GNOME 3 is not compatible with Compiz, so I cannot use the desktop zoom feature from Compiz. I googled for a long time, and it seems GNOME still does not support desktop zoom -- does it? I am using GNOME 3.2.1

  • There is the zoom option in GNOME3's accessability menu (tray icon near the right end of the system tray / top panel). – fheub Mar 5 '12 at 10:30
  • @fheub I can switch the setting “Zoom” in the control panel to on or off, but how to access the zoom function? It says: “Zoom in: No shortcut set” and “Zoom out: No shortcut set”. How to assign these shortcuts? – Marco Mar 5 '12 at 11:11

For those who don't mind using keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse scrollwheel, here they are (tested with Gnome 3.14.2):

  • Super+Alt+8 : Toggle zoom enabled/disabled (when enabled, the next two keyboard shortcuts become active)
  • Super+Alt++ : Zoom in (increases zoom factor by 1.0)
  • Super+Alt+- : Zoom out (decreases zoom factor by 1.0, until it is 1.0)

(Yes, decreasing zoom factor all the way down to 1.0 will look unzoomed, but zoom (and its keyboard shortcuts) remain active.)

  • I tried this on gnome-shell-3.26, it still works, yay! :-) however the magnification also follows the keyboard caret, but in a wrong way (the caret is supposed to be in a center but it ends up in lower right corner, basically hiding everything). I had to disable the caret following in the dconf-editor /org/gnome/desktop/a11y/magnifier/caret-tracking – MariusM Feb 15 '18 at 8:16
  • Tested in Ubuntu 18.04 just now. Works as described. – Alfe Jul 9 '18 at 0:42
  • Not sure why or how to change it but with an Spanish (localectl status:es) layout was "0" instead of "+". – Pablo A Oct 16 '18 at 6:29
  • For those wondering Super is typically gets bound to the Win key. – TranslucentCloud Jan 23 at 9:56

To answer my own question...

The Gnome3 has a zoom feature in the accessibility menu. Thanks to @fheub. If you want to use shortcut key, you can edit the shortcut key in the keyboard system settings.


But my point is:

  1. the zoom feature in accessibility menu is designed for people with vision problem. Has the Gnome developer ever realize everyone may want/need such a feature regardless of the condition of their eyes?
  2. By setting the shortcut key, it is literally means the the key on your keyboard, not including your mouse. But with Compiz, I can use the mod-key + mouse scroll wheel to zoom in/out. Much more convenient.
  • 2
    "Gnome developer ever relize everyone may want/need such a feature recardless of the condition of their eyes?" Agreed! I just want to be able to use the computer on my living room TV from the couch. – Benny Jobigan Oct 16 '18 at 16:22

Gnome Shell Mousewheel zoom is an extension to provide this functionality, it doesn't seem to be on extensions.gnome.org yet.


  • 1
    Any suggestions for 2018? – Lonniebiz May 15 '18 at 8:32
  • Any suggestions for 2019? – Lonniebiz Oct 10 at 2:39
  • 1
    It looks like the extension listed above can still work if you compile it yourself. – Stuart Axon Oct 10 at 9:27

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