Photoshop Zoom and Pan All Images tutorial

Zoom And Pan All Images At Once In Photoshop

Learn how to zoom and pan multiple images at once in Photoshop! You'll learn pro-level tricks for zooming all open images at a time with the Zoom Tool and for scrolling all images with the Hand Tool, along with how to instantly jump every image to the same zoom level and location!

Written by Steve Patterson.

In the previous tutorial in this series, we learned how to zoom, pan and navigate images in Photoshop. We learned that we zoom in and out using the Zoom Tool, and that we pan and scroll an image with the Hand Tool. In that lesson, we focused on navigating a single image. But just as Photoshop lets us open and view two or more images at once, it also lets us zoom and pan all of our open images at the same time. Let's see how it works!

I'll cover everything you need to know to pan and zoom multiple images in Photoshop as we go through this lesson. But for the best results, you'll want to read through the previous Zooming and Panning Images tutorial before you continue. You'll also want to be familiar with how to view multiple images at once in Photoshop, and how to work with tabbed documents. I'll be using Photoshop CC but everything is fully compatible with Photoshop CS6.

This is lesson 2 of 7 in Chapter 4 - Navigating Images in Photoshop. Let's get started!

Viewing The Images As Tabbed Documents

I've gone ahead and opened two images into Photoshop. By default, each image opens in its own tabbed document, and Photoshop only lets us view one of the images at a time. Here's my first image (portrait photo from Adobe Stock):

The first image open in Photoshop
The first of two photos opened in Photoshop. Image credit: Adobe Stock.

To switch between open images, click on the document tabs. I'll click the tab to view my second image:

Clicking the document tabs to switch between open images in Photoshop
Clicking the document tabs to switch between open images.

This hides the first image and reveals the second one (portrait photo from Adobe Stock):

The second image open in Photoshop
The second of the two photos. Image credit: Adobe Stock.

Viewing All Open Images At Once

To view two (or more) images at once, we can use Photoshop's multi-document layouts. You'll find them by going up to the Window menu in the Menu Bar and choosing Arrange. Select a layout based on the number of images you've opened. Since I've opened two photos, I'll choose the 2-up Vertical layout:

Choosing the 2-up Vertical layout in Photoshop
Going to Window > Arrange > 2-up Vertical.

And now the documents appear side-by-side, letting me view both open images at the same time:

Viewing two open images at once in Photoshop using the 2-up Vertical layout.
Both documents are now visible using the 2-up Vertical layout.

Zooming Images In Photoshop

To zoom images in Photoshop, we use the Zoom Tool. Select the Zoom Tool from the Toolbar. You can also select the Zoom Tool by pressing the letter Z on your keyboard:

Selecting the Zoom Tool in Photoshop
Choosing the Zoom Tool from the Toolbar.

Zooming A Single Image At A Time

To zoom in on just one of your images, first select the document that holds the image by clicking on its tab. Then, position your mouse cursor (the magnifying glass) over the spot where you want to zoom in, and click. Click repeatedly to zoom in closer. To zoom out, press and hold your Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key and click. Here, I'm zooming in on the photo on the left. Notice that it has no effect on the image on the right, which is still being displayed at its original zoom level:

Zooming in on just one of the image in a multi-document layout in Photoshop
Zooming in on only one of the two images.

Zooming All Images At Once

To zoom in on all open images at the same time in Photoshop, with the Zoom Tool selected, press and hold your Shift key and click on any open image. To zoom out of all open images at once, press and hold Shift+Alt (Win) / Shift+Option (Mac) and click. Here, I'm holding down my Shift key while clicking the image on the left. This time, Photoshop zooms in on both images at once:

Zooming in on multiple images at once in Photoshop
To zoom all images, hold Shift and click to zoom in, or Shift+Alt (Win) / Shift+Option (Mac) to zoom out.

Zooming A Single Image From The Keyboard

As we learned in the previous tutorial, we can temporarily switch to the Zoom Tool any time we need it using a handy keyboard shortcut. To zoom in on a single image, press and hold Ctrl+spacebar (Win) / Command+spacebar (Mac) and click. To zoom out from a single image, press and hold Ctrl+Alt+spacebar (Win) / Option+spacebar (Mac) and click. Release the keys when you're done to switch back to the previously-active tool.

