Updated: 06/22/2018 by Computer Hope

Zoom may refer to any of the following:

Pixelated image1. When referring to an image or graphic, zoom describes the function of focusing on a section of an image and increasing its overall size to manipulate or view in greater detail. In the image to the right, is an example of an image that has been zoomed into at 1600%.

As can be seen in the image, as you zoom into an image each of the pixels that make up the image grow and make the image appear pixelated or jaggy. Unfortunately, unlike in the movies, you cannot "enhance" the image to make a zoomed image clearer.

Tip: Many graphics programs and Internet browsers support the keyboard shortcut key "Ctrl+minus key" to zoom out and "Ctrl+plus key" to zoom in on a picture or web page. Also, "Ctrl+0" (the number zero) will reset the zoom to the default zoom level.

2. When referring to a window in a GUI (graphics user interface), zoom is another name for maximize. On Apple computers, the box on a window title bar to increase the size of a window is called a zoom box.

3. Alternatively referred to as optical zoom, zoom is a camera and digital camera feature that uses optics in the camera lens to move in on an object without having to move closer. A digital camera may also include a digital zoom, which uses digital technology to get closer to an object beyond the capabilities of the camera lens.

A digital zoom is what allows the camera to have a 300x zoom capability and works by cropping a portion of the image and then enlarging that section. A digital zoom gives the appearance of getting closer to an object, but it also decreases the quality of the image and often makes it more pixelated.

Camera terms, Maximize, Pinch, Pinch-to-zoom, Pixel, Scale, Video terms