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Is there a way to hide the pasteboard in Illustrator CS5 so I only see whats in the Artboard area?

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You can get a very quick, non destructive view of just the artboard area using the Navigator:

Go to Window -> Navigator and turn it on.

It's not as handy as InDesign's Preview or Presentation modes, but is is pretty handy.

EDIT: In response to @Scott's comment, here are sample screen shots of how my custom [F9] key shortcut looks in practice.

Before: Lots of stuff outside the artboard:

Lots of stuff outside the artboard.

After: I press [F9] and artboard flotsam be gone!

rtboard flotsam be gone!

Hacking the Navigator in this way is not perfect, but it does the trick and is virtually instant.

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That only effects the preview within the Navigator panel though, right? – Scott Nov 28 '13 at 23:04
Yes, just the simple preview. I find it useful when there's a lot of pasteboard flotsam. Just crank up the size of the Navigator pallet and there it is. I have a custom keyboard command (F9 key) that pops the Navigator open for me. I hit COMMAND (or CTRL) + 0 then F9 for a perfectly centered, artboard only view. – TunaMaxx Nov 28 '13 at 23:39


By default there is no way to hide anything outside the artboard.

However Carlos Canto has written a script and posted it int eh Adobe Forums. Check this thread at Adobe

In case of link-rot here's Carlos' script:

    #target Illustrator

// = preview_CS4_CS5.V1.0.jsx;
//  script.description = previews the active artboard;
//  script.required = an open document;
//  script.parent = carlos canto // 8/30/11;
//  script.elegant = false;
//  script.credits = inspired by one of Mark Larsen's scripts where he used a snap shot of a selected object in the ScriptUI.
//                             Script made possible by the use of Marc Autret's prototype function to resize an image to fit its container.

//  notes: not the fastest script in town, it takes a couple of seconds to capture the screen. The bigger the artboard, the longer it takes.

//  Mac users: ************************** Press Esc key to dismiss *************************************** , windows too in fact.

if (app.documents.length > 0)
        // thanks to Marc for writing this amazing function prototype
        Image.prototype.onDraw = function()
            { // written by Marc Autret
                // "this" is the container; "this.image" is the graphic
                if( !this.image ) return;
                var WH = this.size,
                wh = this.image.size,
                k = Math.min(WH[0]/wh[0], WH[1]/wh[1]),
                // Resize proportionally:
                wh = [k*wh[0],k*wh[1]];
                // Center:
                xy = [ (WH[0]-wh[0])/2, (WH[1]-wh[1])/2 ];
                WH = wh = xy = null;

        var idoc = app.activeDocument;
        var img = File('~/Desktop/tempCapture.png'); // image place holder

        var captureOpts = new ImageCaptureOptions; // declare capture options, needed to trun on anti-alias
        captureOpts.matte = true; // to give transparent areas some color. default is white.
        captureOpts.antiAliasing = true; // anti-alias the image
        idoc.imageCapture (img, idoc.artboards[idoc.artboards.getActiveArtboardIndex()].artboardRect,captureOpts); // capture the active artboard

        var w = new Window('dialog','Preview active Artboard - Press Esc key to close'); // create a dialog

        var scr = $.screens[0]; // array of screens, my laptop = screen[0]
        var width = scr.right-scr.left; // get max width
        var height = scr.bottom -; // get max height

        w.size = [width, height]; // size the window

        //var img = File.openDialog ('select file'); // debug test different images
        var imgFrame = w.add('image',undefined,img); // add image container
        imgFrame.helpTip = 'Coded by CarlosCanto';
        imgFrame.title = 'Press Esc key to close';
        imgFrame.titleLayout = { alignment: ['center', 'center'] };

        imgFrame.size = [width-100,height-80]; // size container, a tad smaller than the window; 
        alert ("there are no open documents to preview");
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