I am attempting to print a simple map from QGIS in portrait orientation. When I use the "Add New Map" tool it brings the map in at an extent which matches my original data frame if I were to use landscape orientation. See below:

However, when I set it to portrait, even if I do so before I add the map, it zooms out drastically and places my area of interest at the bottom end of the map.

Now, a bit of researching has revealed that I could zoom into the area I am interested in with my mouse's scroll wheel. However, my mouse does not have a scroll wheel. In addition, the Ctrl++ shortcut that works in the rest of QGIS does not work in Print Composer. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Heh, didn't mean to bring this question back to the front page by editing it, oh well.
    – jvangeld
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 22:25

5 Answers 5


I assume you're trying to zoom within the map frame, not zoom the composer itself (for which you use the magnifying glass buttons).

If you select the map frame and click the 'Item' tab, then the 'Extents' accordion, you can adjust the map extents. You can also use the 'Set to map canvas extent' to set it from the extents of the main QGIS window (roughly; if the canvas and the map frame have differing aspect ratios, the extents won't be exactly the same).

  • Awesome, that did it for me. It also helped me figure out how to change the text of a label.
    – jvangeld
    Commented Jun 18, 2011 at 4:16

You can also use the 'Move Item Content' button, which looks like this:

enter image description here

This will allow you to move the map frames contents without needing to go back to the map window. You can also zoom in and out with the scroll wheel (which unfortunately you don't have).

You can change the scale by selecting the item tab and altering the scale numerically.

  • That is a good reminder. I found that button already.
    – jvangeld
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 4:10

For people looking for this in QGIS 3: The answer of James S is basically still valid but the Icon of the "Move item Content" has changed in the mean time and looks now like this: enter image description here (in this case with black background because I use a black theme in QGIS)


Holding Ctrl while scrolling the mouse does the trick for me.

However, you'll need to select the "move item content" tool. If you hold "Ctrl + roll your mouse wheel" without clicking on the "move item content" tool, it's your canvas that will be zoomed not the map item.


For those of us using a Mac, you can hold down the fn key and use the up/down arrows to zoom in and out, respectively. Zooming with the mouse wheel is pretty sensitive, so I prefer the keyboard shortcuts.

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