I am a programmer working on a chart component that allows to drill down on selection of a node. Drilling down will show the details of that node (like its children etc.). But I am struggling to find out a word to describe the opposite of drilling down. "Drill up" sounds wrong. Does anyone have a nifty little word that conveys the opposite of "drilling down"? Something to convey the action of moving from something more specific to something more general.

  • Not every other sentence must end in a question mark ? And there is never , never a whitespace before the question mark or a period ? Come on , you 've been on the site for so long , you should know better .
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 10:29
  • @REGDWIGHТ Thanks for pointing . I edited the question.
    – Geek
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 10:33
  • 1
    And you have undone all of Reg's good work.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 10:34
  • @AndrewLeach oops blame it on the concurrency handling of the site..His edits were not visible to me
    – Geek
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 10:37
  • I can think of one phrase which involves a rotating tool followed by the word 'up', but it's probably not appropriate.
    – Simon
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 13:47

5 Answers 5


Drill up is indeed what is used in a large number of instances. Here's an example.

However you could use zoom out to get the larger picture of the data.

  • 1
    I'd use zoom out.
    – Hugo
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 11:05

Drill up or Roll up can be used as opposite of drill down.It makes use of a decreasing granularity showing things more globally


Probably, you can use reverse drill down (or, reverse drilldown).

I found this on a University of Georgia memo:

The opposite of drill down is reverse drill down where the initial view is at the most granular available level, rather than a summarised view.


Maybe you would like one of these?

"back out", "expand out", "zoom back", "pull back", "unspecify", "despecify", "focus out"

  • I'd add "step back" to this list or "take a few steps back".
    – satur9nine
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 20:33

"Drill up" doesn't make sense. "Roll up" also has diverse, different meanings, and I have never heard it used to mean to encompass a more general perspective. "Elevator view" is a good antonym. Less colorful would be "overview." Neither of these is a verb, but no good verb comes to mind.

  • To leave comments on other answers, it's better to use the comment feature directly rather than including them in your answer. Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 21:29

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