In the present work, the effects of the intense laser field on total optical absorption coefficient (the linear and third-order nonlinear) and total refractive index change for transition between two lower-lying electronic levels in the step-like GaAs/Ga1-xAlxAs quantum well under external electric and magnetic fields are investigated. The calculations were performed within the compact density-matrix formalism with the use of the effective mass and parabolic band approximations. The obtained results show that both total absorption coefficient and refractive index change are sensitive to the well dimensions and the effects of external fields. By changing the intensities of the electric, magnetic and non-resonant intense laser fields together with the well dimensions, we can obtain the blue or red shift, without the need for the growth of many different samples. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.