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Is there a way to change the colour of this gray area? I would like it to be white. I like to use this area as a mood board, so it helps if I am working with the same background colour.

enter image description here

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can change it in the settings:

Cmd + K ( ctrl + k in windows ) and in there the User interface tab.

enter image description here

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Another alternative where you can switch in and out of it being white or grey (e.g. if you want to focus on your work, then focus on the mood board items around it):

Turn on Overprint Preview (View > Overprint Preview).

This turns the background white - then, it reverts to the default when you turn it off. Slightly more convenient for toggling than preferences.


Overprint Preview is also used if you have overprinting settings and you want to preview them, but if you're using overprinting, you probably already know about that... If you've not set anything to overprint, it makes for a handy way to easy switch in and out of having a white background.

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Also if you find the periphery suddenly goes white and Overprint Preview isn't the culprit, check View > Show Artboards

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Sometimes the separations preview can affect the background also Window>Separations Preview. Turn on and off the check box. It's actually great way of checking your artwork for spot colours etc as well.

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Hi Mike, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Jan 15 at 13:13

Try (ctrl + shift + H) it turns everything outside the artboard white. It worked with me in illustrator cs6 and cc.

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Go to View > Pixel Preview! BG gets changed from white to gray again.

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Please add a screenshot to show what you mean. Welcome to GD.SE! – Kurt Mar 28 at 15:05

Sometimes when my Overprint Preview goes white, I change back to Pixel View and the background goes back to grey again.n

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How does this answer the question? – Darth_Vader Sep 24 '15 at 13:37

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