or type these steps instead of recording them.

  • Fit to Selected Art
  • Fit Artboard in Window
  • Undo

What this does is

  1. Resize the current artboard to your selection
  2. Zoom viewport in on the modified artboard (Ctrl + 0)
  3. Undo and change the artboard back!

Zoom to Layer Action

Insert Menu Items

  • Abusing the Artboard, very good lateral thinking!
    – Confused
    Oct 7, 2017 at 6:44
  • Thanks for this. Tip while building this action: put an immediately recognizable Undo in your current document ahead of time. While testing the action I inadvertently undid a bunch of edits I needed to keep and recreating them was a pain. May 14, 2021 at 19:39

Bobby Zopfan has posted an excellent solution:

I got the proper solution from the very easy script Zoom Selection which can be downloaded from here.

The script Zoom Selection (developed by John Wundes) is designed for instant zooming in of the objects to a full screen. This feature will help you quickly view and edit objects.

I'd like to add that it is possible to create a shortcut in illustrator for running a script in Mac. You use AUTOMATOR!

  1. Create a new Service

  2. Service receives [no input] in [Adobe Illustrator CC 2017.app]

  3. Search and add Action: Get Specified Finder Items. Add the downloaded .jsx script here.

  4. Search and add action: Open Finder Items. Open with: "Adobe Illustrator CC 2017.app"

  5. Save service: Cmd+S Use a name, best e.g. ZOOM SELECTION

  6. Go to OSX System preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts

  7. You find your script under Services. Z makes it to be at the bottom

  8. Add a shortcut for it. I suggest Cmd+SHIFT+0

Relaunch Illustrator and voila!

Word of caution: This is an action in system keyboard shortcuts! It is not restricted to Illustrator, alas, I don't know of any software that uses Cmd+SHIFT+0 for anything. I suggest that you do NOT assign an F key.

  • 2
    Xcode uses [command + shift + 0] to show the documentation window, probably the third most used window of Xcode, right below Safari ;)
    – Confused
    Dec 6, 2016 at 5:38

I have the latest version and had the same problem. In the latest I went to Preferences, Performance and turned off Animated Zoom


I heavily modified https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/81334/75091 / https://github.com/iholler/adobe-scripts/blob/master/fit-and-center.jsx to create this script: (the colors and shapes and commented-out code are for debugging)

>> Center Viewport - Zoom to Fit (+ a little padding for aesthetics)

    document = app.activeDocument,
    view = document.activeView,
    currentViewBounds = view.bounds,
    selection = document.selection,
    padding = 0.05;

var cyan = new CMYKColor();
cyan.cyan = 100;
var magenta = new CMYKColor();
magenta.magenta = 100;
var yellow = new CMYKColor();
yellow.yellow = 100;

function createRectangleFromBounds(bounds) {
    return document.pathItems.rectangle((bounds[1], bounds[3]), (bounds[0], bounds[2]), (bounds[0] - bounds[2]), (bounds[3] - bounds[1]));

function applyColors(rect, strokeColor, fillColor) {
    rect.strokeColor = strokeColor;
    rect.fillColor = fillColor;

if(selection.length > 0) {
    var objectBounds = selection[0].controlBounds;
    topL_X = objectBounds[0];
    topL_Y = objectBounds[1];
    botR_X = objectBounds[2];
    botR_Y = objectBounds[3];

    for(var i in selection) {
        objectBounds = selection[i].controlBounds;

        //applyColors(createRectangleFromBounds(objectBounds), yellow, NoColor);

        topL_X = Math.min(topL_X, objectBounds[0]);
        topL_Y = Math.max(topL_Y, objectBounds[1]);
        botR_X = Math.max(botR_X, objectBounds[2]);
        botR_Y = Math.min(botR_Y, objectBounds[3]);
} else {
    var artboard = document.artboards[document.artboards.getActiveArtboardIndex()];

    topL_X = artboard.artboardRect[0];
    topL_Y = artboard.artboardRect[1];
    botR_X = artboard.artboardRect[2];
    botR_Y = artboard.artboardRect[3];

//applyColors(createRectangleFromBounds([topL_X, topL_Y, botR_X, botR_Y]), cyan, NoColor);
//applyColors(createRectangleFromBounds(currentViewBounds), magenta, NoColor);

view.zoom = view.zoom / (1 + padding) * Math.min(Math.abs(currentViewBounds[2] - currentViewBounds[0]) / Math.abs(botR_X - topL_X),
                                                 Math.abs(currentViewBounds[3] - currentViewBounds[1]) / Math.abs(botR_Y - topL_Y));
view.centerPoint = [(topL_X + botR_X) / 2, (topL_Y + botR_Y) / 2];

If you just select an object and then press ctrl+ it will immediately center that object and zoom in one increment. From there, 99% of the time it takes between 1-3 more presses of the + key (or - key if for some odd reason you're selecting an object that is already overflowing the working area) for the object to roughly fill your working space. More often than not it's only 2 more presses. This way seems easies


it is in Preferences -> GPU Performance, you have to uncheck "Enable Animated Zoom"

  • 2
    How does this answer the question? According to the online Help you can "Select this check box to enable zoom actions to appear smooth and animated."
    – Jongware
    May 22, 2015 at 8:47

I got my zoom back! It's called GPU preview [⌘E] Sorry, I don't know for PC.

It zooms in/out by click and drags the mouse. I hope this helps fix some of you guys problems!



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