If I select a single point in a table and then use a map to zoom to selection, then it zooms out the whole world.
? Right-click on the layer's table, choose Zoom to Selection. That does not zoom to the whole world, just to the selected point. I'm glad you found a solution, but the above is so off that it merits some discussion.
A map consists of layers, each of which is a drawing, image, or labels layer. When you select a record in a table for a geom that is a point, there will be a corresponding selection in the drawing created from that geom.
To zoom to that selection, you have to right-click onto the layer tab for the drawing that is created from that geom and then choose Zoom to Selection. This is a good thing, because it allows you to have different selections in different drawings that may be in the map and then zoom to the selection for the layer of interest.
The above is a pretty simple deal, but there are, of course, ways to force unexpected results. I can think of two, one of which is simply inattentiveness that can happen to any human person, and the other is a result of one of those dark practices that can catch the righteous unaware:
1. Is only one record selected?
Ctrl-click in a table toggles the selection status of a record. It's like Ctrl-clicking a file in Windows Explorer to toggle whether it is picked or not. Toggling selection of a record with a Ctrl-click does not de-select all other selected records. When picking records out of a table, people sometimes select multiple records and then, because they see only one record selected in the view, forget they have selected others as well. [Personally, I think the Status Bar should show a "Selected: " readout when something is selected (but not show it if zero items are selected) in a table or window. ] To be sure you can always clear the selection with a Select None or a Shift-Ctrl-A shortcut.
Anyway, if you have multiple points selected and those are widely spread out, a Zoom to Selection might give the impression of zooming to the whole world. That's not wrong, it's just the system doing what has been commanded.
2. The Dark Side of the Force: Multipoints. The documentation discourages the use of multipoints for the very good reason that they often cause chaos. If the single record you selected is a multipoint, when you issue a layer tab context menu command to Zoom to Selection, you of course will get what you commanded, a zoom to a display that encompasses the entire multipoint.
There are times when it is easy to convince oneself that for a specific, limited purpose, using multipoints is a good idea. For example, when creating point equivalents to areas so you can have multiple geoms in the same record you might want to use a multipoint. The main geom is an area, another geom has the centroid of the area, a third geom has the bounding box of the area as an area and a fourth geom might have the bounding box of the area as a multipoint, with what seems to be a "point" at each of the four corners of the bounding box. Select that record and Zoom to Selection in a layer that is the drawing made from the bounding box multipoint geoms and you get a Zoom that displays the extent of the bounding box.
If the bounding box is big, it can seem you've zoomed to the whole world. There are plenty of military data sets, evolved from data originally created for very primitive hardware, where there are such multipoint artifacts.
It should maintain the current scale and pan to place the point at the centre of the view.
I respectfully disagree, as what you describe would be a "Pan to Selection" and not a "Zoom to Selection." The current command is really a "Zoom and Pan to Selection", but the Zoom part of it is an essential part.
Consider a thought experiment to see why:
You have a layer that shows tens of thousand points, say, fire hydrants in a big city, or all oak trees in a big mixed forest area. You have a view that shows a few thousand of the points. You pick one of them in a table, and then in the drawing you right-click on the layer tab and choose Zoom to Selection. If it pans while maintaining the current scale, you can get an imperceptible shift in the display given the very many points in view. In contrast, if it also zooms to center the selected point, you can see it better.