Skip to main content

art & design

Adobe Illustrator CC for Beginners

Lesson 4 of 23

Zoom and Navigate in Adobe Illustrator

Brian Wood

Adobe Illustrator CC for Beginners

Brian Wood

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

4. Zoom and Navigate in Adobe Illustrator

Lesson Info

Zoom and Navigate in Adobe Illustrator

One of things that's gonna happen in here is you're gonna want to work on something, and invariably, because it's vector, you're gonna want to zoom into it. You're gonna want to bring it into your face, okay? There are a lot of ways to do this. If you look over in the left over here, you're gonna see that towards the bottom of the tools panel, we actually have the zoom tool right down here. How many of you used the zoom tool in another program? Okay, I know, it's the same, it's very similar okay? Except, Illustrator has an awesome new feature I want to show you guys, okay? It's part of it. Go ahead and select the zoom tool and come out here and you're gonna see that we have the little plus in the zoom. If we want to zoom in, you can go where you want to zoom in, like let's say I come to the text over here on the right for instance. I want to zoom in there. You can just click. Why don't you just do that, just click. I know this is probably nothing new to any of you but go ahead and clic...

k. This is what's new. This has been in here for a couple versions now but if you have Illustrator CC, I believe it's 2014 and later, we have a different way to be able to zoom because there is a, something's going on behind the scenes that we don't need to know about, okay? How many of you see a little rocket ship all the way up here in the control, or application bar? Okay. If you see one, you got some awesome things you can do. If you don't, I'm sorry, but maybe a previous version, I don't know. But okay so, this is actually part of what's called GPU performance or GPU acceleration. We can if we want to, do this, watch. Why don't you come out here to the text and just click maybe one more time. And you zoom in by a factor, it's like 50% or something. If your machine supports it, and if you have a later version of Illustrator, you can do this too. If I click and drag right or left, watch what happens here. I can dynamically zoom in and out. This is GPU performance it's called. Your machine has to support it, and you got to have the right version of Illustrator. If you guys do not see that rocket icon up there or if the rocket icon has like a sorry circle on it, you know, like a slash thingy going on, you can't do it okay? 'Cause your machine doesn't support it but that's pretty sweet, that's pretty awesome to be able to do that. I'm kind of addicted to it but if you don't have it, what's going to happen is when you click and drag, you're actually going to create a box. That's called the zoom box. It's gonna zoom into that area when you let go, okay? So it's a little different. Alright, so we've got this dynamic zooming we can do, which is pretty amazing. Now what I wanna do a lot of times is as I'm zooming into something, I can still just click and zoom. You'll notice that where you click, this freaks people out, but where you click, it actually zooms in to the center. So if I click down here, that's going to jump into the center of my document window. So you kind of got to get used to that. As you zoom in, you want to zoom out, which you can do. Hold down the option key on Mac or alt key on Windows, and you're gonna see it turns to minus. You're gonna just click or if you want to click and drag you can zoom left, click drag left. It's kind of weird but. So you can click a couple times with that key held down. When you want to zoom back in you let go of the key, you're back onto zoom in with the plus, okay? So you can do it that way. Now, a lot of times, you're gonna get used to this, you need to get used to this, okay? This type of zooming. We have other ways to zoom. I want to show you a few of these, because they're really really helpful. If you come under the view menu, come under view, you're gonna see that we have a series of zoom commands right here. We have from zoom in down to actual size. Actual size is pretty awesome. What it does is it says, if you're working on something like a logo and somebody gave you a file and you opened it up and the logo is like in your face this big, if you went to actual size it might actually be that big. So it might show it that big, you know what I mean? Or the size of a billboard or something. So actual size can be very helpful. The two that I use all the time are zoom in and zoom out. It's kind of weird but it's the same thing as the zoom tool but you'll notice the short cut commands to the right here. Command plus, command minus. Control plus, control minus on Windows, okay? So it's a little further along. As you get used to Illustrator you might start using these kind of keyboard commands. This is another one we're gonna be using all the time. Go ahead and choose fit artboard in window under the view menu. Go ahead and chose that. What that does is it fits what's called the active artboard into your document window. Did it fit the one you expected in your window? It didn't for me. I was zoomed in down there on that one, so why wouldn't it fit that one? It's whichever one is selected. Now we're gonna get used to this. We're gonna talk about this in a few minutes here, but okay. So each of these is your artboard or your page, we're gonna use that a lot to kind of fit it in to get it done. There are other zoom commands that we can use. Why don't you look down here, lower left. You can see the zoom menu down here. Check this thing out. Now for some of you, it's only going to go to 6400 percent. In later versions of Illustrator, if your machine supports it, you actually have up to 64,000 percent, which is kind of insane. It seriously is. You're gonna use it though. What you're gonna do is we just a couple versions ago, we jumped from 6400 to 64,000. Now I got to 64,000 and I'm like, why won't it go further? I'm like, I need more, I need more. You're gonna use this. So you can if you want just jump down here too and you can pick like let's say a hundred percent, you can do whatever you want, but this is telling you down here how zoomed in you are, how zoomed out you are. Super important because sometimes you're gonna get lost, you're gonna be like staring at a logo and it's actually only that big. So it's important to know. You'll also look up here, I always glance up here too at the tab. It tells you how zoomed in you are, what your zoom level is, it's called. Really important, okay? Alright, so zooming, getting around a little bit, something it's really really, something we're gonna do a lot. Does anyone want to know the keyboard command to get to the zoom tool? I'm gonna share this with you. I know we're beginners, if you don't, if you guys don't want to do this, you don't have to do this okay? But as you get more comfortable on Illustrator. You'll realize that a lot of tools over here have commands you can use right? Keyboard commands. You can use command space bar to get to the zoom tool. Almost any tool you're on, if you select any other tool out there, you can hold those two keys down and you're on the zoom tool temporarily, okay? You guys, don't worry about it. We're just learning here, we're just starting out. I just want to throw that out there for those of you that are a little more in, okay? But like I said, there are key commands we can use. Alright here's what I want you to do. We're gonna fit everything we have in the window so we can see everything, okay? Come under view, and you're gonna see fit all in window. Go ahead and choose that. (coughs) Excuse me. Alright, we've got it out there. Now, what we're gonna do is we're gonna start to take a look at working a little bit with artboards and start to look a little bit at zooming and a little bit more that we can work with, I guess you can say. So I want to start to kind of go a little bit further in there. We're also gonna do a little bit more zooming and things like that.

Class Description

This course is part of: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects 

Gain the fundamentals necessary to tackle the world’s best vector-based illustration software Adobe® Illustrator®. Brian Wood will take you step-by-step and explain everything a beginner needs to know to get up and running with Illustrator, including:

  • Interface & tools
  • Using the pen tool
  • Applying color
  • Formating Text 

In Adobe Illustrator CC for Beginners Brian will use a series of projects to teach you everything you need to create your first graphic or illustration. 

Software Used: Adobe Illustrator CC 2015

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Adobe Illustrator CC Project files - Part 1

Adobe Illustrator CC Project files - Part 2

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I've been trying to learn Illustrator on and off for years. This is the best instruction I've had! Brian is a great instructor. Finally feeling comfortable with it. It does use an older version but I just adapt.

Bill Neill

Great content and a good instructor. Not his fault the world marches on and doesn't stay in 2015. Any reasonably intelligent person will be able to figure out the changes since 2015 and how they relate to this course. It is early 2019, and I'm not having any trouble, but then I am reasonably intelligent and not to lazy to do some thinking.

a Creativelive Student

Pretty good so far but he's using a very different version of Illustrator and my currently updated version does not have the tool bars top and bottom for dealing with artboards.