I am coming from Windows and miss the feature that allows to increase/decrease the text size in many applications (Chrome, PDF readers, Text editors,...) by using CTRL-MouseWheel. Instead the size of the whole display increases which is not what I want.

Any help appreciated

  • Did you ever find an actual solution that actually works that is not "buy a Magic Trackpad", or use "BetterTouchTool" which doesn't even include this feature?
    – thephpdev
    May 25, 2021 at 12:04
  • 1
    No, I got used to not having it. Mac OS is so much better in so many ways that it doesn't really matter. Also, the Zoom options in System Preferences -> Accessibility, can be used to some extent if you need to zoom in on parts of a text.
    – Vladtn
    Jun 21, 2021 at 13:24
  • – Ha! I would agree, I love macOS. As I'm sure was apparent from my wording, my mood was not one of optimism that day. I do still wish they'd add this functionality at the OS level, however – or at least open up the APIs to allow developers to be able to hook into the right parts of the OS to control it (which seems to be the issue BetterTouchTool's dev had).
    – thephpdev
    Jul 7, 2021 at 12:27

13 Answers 13


There's no such feature on the Mac - as you say, the only equivalent feature is to zoom the whole screen, when you turn on 'Zoom' in the Universal Access preference pane. To increase just the text size, you'll need to see if there's an option for this in individual programs' menus (as there is for some browsers, for example - e.g. in Safari, select 'Zoom Text Only' from the View menu, and then 'Zoom in' or 'Zoom out' from that menu).

  • So are you saying that this option is available in Chrome for Mac? Can you tell me how to enable it?
    – Vladtn
    Dec 20, 2011 at 11:54
  • @Vladtn No. Chrome allows you to just increase font size in the menu.
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 20, 2011 at 11:55
  • 7
    @Vladtn Or via Cmd and the + or - key.
    – slhck
    Dec 20, 2011 at 12:25
  • 20
    Well, this is an ease that Mac should take note about. I'm coming from Windows as @Vladtn and this kind of things make doubt of all the comments that I heard saying that Mac is easier to use :)
    – David
    Jul 15, 2015 at 11:56

I made Mac Mouse Fix.

It lets you zoom in and out by scrolling while holding the Command (⌘) key. It works just like pinch-to-zoom on an Apple Trackpad.

On top of that it's open source, easy to use, 100% free, and it also has a bunch of other cool features that make your mouse better!

Download | GitHub

  • 3
    This answer deserves to be higher up. It works for non-Logitech mouses too. And it is still being updated (by Noah) in 2022. Thanks Noah.
    – Fom
    Feb 26, 2022 at 14:02
  • 1
    does not work with magic mouse Sep 15, 2022 at 10:33
  • I installed it but can not figure out how to make it work (with Magic Mouse)
    – 118218
    Oct 10, 2022 at 7:24
  • To use it: open the app → check "Enable Mac Mouse Fix" → click "More..." → click "App-specific settings..." → add your applications (eg. Preview) → check "⌘-scroll to zoom". With Google Chrome, scroll more if scrolling a bit does not zoom. (This is not a problem with Mac Mouse Fix, to activate zooming in Chrome with Trackpad you need to separate your fingers enough too!). Jul 8, 2023 at 10:23
  • This sounds like a great solution, but it doesn't work for me. I had Mos installed before to fix scrolling and I saw that the app Mac Mouse Fix was somehow clashing with it. I uninstalled Mos, restarted my Mac, but it still doesn't work. I do have Logi Options+ installed too. Is it possible that it's somehow clashing with this too? Because no functionality is working at all.
    – f.bele
    Dec 28, 2023 at 15:07

Per-app "zooming" (and text resizing) is common on the Mac via pinch/unpinch gestures on trackpads, and via keyboard shortcuts like Cmd+ and Cmd-, but it's not common via the scroll wheel.

Full-screen zooming via the scroll wheel can be enabled in the Universal Access pane of System Preferences.

  • 10
    sorry and this is how Macs are a no-no (and a lot more of missing keyboard keys and common shorcuts)\
    – Marecky
    Nov 10, 2015 at 13:03
  • 3
    @Marecky SuperUser isn't the place for platform wars. Leave that nonsense on the playground.
    – Spiff
    Nov 10, 2015 at 15:18
  • 1
    The pinch zoom feature mentioned in this answer is as close to mouse wheel zoom in Windows that I have found so far
    – 8bitme
    Nov 12, 2015 at 7:28
  • +1 Cmd+ and Cmd- are exact equivalent to Ctrl-MouseWheel. Oct 4, 2018 at 21:22
  • 3
    @DanielGoldfarbNo they are a very, very poor substitute. The more I use modern macOS the more I feel power users are given short shrift compared to Windows.
    – NetMage
    Feb 6, 2019 at 0:36

Logitech mouse can easily setting up Zoom gestures on Logi Options app, the app can be downloaded from Logitech website.

Option 1: Use the preset gestures for zoom in/out and smart zoom

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Option 2: Customise gestures by zooming using scroll wheel

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  • 1
    nice ! I've used the same app to set my Thumb Wheel for scrolling, and the nice thing is that you can set these per app. So only for Preview Jan 31, 2022 at 9:51
  • In logitech G Hub does not have Zoom gestures option. Jan 5 at 3:47

If you use a Logitech mouse on Logi Options app; go to any button control and switch it to "zoom with mouse wheel". you can then use the programmed button as a "modifier" to switch the wheel from scrolling to zooming in preview and safari. This works really well for me so far. In preview it even scrolls to the cursor center!

