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In compiz the "fit zoomed area to window" is pretty neat. It will zoom in so that a given windows covers the full screen.

What I'm missing here is a way to zoom out back to the default level.

I.e. if I'm zoomed in N%, how can I simply get back to 0% zoom?

I have a key to zoom out; but I need to press it a whole bunch of times which is not what I want.

I've also figured out that if I set "zoom level" to it's maximum (3.0), then my zoom out key does bring it back to 0%. But now the zoom in key goes too close and is unusable. I'm hoping there's a cleaner way to do this (one where I don't have to disable other functionality).

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Yes you can! You will need CompizConfig installed:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager  

Open it up and search for zoom in the top left search bar.

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Switch to the "specific zoom" tab and click "disabled", under "Zoom Specific Level 1":

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Check the "enabled" checkbox and then click "Grab key combination" to set your desired shortcut. Click "OK".

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Make sure that "Specific zoom factor" is set to 1.00.

You're done!

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