AutoCAD Zoom command oddities

What could be more simple than the Zoom command, right? Many people I see primarily use the center mouse wheel for zooming and rarely use other zoom options. However, there may be times when you want to zoom to a specific area, meaning you need more accuracy than you can get with the wheel. Most people are familiar with Zoom > Window, you pick two points that define the corners of a rectangle. Others know about Zoom > Center. This is where you pick the center point and then enter the new view height. This can be useful when initially setting the view in a viewport.

I wonder how many people remember Zoom > Left? This has been undocumented since R14 and it works just like Zoom > Center, except that you provide the lower left corner coordinates instead of the center. Another undocumented (since R12 I believe) Zoom option that still works today is Zoom > VMax. This will zoom out to the maximum area possible without causing a regen.

Zoom > Dynamic is still documented and available as a visible option when running the Zoom command, but I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I have seen someone actually use this.

Zoom > Object is another option I rarely see people using, but the king of “hidden” zoom options has to be the command DSVIEWER. OK, when is the last time you used this command?


  1. Patrick Hughes

    Regarding DSVIEWER, I use it everyday and have found it to be a huge productivity enhancement. I keep it on a second monitor always open and sized to about 30% of the monitor. Something that makes it work even better is automatically activating the window under the mouse so I don’t have to click in and out of it.

    1. rkmcswain (Post author)

      Thanks for your comments Patrick. I like seeing how other people use the software.

  2. Paul Munford

    I regularly use the zoom > Object command with the in built selection filter ‘Last. This command combination will take you to the last object you added to the drawing. This is especially useful when writing LISP’s and you have no clue where that last bit of geometry went!

  3. murph

    I use it once in a great moon. It is great working with large files and you need to zoom to a location not in your current view. When I was teaching standard AutoCAD I always tried to show how it worked.

  4. Chris Bell

    Have run DSVIEWER since R12. When on a single monitor kept it at the smallest size down in the bottom right corner. Prior to the wheel mouse it was the fastest way to navigate, pretty much overriding any need for PAN or ZOOM. Have it on my primary monitor now. (Acad runs on second monitor, more real estate) It’s not quite as effective as it was in R12, Adesk added steps to it, but it’s still a powerful tool, always up and used.

    I use Zoon>Object on a regular basis, both for the obvious use and it is a fast way to zoom to the drawing border when there’s a lot of reference material outside of the border.
    Zoom>Extents is very handy too. It can be a time saver when working with large maps, particularly when inserting objects with an unknown insertion point and you have trouble finding them. also use it a lot as a quick way to regen. (Button is closer than my regen button.)

    Zoom>previous is also very useful.

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