PowerPoint 2013: How to use PowerPoint Zoom to show details

In the last few articles I covered how to zoom the entire screen while showing demos.

Since version 2013, PowerPoint offers a brilliant new zoom feature.

It is easy to use and very effective.

PowerPoint zoom

Estimated reading time 4 min.

This article applies only to PowerPoint 2013 (and above) and PowerPoint installed from Office 365. If you do not have PowerPoint 2013, use the Windows Magnifier Zoom covered in these articles:

What is PowerPoint Zoom

While presenting a slide which contains complex diagrams, photos, floor plans, product photos and so on, you may want to show the details to the audience.

There are many ways of Zooming In to show details of a slide.

PowerPoint Zoom using Keyboard Shortcuts

This is the simplest and most intuitive method. Press PLUS key + to zoom in (three levels of zoom). Plus Plus Plus to get to maximum zoom. Use MINUS key – to Zoom Out.

Once zoomed in you can move the mouse cursor to pan the slide and get the desired area in the zoom rectangle.

If you don’t have a mouse, the standard arrow keys also work – Up, Down, Right, Left.

If you want to zoom out and go to the next slide in one action, press Page Down. This is nice. I discovered it. It is not documented.

Zoom out to see all slides

If you have not zoomed in, pressing the Minus key will show a slide sorter like view. Here you can jump to any slide or first jump to a section and then select the desired slide.

If you are zoomed in, you will have to press minus key to zoom out and then the next minus key will take you to the slide sorter view.


If you are Zoomed IN and you want to go to see all slides in ONE keyboard shortcut, press the key G. This will zoom out and show all slides in one action.

Zoom using Mouse

Two ways.

Press the CTRL key and Scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in or out. This is the universal zoom in and out method which works across windows and Office (and many other non-Microsoft products as well).

Once Zoomed In, the mouse cursor changes to a hand. So you can drag the slide around to show the area of interest.

The disadvantage of this approach is that once slide is zoomed, you may find it difficult to navigate quickly to the desired area of interest.

That problem is solved in the next method.

Zoom using Mouse but with more control

While presenting, the mouse cursor is hidden. Move the mouse a little to make the cursor visible. You will then see a set of icons appear at the bottom left corner of the slide.

These icons are very dim so that they don’t interfere visually with your slide content.
Click the LENS button.


Now, slide will NOT zoom. Instead you get a small rectangle. When you move the mouse cursor, the rectangle moves with it. This allows you to choose the exact area which you want to zoom in to. Once you position the rectangle, click to zoom.


This method offers much better control over which area you are zooming in to.

The zoom is the highest level. If you want to reduce the zoom level, use minus key or CTRL key with Scroll wheel or press ESCAPE key.

If you want zoom out all the way to the slide sorter like view, use the other button after Zoom Out.


While you are at it, explore the other buttons as well and learn more.

Zooming with Touch

As you know, touch is now more and more common. If you have a touch device, things are very simple. Just go to the area of interest and do a regular Pinch Zoom.


Pinch wider to zoom in. Pinch inwards to zoom out. If you zoom further, it will go to the slide sorter view.

Touch menu

The black menu which was shown above is applicable to Mouse use. If you touch the screen during the presentation, a similar menu appears. But because PowerPoint understands that you are using TOUCH, the menu is bigger and a little different.


It does NOT show the lens. Because if you are using touch, you can just use Pinch Zoom. There is no button required.

Thoughtfully, it also provides an End Presentation button (the last one).

Why is this important?

Because if you are using only a tablet, there is no keyboard to press Escape!
Of course there is on screen keyboard, but in a presentation, the taskbar is not shown. So you will be stuck!

Try it NOW

If you have PowerPoint 2013, open any presentation and try this NOW. Unless you try it and play with it, you will forget to use it while delivering an actual presentation.


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