Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a lot of symbols that use gradients which end up slowing down performance. Is there any way to disable illustrator from rendering items when they are turned off? It seems that even when I make them not visible illustrator still runs slowly which is why I believe it still does massive amounts of calculations even when they're turned off.

share|improve this question
Are you working with or without smart guides? Is there a single (1) instance of the symbols which ARE visible? What version of Illustrator? What Operating System? – Scott Apr 7 '12 at 18:07
FYI Smart guies are the #1 thing which slows down Illustrator when you have a great many objects. Turning off Smart Guides generally increases performance dramatically. – Scott Apr 7 '12 at 18:15
I don't know anything about smart guides. I'll have to look into it. Even if I hide all instances it still lags. I'm using CS5 for Windows 7. – Johannes Apr 8 '12 at 3:06
You have it easy - in the old days, you'd work in Outline mode and occasionally switch to Preview to get a render. – e100 Apr 10 '12 at 11:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In the Layers Panel flyout menu choose "Panel Options" and turn off thumbnails. Rendering those thumbnails can slow AI to a crawl, and that's what's giving you the problem here.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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