The title says it all.

What is the dark part that extends beyond the image called?

Dark background Photoshop interface


This is called the Document Window


Alex's answer is kind of right, but the area specifically is called the canvas and the canvas makes up the document window. You can see this when you are choosing a custom color for it, Photoshop calls it the Custom Canvas Color -- though I'll be the first to admit that it's kind of a misleading name considering the image itself also can be called a canvas. Sometimes people specify by calling the area extending beyond the image the background canvas.

You can see people refer to it as such as well when you google how to change the canvas background color and here's one from the Photo SE

enter image description here


Since there seems to be some confusion, the term Photoshop chose is "Canvas" but because the image area itself can be, and sometimes is referred to as a canvas, saying "Background canvas" is more appropriate.

  • I refer to that area as the "background canvas" since "canvas" alone often refers to the size of the document (as in the Image > Canvas Size dialog box). – ispaany May 3 '16 at 14:32
  • Right, seems like Adobe is confused about it themselves. Like ispaany says, the canvas size is always the same as the image size, yet they call the background color the canvas color. – Larry Lawless May 3 '16 at 15:19
  • @ispaany Right. I was sure to mention that in my answer. I too prefer that term. – Hanna May 3 '16 at 18:58
  • @Larry Lawless, yup! I think it's a weird term, but it does seem to be the "official" term :) – Hanna May 3 '16 at 18:58

Photoshop CC has helped us define terms that were already used in illustrator before. It's not all set in stone, as Johannes was saying, but the "image" as you called it is now called an artboard.

That being said, I don't like calling the background area the "document window" because "window" has a connotation of the entire application.

Final answer: The background area behind the artboard should either be called Canvas or Canvas Background.

You can see the canvas can actually be painted on, and sits on what I further dubbed the cavas background. enter image description here

  • 1
    What is now an artboard in CC has always been called the canves (i.e Change Canvas Size...) so I don't think calling it the canvas is very good. Canvas background makes more sense though I guess. – Cai May 3 '16 at 14:39
  • It's true that it used to be called canvas, but I like that it's now more consistent with the way Illustrator and InDesign work, with artboards/pages as foreground on a larger canvas and I think that holding on to its old terminology is more of a hindrance than a help. – Peacockerie May 3 '16 at 14:47
  • 1
    Since I use CS6 and regularly "Change Canvas Size" I wouldn't call it a hindrance ;) – Cai May 3 '16 at 14:54
  • True dat. I sometimes forget about older versions of adobe when I make my comments, which is probably not the best. – Peacockerie May 3 '16 at 15:12
  • We don't draw pixels on it though. I think the canvas is the painting area, the black background should be called the table or wall. – Larry Lawless May 3 '16 at 15:21

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