The Zoom Tool

Some of Elements' tools require you to get a very close look at your image to see what's going on. Sometimes you may need to see the actual pixels as you work, as shown in Figure 10-2 . The Zoom tool makes it easy to zoom your view in and out.

The Zoom tool's Toolbox icon (see Figure 10-1 ) is the little magnifying glass. Click it or press Z to activate the tool. Once the tool is active, you see two magnifying glasses in the Options bar. If you want to zoom in (to make the view larger), click the one with the + sign on it. To use the Zoom tool, just click the place in your photo where you want the zoom to focus. The point where you clicked becomes the center of your view, and the view size increases again each time you click.

You can also select the Zoom Out tool in the Options bar, by clicking the magnifying glass with the minus sign () on it. Or you can press Alt as you click, and make either Zoom tool zoom in the opposite direction. For example, if you're clicking with the + tool and decide you've zoomed in too far, Alt-click to zoom back out. No need to click the Zoom Out tool.

Figure 10-2. At times you'll want to zoom way, way in when working in Elements. You may even need to go pixel by pixel in tricky spots, as shown here.

Figure 10-2. At times you'll want to zoom way, way in when working in Elements. You may even need to go pixel by pixel in tricky spots, as shown here.

The Zoom tool has several Options bar settings you can use as well:

• Zoom Percent . Enter a number here and the view immediately jumps to that percentage. 1600 percent is the maximum, 1 percent the minimum.

• Resize Windows to Fit . Turn this option on, and your image windows get larger and smaller along with the image size as you zoom. The image always fills the entire window with no gray space around it.

• Ignore Palettes . This setting lets windows resize so that they don't stop getting larger when they reach the edge of a palette (the controls on the right side of Elements). Instead, they continue resizing underneath the palettes. This choice isn't available until you turn on "Resize Windows to Fit."

• Zoom all Windows . If you have more than one image window open, turn this option on and the view changes in all the windows in synch when you zoom one window. (Or use the keyboard shortcut: Pressing Shift as you click with the zoom tool applies the same zoom to all open windows.)

The Option bar buttons for Fit on Screen, Actual Pixels, and Print Size work the same as the menu commands described in the preceding section.

Tip: You don't need to bother with the actual Zoom tool at all. You can zoom without letting go of the keyboard by pressing Ctrl+= to zoom in and Ctrl+to zoom out. Just hold down Ctrl and keep tapping the equal or minus sign until the view is what you want.It doesn't matter which tool you're using at the timeyou can always zoom in or out this way. Since you'll do a lot of zooming in Elements, this keyboard shortcut is a great one to remember.

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