The ZoomIt Tool for Presentations

Post in News by TerryVannoy on 21st May 2020

Teachers can use a fantastic free tool on their Windows PC while presenting. It’s called the ZoomIt tool, and with it, we can zoom in on certain content on our computer screen, use ink annotation tools, and draw straight lines or arrows to help our students and audience focus on what we want to emphasize. Meet zoomit.exe, the ZoomIt Tool.

Before we get started, did you know we also have a video PD session featuring this tool on our professional learning platform, OTIS for educators? You can sign up for a FREE account and watch it here.

Here is how to download ZoomIt on your laptop, desktop, or tablet PC

1. Download ZoomIt to your computer

  • Go to and download it to your computer.
  • Once installed, go to your Start icon in the lower left and type in “Zoomit.”
  • Select “ZoomIt64.exe” from the list and open it up.
  • The window that appears is your Options menu where you can see how all the tools work.

  • Keep the “Show tray icon” box checked so you can turn ZoomIt on and off more easily. See below what the icon looks like in your tray.

2. Basic ZoomIt features: How to use simple zooming and ink annotating

  • As you can see in the Options window above, the key combination of Ctrl + 1 (hold the Control key down while pressing 1) gets us into zoom mode. As you move your mouse around, the zoom window changes. While showing the zoomed in part of your screen, click your mouse to freeze your display and left-click-drag your mouse to draw.
  • While in zoom mode, press the E key to erase your writing and stay in zoom mode. When finished with your markings, press ESC (escape key) to get out of zoom mode.
  • Try different colors. Go to Ctrl + 1 to zoom, click to freeze your image, and press the following keys to write in different colors:

R = red
G = green
B = blue
O = orange
Y = yellow
P = pink

  • See a summary of these modes and commands in the picture below.

3. Now we get a little fancy: Shapes while in zoom mode

  • Instead of hand-drawn ink annotations, we can use specific line shapes to help our audience focus on important content. Enter zoom mode again by pressing Ctrl + 1.
  • The following shapes are possible by holding down the listed key and left-click-dragging on the screen. Try them out!

Tab = ellipse
Shift = straight line
Control = rectangle
Shift + Control = arrow

4. How to type on your page, website, or document while in zoom mode

  • After entering zoom mode with Ctrl + 1, click your mouse in the desired part of the screen and press the T key.
  • This gives you a cursor and now you can type. Click anywhere to get back to the ink cursor for regular annotation.
  • Press ESC to go back to the normal screen.

5. Creating a blackboard/whiteboard space while in zoom mode

  • While in zoom mode, press the K key to show your blackboard background. Use the ink colors and shapes here as usual. Press ESC to resume normal screen.
  • While in zoom mode, press the W key to show your whiteboard background. Use the ink colors and shapes here as usual. Press ESC to resume normal screen.

6. Here’s a summary of these key presses so far for shapes and typing tools

7. Ready for more?
All of the above key presses and annotation modes were done by pressing Ctrl + 1 first to enter zoom mode. Here are some other things you can do with the ZoomIt tool.

  • Ctrl + 2 — No Zoom
    • By pressing Ctrl + 2, you now have ink tools available without zooming! If you just quickly want to circle something or draw an arrow without moving your mouse to find the perfect spot, use this mode. You still can change colors, do shapes and type.
    • If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, use it to zoom in a little bit before inking.
    • Press ESC to go back to normal.
  • Ctrl + 3 — Timer
    • Press Ctrl + 3 to enter the Timer (or Break) Mode. The default timer is set for 2 minutes, but this can be changed by using your scroll wheel on your mouse or the up/down arrow keys on the keyboard.
    • The timer automatically starts after a second or so, adjust with the scroll wheel or arrow keys.
    • Press ESC to go back to normal.
  • Ctrl + 4 — Live Zoom
    • Live Zoom allows you to zoom in on your page or document, but without ink tools for annotation.
    • Use this mode if you just want a close up view of something happening on your screen such as a video, animation or activating a link.
    • Press Ctrl + 4 again to get back to normal (turn off Live Zoom).
    • Here is a summary of these other ZoomIt screen modes.

We hope you have fun with the ZoomIt tool. Share your other ideas with us!

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting our schools and learning, Teq is making all of our PD courses on OTIS for educators FREE to help schools and districts implement distance learning and online professional development.

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