Is there way to zoom in/out while creating a selection using the Marquee Tool?

Normally I can zoom by Alt + Mousewheel. This doesn't work while using marquee tool, nor does using Ctrl +/-

If there's not a way, does anyone know of any plug-ins available? I want to zoom while making a selection!! This would speed up so many things!

6 Answers 6


No, there's not a way to zoom while selecting with the Marquee Selection tool. You'd have to zoom in/out before starting your next selection with that tool. I can't answer as to whether there's a plug-in to do that, but I have my doubts one exists.

An alternative that would allow you to zoom while making a selection would be to use the Lasso/Polygonal Lasso/Magnetic Lasso Selection tool. And unless you're truly needing to select rectangular areas, these would be better suited than the Marquee Selection tool, anyway.


Rather than trying to zoom while holding the mouse button down for a selection, I find the best option is to select what you can and let go. Then zoom in, hold the Shift key down to add to the current selection and continue drawing your selection.

Basically, a selections does not need to be made in a single drag of the mouse. Your'e free to let go of the mouse, hold Shift or Option/Alt and add to or subtract from the part of the selection you already have drawn. Or even enter Quick Mask Mode to use a brush to alter the part of the selection already made.

Actually, learning to let go of the mouse at times is very beneficial. It provides history states allowing you to undo when you accidentally make a misstep. This way, rather than spending 30 minutes to get a selection correct and then you falter - having to do it all over again. You could spend 10 minutes, let go, and repeat. That way you only ever have to start from a partial selection rather than doing the entire thing again.

  • Good points. I had considering also suggesting drawing a path for complex shapes, rather than using the lasso tools, but the OP was vague about the target area's shape. FWIW, I would never dream of using the lasso tools to do such a complex selection (30 minutes! Yikes!!!).
    – digijim
    Jan 16, 2015 at 18:46

If you need a rectangular selection to be finely tweaked… after making a rough selection with the Marquee tool, go to Select > Transform Selection. Then you can resize the selections from the corners or sides of the marquee while zooming in and out in-between adjustments.

  • so easy, this might just be the best way to achieve my results!
    – Ghost Echo
    Jan 16, 2015 at 16:24

If you are using the Selection Tool you can zoom in and out of your image by using the plus and minus keys toward the top of your keyboard (numeric keypad if you have one). However, I find it much easier to navigate my canvas using the spacebar which turns on panning.

I zoom in just close enough to see the edges of my image clearly but too close to where I'm not able to select a good amount of my image. I select what I can in view, once I've selected what is on my screen, I hold the spacebar (which is the hotkey for the hand tool) and I'm able to click and drag to a new un-selected part of my image where I can then select more of my image.


I don't think you can zoom, but I found that if you hold 'SHIFT' while using the Marquee tool dragging beyond the canvas it will significantly speed up the scroll rate. This seems to work best for me.


In my opinion you have to use pen tool instead of using the selection tool than you can have selection with zoom all the time

  • Can you explain better why the pen tool is the solution? Or should that be better an comment?
    – Mensch
    Nov 16, 2015 at 2:25

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