Manage all custom zoom levels in Google Chrome

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One handy feature that every modern web browser -- including Google Chrome -- supports is page zoom. It is a handy feature for a number of reasons.

It enables you to decrease or increase all contents of a web page.

This can be handy if a web page does not fit in the browser window otherwise, for instance if you need to scroll horizontally to access all contents or if things are not aligned properly on it, or to increase the size to improve the readability of text and other textual contents such as links on it.

Probably the easiest way to zoom in Google Chrome is to hold down the Ctrl-key and use the mouse scroll wheel to do so. If you move it up, you increase the size of content by 10%, while moving it down has the opposite effect.

Chrome displays information about the scroll status in its interface. Here you not only see the current zoom level, but get an option to reset it to its default value 100%.

Instead of using the mouse, you can also use the keyboard only (Ctrl+ or Ctrl-) which increase the zoom level in 25% steps, or the Chrome menu where zoom options are also displayed to you.

chrome-zoom

What you cannot do is manage all zoom levels of the browser. While you can manage individual levels by visiting the website in question, it may not be an optimal solution depending on how many custom zoom levels you have configured in the web browser.

Google has added a new feature to its browser that lets you manage all custom zoom levels from the preferences in Google Chrome.

You can either open the page chrome://settings/contentExceptions#zoomlevels directly in Chrome, or click on menu > settings > show advanced settings > content settings > Zoom levels manage instead.

manage zoom levels google chrome

Here you find all custom zoom levels listed along with the hostname they are valid on. The only option that you have here at the moment is to delete a custom zoom level.

An option to change the level of zoom would have been handy, but is currently not implemented.

There is no option to add hostnames to the list,  something which could be useful to some users as well.

Last but not least, a reset all option could also be useful.

Please note that the new feature landed in Chrome Canary and Dev right now. It will take some time -- as usual -- before it makes its way to the beta and stable versions of the browser.

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Responses to Manage all custom zoom levels in Google Chrome

  1. RN March 19, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Intriguing, Martin.

    Are there desktop browsers that mimic some of the helpful zoom behavior in mobile devices? My Android phone reformats text including line breaks while preserving my selected font size. I can't get an equivalent function in Chrome, Safari, or Firefox - even with extensions. NoSquint and equivalents will set zoom sizes but often the font size drops to illegible when the page fits within the current browser width.

    Use case: I often need to have a tutorial open in a browser while I learn a tool in an adjacent window. e.g. Python tutorial and iPython side-by-side

    I invariably have to scroll horizontally on the tutorial page to read the text which is inconvenient.

    • Martin Brinkmann March 19, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      I'm unfortunately not aware of anything like that.

    • Martin Brinkmann March 19, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

      One thing that may work is to create your own styles for select websites to change the flow of text. You can do so with Stylish, but need to know a bit of CSS for that.

      • RN March 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

        Thanks. Wouldn't hurt to learn CSS. I'll look into it.

    • Zeus March 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      Have you tried Clearly? It's a Chrome / Firefox addon from the makers of Evernote.

      Clearly reformats a webpage into an "article view" which strips away all sidebars, advertisements, and other distractions. What's left is clear, clean text and illustrations.

      You can dig into the options and adjust things like font size and the width of the text and whatnot, background colors, just about everything. It's one of the first things I install along with my browsers. Can't imagine reading long articles without it.

      Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clearly/iooicodkiihhpojmmeghjclgihfjdjhj?hl=en

      Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/clearly/

      • RN March 21, 2014 at 1:35 am #

        Thank you, very much for this pointer. I installed Clearly and it does 90-95% of what I am seeking. There are a couple of items on a tutorial I am following which I wish it didn't hide but the bulk of what I need is formatted much better and I don't have to scroll horizontally!

  2. Blue March 20, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Though the manage zoom feature from the tool menu is new, Chrome has always (as far as I know) kept the zoom level for each page/site I set/visit. The majority of the pages follow the standard default text font size in Chrome (medium), but for those of us with higher resolution monitors (higher than 1920x1080), medium text size is tiny in comparison so I set font size to large. But not all pages follow the default we choose so zoom to the rescue. We can even set a default zoom for all pages but some page's don't quite work or look right once we begin zooming.

    So though zooming and setting a user set font size makes stuff larger, not all pages work with them and some can even break or not show properly like overlapping text missing text, missing images, menus out of place (due to using large text or zoom) etc... It would be nice for the Chrome team to address that problem instead of doing an all-in-one place solution for something that already works fine as is.

    No point in presetting the zoom levels from a single page unless you're on the page to view the results. I swear there are times they add the oddest features or functions that mimic the existing function of something else. This is one of the times.

    • Martin Brinkmann March 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      You are right, it always kept the zoom level, and as does Firefox. The manage page is just handy to remove many zoom levels at once, or to check up on them.

  3. daggoth April 4, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    When I last tried Chrome, a long long time ago, what irked me most was the default zoom step of 25% for the ctrl+ ctrl- hotkeys. I would prefer less, and know this feature is fully configurable in Firefox. After reading your article, I'm still not 100% clear on this... can that 25% zoom step be reduced by the user please?

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