Modifications of chromatin structure are one of the key mechanisms regulating epigenetic gene expression. Proteins involved in chromatin modification mainly function as large multi-subunit complexes, and each component in the complex contributes to the function and activity of the complex. However, little is known about the structures of whole complexes and the mechanisms by which the chromatin modifying complexes function, the functional roles of each component in the complexes, and how the complexes recognize the central unit of chromatin, the nucleosome. This lack of information is partially due to the lack of structural information for whole complexes. Recent advances in cryo-EM have begun to reveal the structures of whole chromatin modifying complexes that enable us to understand the big picture of chromatin biology. In this review, we discuss the recent discoveries related to the mechanisms of chromatin modifying complexes.