I'm baffled I've not found an answer to this on Google.

I want to be able to zoom in / magnify parts of screens when recording tutorial videos. On my Mac I just turned on the zoom accessibility feature and could zoom in and out with control button + scroll wheel.

I can't find an equivalent feature in Ubuntu 18.04 when using Simple Screen Recorder. I see magnify in accessibility but this is either on or off, so not much help and would not result in a nice seamless video.

Is there such a setting or tool? I know I can zoom in in the edit but that's a real faff.


Update #1

18.04, Ubuntu, not virtual. Using Simple Screen Recorder.

  • I've still not found anything...
    – Roger06
    Mar 6, 2020 at 9:48
  • are you on GNOME or Unity? Mar 6, 2020 at 16:21

3 Answers 3


A review of the app you use, Simple Screen Recorder shows it's not listed as a feature in that app.

Therefore. please use the Zoom component of the Universal Access features as described in https://help.ubuntu.com/stable/ubuntu-help/a11y-mag.html.en :

  • Open the Activities overview and start typing Universal Access.
  • Click on Universal Access to open the panel.
  • Press on Zoom in the Seeing section.
  • Switch the Zoom switch in the top-right corner of the Zoom Options window to on.

You can now move around the screen area. By moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, you will move the magnified area in different directions, allowing you to view your area of choice.

  • I'm using Gnome. I don't really see this as a feature of the screen recorder. A screen recorder just records on the screen, the OS should allow me to zoom in and out. It's so easy on a Mac, I'm surprised there doesn't seem to be an equivalent for Linux, for accessibility if nothing else.
    – Roger06
    Mar 9, 2020 at 19:40
  • I am NOT looking for this feature in a screen recorder! I am wondering if there's a way to zoom in / magnify a portion of the screen using the scroll wheel of a mouse. Whether it's been recorded or not is irrelevant - I often want to zoom in to a screen to see something better or perhaps highlight a particular area.
    – Roger06
    Mar 10, 2020 at 15:50
  • @Roger06 - I know this is 18 months after you asked, but (in case you haven’t worked out how) - zoom in /out in a window by holding down ctrl and scrolling the mouse wheel, or on a laptop hold down ctrl and slide 2 fingers up / down the touchpad.
    – Will
    Oct 25, 2021 at 16:00

It may not be much help (now) but the Unity desktop and Compiz has this feature. I am on Ubuntu 20.04 and will upgrade to 22.04 when it is available but I will be sticking with Unity mostly because of its ability to do mouse wheel zoom. All right I do like 'wobbly windows' as well, and, yes, desktop cube! In the CompizConfig Settings Manager look in 'Accessibility and then Enhanced Desktop Zoom.

CompizConfig settings manager enhanced zoom desktop


Install the Compiz window manager and zoom in/out with the mouse wheel:

sudo apt install compizconfig-settings-manager

This Magnify works like Linux Mint Cinnamon Magnifying or Linux Lite Magnifying using mouse.

I found that it also works on Ubuntu Mate just replace the macro with compiz.

If you want to change the settings, go to MATE TweakWindowsWindow manager → select Compiz → click CCSMAccessibilityEnable enhanced zoom Desktop.

Then you should have:

  • Super+mouse wheel up = zoom in
  • Super+mouse wheel down = zoom out

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