I am designing a couple invitation cards on Adobe Illustator using the the sizes 5x7in and 5x3.5in, CMYK mode, 0.125in bleed and 300ppi settings. Normally if I used those settings in Photoshop, my canvas would open up zoomed it to 66%. However while creating a new canvas to work on in Illustartor, I realised that I was immedately zoomed into 300%.

I don't work that often with Illustator so I am not sure if this is normal. However all the files I've opened before (vector/pattern files you can download online) are usually huge and zoomed to 25% or something around that area.

Does anybody know if I did something wrong while creating a new document? Or is there some Illustrator only trick I haven't learned yet? Haha I know Illustrator is vector base so I don't have to worry so much about the quality, but it still worries me a little that I am working on such a tiny file. When I zoom out to 100%, the file looks so tiny!

Here are how the two files look on Photoshop and Illustator. Both using the same settings. It's not so much if your screen or my screen is bigger but rather, why is it such a huge difference in size on both software?

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1 Answer 1


If you set the Illustrator file to be 5x7" then that's what it is. Default zoom level doesn't really mean anything. In fact, the zoom level is saved with the file to the last setting.

With Photoshop, the zoom level depends upon dimensions and PPI. Illustrator has no PPI.

  • Ahh, okay! So is 5x7" not the correct size for an invitation card on Illusatior? Am I suppose to design using bigger sizes? Forgive the noob question but then what exacly am I setting when I choose my Raster Effect to be "High (300 ppi)" in Illusator under the advance settings if Illusator does not have PPI?
    – Eliza Beth
    Jan 14, 2018 at 16:43
  • If you need a 5x7" piece, then you set the artboard to 5x7". I think you are unnecessarily concerned with screen zoom level.. that has nothing to do with anything other than the size you see on your screen. It doesn't actually change anything regarding the artwork. The Document Raster Effects Settings (DRES) control the raster effects within Illustrator, That's why it's in the Effects menu. You know things such as Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow or Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow. The DRES setting has nothing to do with anything else in Illustrator.
    – Scott
    Jan 14, 2018 at 16:58
  • @ElizaBeth Did you even for a moment pause and think: Why would they say raster effect instead of say resolution? Or did you go: Ah there it is, PPI, hat must be the magic thing i need to set?
    – joojaa
    Jan 14, 2018 at 17:10
  • @Scott Okay, got it! Thanks a lot for breaking it down to the basics Scott. I self taught myself the software so there are times where the technical side leaves me a little confused. I've always connected zoom levels WITH the size of my artwork, hence the concern that my artwork is affected. However, you nicely connected pieces I knew with things I didn't know, so working with Illustrator now looks a lot clearer! :D
    – Eliza Beth
    Jan 14, 2018 at 17:27
  • Thank you for your concern, @joojaa. I was following the instructions of a tutorial, that made no mentioned as to WHY and WHAT the raster setting at 300ppi did. Hence when confronted with my zoom concern, I was confuse. Unlike your lovely reply, the commenter above has been kind enough to help explain even despite how basic my question was. But thank you nonetheless for stopping by my question. I hope you have a lovely day. :)
    – Eliza Beth
    Jan 14, 2018 at 17:32

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