How to Zoom Out in FL Studio

Zooming in and out in FL Studio can be a very useful tool! Unfortunately, with the large number of buttons and controls found in the DAW, how to do it can be unclear to beginners. And like many other features, there are multiple ways to achieve the same goal. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to zoom out in FL Studio while using the Playlist and Piano roll. Then, we’ll look at how you can zoom out to change the look of the FL Studio GUI.

Zooming Out in the Playlist

First up, let’s take a look at the Playlist. This is where you lay down your Patterns, audio samples, automation, and events. We covered this in more detail in our FL Studio basics tutorial. Be sure to check it out if you’re just getting started. To access the Playlist, hit the F5 key.

Horizontal Zoom

At the top of the Playlist we can see a dark numbered bar. If you’re using a mouse, hover over the bar and scroll the mouse wheel. This allows you to zoom in and out horizontally.

how to zoom out in fl studio playlist 1

Scroll back on the mouse wheel.

Alternately, you can grab onto the gray box just above, and click and drag the sides. This is a nice feature because it gives you a small preview of what will be visible in the Playlist.

how to zoom out in fl studio playlist 2

Click and drag the sides of the box.

Vertical Zoom

We can also zoom out vertically. This gives the tracks in the Playlist a smaller appearance. There is a small box located the intersection between the horizontal and vertical scroll bars. Just click and drag or scroll your mouse wheel while hovering to zoom in and out vertically.

playlist vertical zoom

Click and drag or mouse wheel scroll the box.

Use the Zoom Tool

At the top of the Playlist, there is a toolbar with a set of tools. One of these is the Zoom tool. You can use this to zoom out in FL Studio too. Just click the icon, and right-click anywhere in the Playlist. This will zoom-to-fit your entire project.

Zooming Out in the Piano Roll

The next spot where we can zoom out in FL Studio is in the Piano roll. The Piano roll has the same zoom controls as the Playlist. To open the Piano roll, hit F7.

FL Studio Zoom Shortcuts

There is also a list of quick zoom shortcuts you can use to save time. These will work for both the Playlist and the Piano roll. Experiment with these to get a feel for which ones will be useful to your own workflow and production style.

  • Zoom in – PgUp
  • Zoom out – PgDn
  • Quick zoom 1 – Shift + 1
  • Quick zoom 2 – Shift + 2
  • Quick zoom 3 – Shift + 3

Changing Timebase to Enhance Zoom

Next, we’ll look at the timebase setting and how it can enhance the level of zoom you’re able to achieve in the Playlist. While this doesn’t really effect how far out you can zoom, it’s still important to know! We covered PPQ, timebase, and what it’s used for in detail in our tutorial on time signatures, so we’ll briefly touch on it again here.

In a nutshell, increasing the PPQ setting will allow you to zoom in farther in the Playlist. To change the PPQ setting, do the following:

  1. Options (top left of FL Studio)
  2. Project general settings
  3. Click the drop-down menu next to Timebase (PPQ)

Here we can see a list of numbers. The higher the number you set, the farther in you can zoom, and the finer your adjustments can be in the Playlist and Piano roll.

Zoom Out in FL Studio GUI Settings

If you’re wondering how to make everything in the FL Studio graphical user interface appear smaller, don’t worry, we have you covered. All you need to do is change your GUI scaling settings. Here’s how:

  1. Options (top left of FL Studio)
  2. General settings
  3. Change GUI display settings
  4. Restart FL Studio

Change these. Try the System and Main settings. This should give the appearance that everything has been zoomed out in FL Studio.

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