Recently, I've found that when using the pinch-to-zoom motion with the trackpad while reading a PDF in Chrome, I no longer get the preferred behavior: Chrome's zoom ticking up discretely by 25% or so. Instead, I get a continuous "screen-zoom" effect (similar to holding Control and scrolling), inside the Chrome window (as opposed to the actual screen-zoom, which is independent of the application). Chrome's usual zoom controls still work, but I have to access them either by keyboard shortcut or clicking the respective buttons.

There are several down-sides: the resolution does not update, so my zoomed-in PDF is unnecessarily grainy, and I cannot use horizontal scrolling to navigate, only vertical. Further, the zoom happens wherever the cursor is, rather than centered in the page. Finally, there is a fixed upper bound to how far I can zoom in. This is all rather strange and unwieldily; how can I recover the original behavior?

I am using OSX 10.9.5, and the most recent version of Chrome. All four "Scroll and Zoom" options under Trackpad in System Preferences are active. If I deactivate 'Pinch to zoom', instead of recovering the old behavior, nothing happens when I pinch.

Thanks for your help!


As a "workaround" to this issue, you can download BetterTouchTool and remap these gestures in Chrome:

  • A "pinch in" to ⌘–
  • A "pinch out" to ⌘+

That should "solve" your problem.

  • There is no need to additional software, ⌘+ and ⌘– works properly in Chrome. – mohammadreza Jun 9 '17 at 7:59

As of September 2015, this is a bug in newer versions of Chrome that the Chrome team is aware of. [I do not know the status since then] The alternatives are to use the zoom button in the lower right, a different browser, or take the pdf out of chrome into adobe reader.

  • Is there a way to 'bump' this bug fix request, or options under the hood of Chrome to restore the old behavior? – Eugene Shvarts Feb 3 '16 at 22:22
  • Check out the Chrome bug/feature team's forum about this topic: link ... also, at the bottom of said forum a contributor posts a link to an extension that mimic the same user interface behavior. – mehmetic Feb 4 '16 at 23:06
  • Thanks! Good to know that the Chrome team has been on it for as long as I've known about it. I'm trying out the extension for now. – Eugene Shvarts Feb 4 '16 at 23:42

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