How to Enable Scrubby Zoom In Illustrator

Scrubby zoom is a feature that allows you to move the mouse or trackpad and zoom on an area in a design. Unfortunately, it can be distracting for some folks who would rather have the standard quick zoom that is all business. So how do you enable Scrubby zoom in Adobe Illustrator?

Finding hidden functions within Illustrator is a familiar thing. However, those who need to be trained to use the application could encounter problems that leave them scratching their heads. So read on and learn how to enable Scrubby zoom in Illustrator.

How to Enable Scrubby Zoom

You might have seen some folks using Scrubby zoom on YouTube, or you might have used it and not noticed. Scrubby zoom is the zoom feature that has an animated movement toward the subject. It moves down towards the selected area instead of snapping, which is the old way of doing things.

Using Keystrokes is the Fastest Way to Enable Animated Zoom

One of the great things about Illustrator is knowing keystrokes can accomplish tasks quickly and without excess time moving around the screen. Saving time with keystrokes for Scrubby zoom is an innovative and efficient way to keep your workflow going and your cursor in a critical position.

The steps to enable Scrubby zoom in Adobe Illustrator are as follows:

  • Preferences – You open the Preferences menu by hitting Control or Command + K on the keyboard. Preferences is home to essential selections, and if you are unsure what something does, it is best to leave it alone. This menu allows you access to several different options, but it would be best if you looked near the bottom for Performance.
  • Performance – The Performance menu is where you can control the GPU of your machine. The Graphics Processing Unit is essential for your computer when working with vector graphic software like Illustrator. Look for the open box with Animated Zoom beside it in this area.

Once Animated Zoom is checked, you will have Scrubby zoom enabled. The zoom is different than usual and should take some getting used to. By clicking and moving with the mouse, you can control the zoom and get close to the object. Practice is essential, as moving too much can force you to lose your place.

Using Scrubby Zoom is a Clever Way to View an Object

Animated or Scrubby zoom showcases the performance of the GPU in your machine and the application’s functionality. Learning how it works is a great idea, and once you get a feel for it, you can always move back to Snap zoom.

Some things to try when using Scrubby zoom are:

  • Zooming In – One of the first things you should try is zooming in on your project. When using Scrubby zoom, you can go down to the edges of the art and fix minute details that could be obscuring the work. Zoom in by clicking an area and moving the mouse right.
  • Zooming Out – The next thing you should try is the zoom-out feature. Zoom out by clicking on an area of the project and moving the mouse to the left. By zooming out, you get a total view of your work and can diagnose any problems seen from a distance.

Scrubby zooming is an excellent taste of what the computer can do without an in-depth dive into your graphics card. Zooming is a normal function that can be performed in several different ways, and Animated zooming is just a nice touch added in. Remember, you can always go back to normal snapped zoom by going back into the Performance menu.

Illustrator Allows for Several Different Zoom Inputs

Adobe Illustrator is known for its usability and functionality. The platform allows you to create and edit projects from all industries. One of the reasons Illustrator is usable is that you can perform different tasks. Each person works differently, and having options is a great asset.

A few different ways you can zoom with Adobe Illustrator are:

  • Command +/- – One of the most common ways to zoom in and out with Illustrator is by using the keyboard. With just a couple of taps, you can inspect a line that looks off-tangent or move back to examine the big picture.
  • View – The menu way to zoom is by using the View panel at the top of the screen. By going into View, your best bet is to look for the Zoom + and Zoom – icons towards the bottom. By clicking on them, you will move the aspect to where you need it to get the job done.
  • Percentage – In the bottom left of the screen, there is a box with a percentage number. The number is the zoom level and can be changed by clicking on it. When you click, a scale will appear that will give you a percentage level you can zoom in.
  • Zoom Tool – By hitting Z on the keyboard, you will notice that the icon changes from a pointer to a spyglass. The spyglass indicates that you are in zoom mode, and the following location you click will zoom.

Giving users several ways to tackle a problem is a hallmark of the Adobe Creative Cloud. When using Scrubby zoom, you may wonder if other ways exist to achieve a similar goal. The main difference between the two is the animation sequence instead of the snapping with a standard zoom.


Scrubby zoom is the nickname given to Animated zooming in Adobe Illustrator. It allows the user to move the mouse in a direction that moves the aspect of the program in and out. It is helpful because it animates the object, unlike the snapped method, where you draw a box and the aspect snaps inside it.

Knowing other ways to accomplish a task enables you to handle things on the fly and navigate stressful design situations quickly and confidently. By practicing a few different methods and pairing them with Scrubby zoom, you can enhance the life of your project in Adobe Illustrator.