The canvas can be zoomed in and out in many ways. For many of the options, the zoom changes by a default factor of 1.41 (repeat twice to zoom by a factor two). This factor can be changed in the Steps section of the Inkscape Preferences dialog.
By default, a zoom of “1” corresponds to one Inkscape pixel per screen pixel. If you would like to calibrate the zoom to a real physical measurement unit (like inches or centimeters), you can do so under the Interface section of the Inkscape Preferences dialog. You will find there a slider that can be dragged to set a Zoom correction factor. Simply hold up your ruler to the screen and drag until the onscreen ruler matches.
+ or = keys to zoom in, - key to zoom out. Zoom is around center of viewable canvas.
Ctrl+Middle Mouse Click or Ctrl+Right Mouse Click to zoom in, Shift+Middle Mouse Click or Shift+Right Mouse Click to zoom out. Zoom in is around cursor position.
Shift+Middle Mouse Drag to zoom in on area within rubber-band.
Ctrl+Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out. Very convenient. The cursor position is the center of the zoom.
By checking the Mouse wheel zooms by default button under the Scrolling section of the Inkscape Preferences dialog the function of the Mouse Wheel changes to zooming while the normal Ctrl+Mouse Wheel changes to panning up and down. This is the normal behavior in CorelDRAW and AutoCAD.
Zoom section of the Status Bar. This is the best way to select a precise zoom level. One can activate the entry box via the keyboard shortcut Alt+Z.
Zoom Tool (F3) from the Tool Box. Click on the canvas with the Zoom Tool to zoom in around the cursor. Use Shift click or click with the Right Mouse button to zoom out.
(+): Zoom in.
(-): Zoom out.
(1): Zoom to 1:1 (100% of drawing size, one drawing pixel equal one screen pixel).
(2): Zoom to 1:2 (50% of drawing size).
Zoom to 2:1 (200% of drawing size).
(3): Zoom to fit selection in window.
(4): Zoom to fit drawing in window (show all the drawn objects, which may be smaller or larger than the page).
(5): Zoom to fit page in window.
(6 or Ctrl+E): Zoom to fit page width in window.
(`): Previous zoom (from the history of zooms). A history of zoom levels is stored in a list, see below.
(Shift+`): Next zoom (from the history of zooms).
Note the two commands ( and ) that allow one to traverse backward and forward through a list of the previously used zoom levels.
Holding down the Q key (Q for quick) will temporarily zoom in on selected items making it easier to make a small tweak. Releasing the key restores the previous zoom.
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