I have an illustrator document with many artboards. Almost all the artwork is white and needs to be exported as (transparent) pngs. In order to see the artwork I have to put a large grey rectangle behind everything, however if I forget hide this rectangle before I export I end up either accidentally exporting artwork with a grey background or having to cancel and return to my document, hide the rectangle and go through the export dialogue. I am constantly using/tweaking and exporting, so this is really starting to get annoying.

I have tried unchecking 'print' for the layer containing the grey rectangle but it still shows up when I export. I have also tried setting the paper colour of the document but this effects the colour of the artwork.

Is there something I'm missing?

1 Answer 1


Try This...

  1. File > Document Set Up
  2. Click each of the color boxes you see there in the Transparency section. There are 2. document setup
  3. The color picker will pop up when you click the color box
  4. Set both boxes to the grey you want to use for the background.
  5. Click OK
  6. Now choose View > Show Transparency Grid from the menu.

This will show you a grey background on the artboard but the grey will not export.

  • Glad I could help :)
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 18, 2012 at 21:23
  • My usecase is opposite, I want to export the colour of grid that shows up in artboard but vanishes when I export it. Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 13:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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