How to Navigate the Document in Adobe InDesign

In Brief...

With many InDesign projects, it's necessary to zoom in and out repeatedly, as well as navigate through the pages. The Zoom Tool and Hand Tool can be used, but there are more efficient methods you can use.


  1. The Zoom Tool Zoom Tool lets you change the magnification of the document within the window. There are also commands in the View menu which have keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts are great time-savers.
    Zoom Commands in View Menu

    • Zoom In: Ctrl+= (PC) / Command+= (Mac)
    • Zoom Out: Ctrl+- (PC) / Command+- (Mac)
    • Fit Page in Window: Ctrl+0 (PC) / Command+0 (Mac)
    • Fit Spread in Window: Alt+Ctrl+0 (PC) / Option+Command+0 (Mac)
    • Actual Size: Ctrl+1 (PC) / Command+1 (Mac)

  2. You may also find yourself frequently going back and forth between the same two magnification levels, in which case you could use the Toggle Zoom shortcut, Alt+Ctrl+2 (PC) / Option+Command+2 (Mac)

  3. The Hand Tool Hand Tool is used to "push" the page around in the document window, or even go to a different page. It's an alternative to using the scroll bars.

  4. The keyboard shortcut to temporarily access the Hand Tool without selecting it is to hold down the Space bar, then drag the page with your mouse.

  5. If you were editing text, of course, this wouldn't work, so there's an alternative keystroke, which is using Alt (PC) / Option (Mac) when active in a text frame.

  6. Whenever you can avoid going to the Toolbar to switch tools, you're saving time, so these are good shortcuts to learn.

Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical, and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her class. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint to produce a fully-developed and cohesive brand identity.