The ZnO thin film was deposited on a glass substrate by a RF reactive magnetron sputtering method. Results showed that plasma density, electron temperature, deposition rate and estimated ion bombardment energy increase with increasing applied RF power. Three distinct power regimes were observed, which are strongly correlated with plasma properties. In the low-power regime, the largest grain size was observed due to slow deposition rate. In the medium-power regime, the smallest grain size was found, which is attributed to insufficient time for the adatoms to migrate on substrate surface. In the high-power regime, relatively larger grain size was found due to very large ion bombardment energy which enhances the thermal migration of adatoms. Regardless of pure ZnO thin film or ZnO on glass, high transmittance (> 80%) in the visible region can be generally observed. However, the film thickness plays a more important role for controlling optical properties, especially in the UV region, than the applied RF power. In general, with properly coated ZnO thin film, we can obtain a glass substrate which is highly transparent in the visible region, is of good anti-UV characteristics, and is highly hydrophobic, which is highly suitable for applications in the glass industry.