Abstract We have performed simulations to investigate the variable focusing and scanning capability of metallic nano-slit configurations. In a symmetric nanorod configuration inside an aperture with adjustable offset of the center rod, the focal position is found to be variable in the 0.5–3.5 μm range. In a ladder configuration of the rods, the transmitted beam is found to be deflected up to 23°. Horizontal displacement of rods allows for finer control of angular scanning up to 4°. Such slit geometries offer the potential to be controlled by using nano-positioning systems for applications in dynamic beam shaping and scanning on the nanoscale.