January 20, 2013

Catch browser's "zoom" event in JavaScript

Question by user123093

Is it possible to detect, using JavaScript, when the user changes the zoom in a page?
I simply want to catch a “zoom” event and respond to it (similar to window.onresize event).


Answer by Ian Elliott

There’s no way to actively detect if there’s a zoom. I found a good entry here on how you can attempt to implement it.

I’ve found two ways of detecting the
zoom level. One way to detect zoom
level changes relies on the fact that
percentage values are not zoomed. A
percentage value is relative to the
viewport width, and thus unaffected by
page zoom. If you insert two elements,
one with a position in percentages,
and one with the same position in
pixels, they’ll move apart when the
page is zoomed. Find the ratio between
the positions of both elements and
you’ve got the zoom level. See test

You could also do it using the tools of the above post. The problem is you’re more or less making educated guesses on whether or not the page has zoomed. This will work better in some browsers than other.

There’s no way to tell if the page is zoomed if they load your page while zoomed.

Answer by Starx

There is a nifty plugin built from yonran that can do the detection. Here is his previously answered question on StackOverflow. It works for most of the browsers. Application is as simple as this:

window.onresize = function onresize() {
  var r = DetectZoom.ratios();
  zoomLevel.innerHTML =
    "Zoom level: " + r.zoom +
    (r.zoom !== r.devicePxPerCssPx
        ? "; device to CSS pixel ratio: " + r.devicePxPerCssPx
        : "");


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