  • 3
    Just to clarify, because this was not clear to me: whatever button you assign "zoom with mouse wheel" has to be pressed while you turn the wheel in order to zoom (which makes it difficult to use the middle mouse button (the wheel itself) for this. Since all other buttons are already occupied and a combination with keyboard modifiers is apparently not possible, I set the middle mouse button to "smart zoom". Not the same, but does the job most of the time.
    – Christoph
    Sep 28, 2021 at 8:57
  • 1
    This works, but only activates the "pinch zoom" type zooming. It doesn't actually do what I expected which is to increase the scaling of the entire app including the font sizes.
    – TetraDev
    Feb 15 at 17:49
  • @TetraDev you can use CMD + or CMD - in most text/html viewing apps to change the font and element sizes Mar 9 at 11:56
  • @Christoph i typicall use the forward button for middle click and back button for the "zoom with mouse wheel". There are other mouse options with additional buttons that I've used so you wouldn't need to hijack forward/back buttons for this. That said i do wish it was just possible to assign CMD scroll in/out to act as the zooming action. or Opt scroll in/out like adobe design apps. I'm just glad Logitech makes the zoom modifier possible at all since it's not built into the apps or operating system. Mar 9 at 11:59

Command(plus)+ and Command(plus)- works in TextEdit.

I switched to Mac 1 year ago and I remember the weird feeling i use to get when Ctrl won't work like the way i wanted to.

Usually you can use Command button as equivalent to Windows Control button. e.g. Ctrl+C = Command+C

To increase/decrease size in browser, you can swipe two fingers outward to Zoomin and two fingers inward to Zoom-out.

As you will find out, zoom is much more Easier to do in Mac.

Tip: You can also Press control button and while keeping it pressed, use two finders upward and downward to Zoom the whole screen.

  • 1
    swipe is side to side (all fingers in the same direction). What you mean is called pinching.
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 20, 2011 at 20:45

"I'm a PC" but I have had to convert to Mac, for work. BetterTouchTool has saved most of my hair the last few weeks.

Through this app you can customise your Mac to do all sorts of things that you would normally do on your PC, like WIN + LEFTARROW etc.

You can also set application specific gestures etc whereby you can add the zoom in/out feature of Chrome - just like for the PC.

Try it out!

  • How have you managed to configure it for the use case mentioned by the author of the post?
    – 118218
    Oct 10, 2022 at 7:20

IF trying to zoom in and out of pdfs in Adobe, do the following:

Open Adobe Acrobat- Go to preferences- Under the "General" tab, select "Make hand tool use mouse-wheel zooming"- Click Ok- Done

This will allow you to zoom in just on the pdf that you are viewing using just the scroll wheel. You do not have to hold down control while doing this.

  • 1
    The downside of this is that it would disable the functionality of being able to scroll the pdf using the mouse wheel altogether. Sep 15, 2017 at 9:26

Sort of same situation here. I found that using Ctrl + Cmd (or Ctrl + Alt) and the wheel (actually, two finger scrolling as I'm using a trackpad) works for zooming in and out in MS Office for the Mac. It seems like somehow adding a key to the combo overrides the usual whole screen zooming typical of the Mac.

Anyhow, I just found this behaviour in Office. Other apps work as mentioned in other answers: use the pinch gesture, of Cmd + Plus or Cmd + Minus for zooming in and out.

My configuration: MacOS X 10.6.4. Office 2011.


First check this link for:

1- Mac Pro and iMac

2- MacBook Pro (or MacBook)

3- Mac OS X with a Magic Mouse

Also this link shared a user's experience about how he found a workaround. He Turned off his iMac, changed his mouse for an Apple one then turned his iMac back on. The option became available, thus he checked it and changed the mouse again.

If you have not been able to work it out, I suggest you look into the preference of your mouse third-party software. It has most likely an option enabling you to do so as I made it work for my Logitech with Unifying Dongle.

  • That link isn't discussing per-app Zoom.
    – NetMage
    Feb 6, 2019 at 0:37

I found a solution that works on mac on all chrome like browsers which is an extension called Zoomba you can find it in google extensions store, it enables you to press ctrl+scroll with mouse to zoom in as what exist in Windows and Linux.


I have managed to make BetterTouchTool do this.

If you go into Normal Mouse, you can then add triggers for holding down Command and scrolling up or scrolling down.

I've then assigned Cmd + + (technically Cmd + =) and Cmd + - to each mouse trigger, and since most apps support that combo for zooming, I can now zoom in and out with Command and scrolling.

I've also gone into Normal Mouse Scrolling and reduced the scroll delay as far as it will let me to speed up the responsiveness. It's not as fast as Windows, but it will do for me, and it saves me having to install yet another utility to get functionality I miss from Windows! (I already use BTT for other functions)

BTT settings


There are two quick ways to zoom in/out on browser windows.

  1. Hold the Ctrl key down, and push or pull the scroll-wheel on your mouse.
  2. Hold the Cmd key down, and press the + key to zoom in (make the image bigger), or the - key to zoom out.

Lastly, Cmd-0 brings you back to a "normal" screen having used either method above.

NOTE: you do NOT have to Shift when using the + key, so basically it's the = key.

Firefox has a View->Zoom menu with a "Zoom Text Only" check box that appears to work. Images do NOT change size. Safari also has that option under its View menu.

  • See additional edit above. Sep 3, 2014 at 22:29

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