Zooming All Images From The Keyboard

To zoom in on all open images at once from the keyboard, just add the Shift key to the original shortcut. To zoom in on all open images, click on any image while pressing and holding Shift+Ctrl+spacebar (Win) / Shift+Command+spacebar (Mac). To zoom out, click on any image while holding Shift+Ctrl+Alt+spacebar (Win) / Shift+Option+spacebar (Mac).

The "Zoom All Windows" Option

To make zooming all open images at once the default behavior for the Zoom Tool, select the Zoom All Windows option in the Options Bar. Note that you'll need to have the Zoom Tool selected from the Toolbar itself to see the option. To switch back to the original, "single image at at a time" behavior, uncheck this option:

The Zoom All Windows option for the Zoom Tool in Photoshop
Use the "Zoom All Windows" to change the default behavior of the Zoom Tool.

The "Match Zoom" Option

Finally, if you've changed the zoom level for one image, Photoshop lets you quickly jump your other open images to the same zoom level. First, select the document that's set to the zoom level you want to match by clicking on its tab. Then, go up to the Window menu in the Menu Bar, choose Arrange, and then choose Match Zoom:

The Match Zoom command in Photoshop
Use the "Match Zoom" command to instantly match the zoom level for all open images.

Panning And Scrolling Images In Photoshop

To pan, or scroll, images in Photoshop, we use the Hand Tool. Select the Hand Tool from the Toolbar. You can also select the Hand Tool by pressing the letter H on your keyboard:

The Match Zoom command in Photoshop
Choosing the Hand Tool from the Toolbar.

Panning A Single Image At A Time

To pan a single image, with the Hand Tool selected, simply click and hold on the image and drag it around inside the document window. Release your mouse button when you're done. Here, I'm dragging the image on the right. The photo on the left remains in its original location:

Panning a single image with the Hand Tool in Photoshop
Panning only the image on the right.

Panning All Images At Once

To pan or scroll all open images at once, with the Hand Tool selected, press and hold your Shift key, then click and drag any open image. The other images will move along with it:

Panning multiple images with the Hand Tool in Photoshop
Holding Shift while clicking and dragging with the Hand Tool to move both images at the same time.

Panning A Single Image From The Keyboard

To temporarily switch to the Hand Tool when any other tool is active in Photoshop, press and hold your spacebar. Then, to pan a single image, with the spacebar held down, simply click and drag the image to move it. Release your spacebar when you're done to switch back to the previously-active tool.

Panning All Images From The Keyboard

To pan all open images at once from the keyboard, press and hold your Shift key and the spacebar. With the keys held down, click and drag any open image to move all of your images at the same time.

The "Scroll All Windows" Option

To make panning or scrolling all images at once the default behavior for the Hand Tool, select the Scroll All Windows option in the Options Bar. The option will only be visible if you've selected the Hand Tool from the Toolbar itself (not by pressing the spacebar). To return the default behavior to just a single image at a time, uncheck this option:

The Scroll All Windows option for the Hand Tool in Photoshop
Use "Scroll All Windows" to change the default behavior of the Hand Tool.

The "Match Location" And "Match All" Options

Earlier, we learned that we can instantly jump all open images to the same zoom level using the Match Zoom option. Photoshop gives us a similar option for matching the location, or position, of images. First, choose the document that holds the image with the location you want your other images to match. Click on the document's tab to select it. Then, to jump all other images to the same location within their document window, go up to the Window menu, choose Arrange, and then choose Match Location:

The Match Location option in Photoshop
Use "Match Location" to instantly match the locations of all open images.

To match both the zoom level and the location of all open images, again select the document you want the others to match. Then, go up to the Window menu, choose Arrange, and then choose Match All:

The Match All option in Photoshop
Use "Match All" to instantly match both the zoom level and the location of all open images.

Where to go next...

And there we have it! In the next lesson in this chapter, we'll learn all about Photoshop's Navigator panel and why it's perfect for navigating an image when you're zoomed in!

Or check out any of the other lessons in this chapter:

For more chapters and for our latest tutorials, visit our Photoshop Basics section!

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