I want to set the zoom level in TextEdit to a precise value so that the on-screen display has the same size as the printout. The "Zoom in" and "Zoom out" controls are too coarse for this.

2 Answers 2


The following workaround does at least provide a fixed user-settable zoom (TextEdit 1.13, OS X 10.13.6 [High Sierra]).

  • Create and save a blank TextEdit doc (maybe make it Stationery via Finder Info)
  • Open the doc in TextEdit (don't use "Open Recent") and select the Option button to "ignore rich text commands". (Or, open it in some text editor which doesn't do RTF.)
  • Add the command \viewscaleNNN in the header material; or, preferably, the command string \margl1440\margr1440\vieww16140\viewh20440\viewkind1\viewscale140

This does the following: set the left margin to 1 inch (1440 units, whatever they are), the right margin similarly, the window width and height to big enough that the doc will open showing a full page (otherwise you get the middle of the page but not the edges), the "viewkind" command (use 1 as shown for Page Layout view, called "Wrap to Page" in TextEdit), and finally the viewscaleNNN command, with "NNN" here being "140" setting the zoom to 140%, which is what is needed on my particular setup; experiment to find the percentage you like. These and many more RTF commands may be found here.

  • Finally, save the doc and use it as stationery.
  • Re-posting my original misformatted "question" as an actual question and answer. I hope this passes muster as being on-topic. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 1:47

TextEdit (and most other Apple apps, like Pages, etc) has an "Actual Size" menu item in the View menu.

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