Why so few modules with zoom hotkeys?

I’ve gotten quite used to Vassal now and have gotten a few games under my belt. However one thing I find quite puzzling- why do so few modules not have zoom hotkeys? To me zooming in and out is a vital part of the Vassal experience. Zoom out to get the “big picture” or zoom in to better read small text on cards/ counters, or even just to admire the artwork.

Thankfully not every module has this omission, but I still find why such a basic function isn’t more widely used.

When you add Zoom capability to a window, it does not set hot keys. The editor has to put them in.

If you want to add hot keys to your own personalized version of a module it should be easy to do.
If you ENSURE your hot key is unique to any other in the module. just add the keys to your version module.
It should work fine and be transparent to the other players, since zoom only effects your view…

Did I say the hotkey you select MUST be UNIQUE from any other key commands. the command will get sent to everyone playing. But if it does nothing on their end no problem.

open the module in the editor go to the “map” you want to have the feature.
“Map” can also be a chart that has a zoom feature.
select “Zoom capability”
type in your hot keys
you will have to do this for each “map” the 3 commands can be the same on all the maps.
click ‘OK’
save the module. I suggest save with new variation of the module name.

Test and make sure the module doesn’t blow up, your or opponents game.

If I change a module and add hotkeys for the zoom function, do the other players need my saved module in order to play against me?


I’m not an expert but based I what I know, whilst the first statement is correct, the HotKey Command itself does not get sent to other players. What gets sent is the changes to the game state. In the case of map zoom, there is no change, so nothing will get sent.

You can safely add your own zoom hotkeys (and even extra zoom levels) to any module, and it won’t disrupt the module for multiplayer play (because zoom levels only relate to display, not to “game state”).

Note that if the module gets upgraded and you download the new version, you will of course need to add your keys back in manually (but if your module is being actively maintained, consider emailing the maintainer and see if they’ll add them in for good!)


This is an interesting thread. I, for one, never thought about zoom hotkeys before, but I can see now that they could be useful.

Actually, what would be amazing would be to have the mouse wheel zooming in and out, like, say, in Tabletop Simulator!

Anyway, back to topic: what hotkeys would you recommend for zooming in and out? It must be something that is not easy to hit by mistake, but also something easy to use/remember and keyboard layout independent (english vs italian vs french keyboard etc).

Ctrl+mouse wheel does zoom in and out. It has since 3.4.0.

And as far as recommended keys – I’d suggest some version of the square bracket keys [ and ]? If the plain ones are already taken by rotating in your module (they’re the default for a new Can Rotate trait), you can do Ctrl+[ or Ctrl+] maybe?

Unfortunately, [ and ] are not straightforward on an Italian keyboard, say (need alt gr combo).

But great to hear about crtl mouse wheel: no real need for hotkeys, after all, perhaps :slight_smile: