Sign up ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It is practically impossible to edit a white illustration on the default white artboard background.

Hiding the artboard makes the whole work area receive the artboard's white color.

Is there a way to change the color of the artboard in Illustrator CC?

share|improve this question
I would also like to know if there's a way to do this. In the meantime what I do is make a rectangle or square shape that covers the artboard's dimensions, fill with the colour I want for background and lock it so I can work over it. – Alis Klar May 11 '14 at 12:31
Related:… – SOIA May 11 '14 at 19:41
Change your Grid preferences to have black gridlines every 1 pixel. It's not perfect but it works. – Simon Woodside Nov 8 at 5:43

4 Answers 4

You can "tweak" the artboard color by this way:

Select File->Document Setup...

On the popup window you will have Transparency sub-menu:

enter image description here

Choose the upper color (I set it to rose) and Mark "Simulate Colored Paper" -

You will get this image -

enter image description here

There is no any other layers except of text ones...

share|improve this answer
Unfortunately, that doesn't help with this question, which is how to make white visible. White text will disappear against the artboard, regardless of its color. – Alan Gilbertson May 11 '14 at 20:28
@alangilbertson i dont delete the answer because of your very interesting comment – Ilan May 12 '14 at 6:19
Thanks for the answer. This is pretty nifty otherwise, but as mentioned I have a problem editing white vectors, so this approach does not remedy that. – kontur May 12 '14 at 11:16
This may have been obvious to others, but the help I needed was both the above, and the information to go to "View->Turn On Transparency Grid" -- then, you can darken the transparency grid with the above and white becomes evident enough to work with. – AC Capehart Oct 20 '14 at 17:38
Personally, when working with white objects and transparency I'll use the transparency grid rather than simulating colored paper (maybe add a bit about how to enable the transparency grid?). Good answer. – justinthrelkeld Nov 6 '14 at 19:27

There's no simple way that I know of.

You can, however, create a rectangle of the same dimensions as the artboard, change its colour to one that works better, move it to the back (Command/Control+Shift+[) - or even to a lower layer - and lock it.

It's not a perfect solution, I know, but it works for me.

share|improve this answer

The short answer is no, you can't, but there is a reason for that which becomes apparent the moment you look at a CMYK "white" swatch. It's 0% everything: no ink.

White, to Illustrator, is not a color or a mixture of colors, it is an absence of ink. Even if you're working with an RGB document, that's still the way Illustrator thinks about color: white = absence.

When setting a layout to be printed with white pigment, such as for screen printing on clothing, or product labels that are printed directly onto glass or plastic, the artwork is usually submitted as black or a faux spot color with instructions to print using white. It's similar to the way that spot varnish is specified on a layout. The important thing is that it will separate on its own plate, not what color it appears to be on the screen.

That's why ilan's solution won't work for you. If you simulate colored paper, then anything white will still disappear, because that's how Illustrator shows you that the paper will show through -- there's no pigment.

Your two solutions are to put a colored rectangle on a non-printing layer beneath your artwork, or temporarily change all your white fills or strokes to something visible for editing purposes, then change it back when you're ready to save.

share|improve this answer
The parts here about color handling aren't quite correct. Illustrator isn't a print-specific product and will define and treat white as a color (see the behavior during an export to .png). The mapping of white to "paper color" is typically handled in pre-press (via InDesign or similar). The CMYK white swatch is 0%, yes, but that is only because of how the CMYK colorspace works. – justinthrelkeld Nov 6 '14 at 19:04
To add to Alan's answer, if you also set the non-printing background layer to "Template" then if you "Save for Web" it won't include it in the export. – Dan May 12 at 12:39

Just create a box the size you need in pixels the color you want in Illustrator and put it behind your logo and save that and you should get what you need.

share|improve this answer
Which makes object selection hell.. – geotheory Feb 20 at 14:51
Throw it on the bottom layer and lock it up? – sheriffderek Mar 19 at 23:19

protected by Darth_Vader Nov 7 '14 at 14:12

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.