Can You Change The Color Of The Artboard In Illustrator?

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about changing the color of your artboard in Adobe Illustrator.

can you change the color of the artboard in illustrator

What Are Artboards In Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based design software, perfect for creating everything from business cards to intricate digital art.

The artboard is a rectangle or square-shaped digital canvas where all your creative elements come together.

Related: Can You Make A Round Artboard In Illustrator?

The User Interface and Artboard Options

Before we dive into the easy way to change the artboard color, let’s discuss the user interface. Adobe Illustrator is chock-full of various options, including an artboards panel, a layers panel, and a properties panel, which help streamline the design phase.

Why Change the Illustrator Artboard Colour?

Changing the artboard color serves multiple purposes. You may want to improve visibility, meet client requirements, or make your portfolio pop with different colors.

How To Change Artboard Color In Illustrator?

So, can you change the color of the artboard in Illustrator?

Yes — You can change the color of the artboard in Illustrator and you can change it to any color.

The easiest way to change the artboard color in Illustrator is to select File > Document Setup. Under the section Transparency And Overprint Option, click the color tile and change the color. Then, tick the Simulate Colored Paper option.

1. Via Background Color Using the Rectangle Tool

First, select the Rectangle Tool from the left toolbar or use the M keyboard shortcut. Then, draw a rectangle to cover the entire artboard.

Choose a color using the color picker or the color palette. Finally, lock the background layer in the layers panel to avoid accidental changes, such as duplicated layers.

select rectangle tool from toolbar

2. Quick Ways Via Layers

Open the Layers panel by going to the top menu bar and selecting Windows > Layers.

open layers panel from window menu

Create a new layer in the Layers panel

create new layer in layers panel in illustrator

Then move this new layer to the bottom. Next, follow the steps you took with the Rectangle Tool, choosing a fill color this time.

3. Via Document Setup Menu

Go to the File menu and click on Document Setup.

select file on top menu and document setup in drop-down menu

Navigate to the transparency and overprint options, and tick the Simulate Colored Paper option. Then, hit the OK button.

simulate colored paper to change illustrator artboard colors

You can show the transparency grid to view a transparent background. A gradient background can be made using the color wheel in the color palette.

How to Reset Illustrator Artboard to Original Color

If you’re unhappy with the new color, unlock the layer in the layers panel and press Command + Delete to remove the rectangle.

Navigate to the artboard options dialog box for more settings, such as grid color and canvas color.

When exporting, the color of the artboard doesn’t change in the exported Illustrator file unless the colored background is included.

FAQs To Change Artboard Color In Illustrator

How Do I Change The Background Color Outside The Artboard In Illustrator?

Here’s how to change the background color outside the artboard in Illustrator:

  1. Go to Preferences: Navigate to the Edit menu in the overhead menu bar and click on Preferences.
  2. Choose User Interface: Within the Preferences menu, select the User Interface option.
  3. Select Canvas Color: Here, you’ll see an option for Canvas Color. Choose the color of your choice.
  4. Apply Changes: Click on the OK button to apply the changes and close the dialog box.

Important Tips

  • The color change will not affect your exported Illustrator file format.
  • You can switch back to the original color by following the same steps and choosing the default color.

What Is The Shortcut For Artboard Color In Illustrator?

Unfortunately, Adobe Illustrator does not provide a built-in keyboard shortcut specifically to change the artboard color. You can, however, create actions and assign your own shortcuts for quicker access to this feature.

Customizing Your Own Shortcut

  1. Open Actions Panel: Navigate to ‘Window’ in the menu bar and select ‘Actions’.
  2. Create New Action: In the Actions panel, click on the ‘New Action’ button.
  3. Assign Function: Record the steps you usually take to change the artboard color.
  4. Set Shortcut: Assign a keyboard shortcut to this new action for future use.

How Do I Change The Background Color In Illustrator?

Here are the steps to change the background color in Illustrator:

  1. Select Rectangle Tool: You can select the Rectangle Tool from the toolbar or just press the ‘M’ key as a keyboard shortcut.
  2. Draw Rectangle: Draw a rectangle that perfectly fits the size of your artboard.
  3. Color Picker or Palette: You can choose your desired background color from the Color Picker or the Color Palette.
  4. Lock the Layer: After setting the background color, go to the Layers Panel and lock the layer to prevent any accidental changes

Alternative Method via Document Setup

  1. Go to File Menu: Head to ‘File’ and then click on ‘Document Setup’.
  2. Transparency Section: Here, look for the Transparency section.
  3. Simulate Colored Paper Setting: Enable the ‘Simulate Colored Paper’ setting and choose your color.
  4. Confirm with OK: Finally, click the ‘OK’ button to apply the settings.

Useful Info

  • The Rectangle Tool method adds a colored rectangle to the artboard, which will appear in your exported files.
  • The Document Setup method won’t affect your exported files but changes the appearance of the artboard within Illustrator.

Why Is My Artboard All White?

If your artboard in Adobe Illustrator appears all white, there could be a variety of reasons. Here are some possibilities:

Color Mode

The color mode could be set to a white background by default. Illustrator often starts with a white artboard background to make it easier to see colored objects.

Rectangle Layer

It’s possible that a white rectangle has been placed over the artboard, making it appear entirely white. You can verify this by checking your Layers Panel.

Transparency Grid

If you’ve toggled the Show Transparency Grid option off, then the default white background of the artboard will show.

How Do I Get Rid Of The White Background On My Artboard In Illustrator?

If you’re looking to get rid of the white background on your artboard in Adobe Illustrator, there are quick ways to do so.

Rectangle Tool Method

  1. Locate the Rectangle Layer: Check your Layers Panel to find the rectangle layer that’s covering your artboard.
  2. Delete the Layer: Select the rectangle and hit the Delete key.

Transparency Grid

  1. View Menu: Go to the View Menu at the top of the Illustrator user interface.
  2. Toggle Show Transparency Grid: Choose the ‘Show Transparency Grid’ option to toggle it on or off.

Why Is My Artboard Background White In Illustrator?

If you’re wondering why your artboard background is white in Adobe Illustrator, it’s often because of the default settings.

Software Defaults

Adobe Illustrator usually sets the artboard to a white background when creating a new document through the New Document Dialog Box. This makes it easier to view different colors and shapes while you design.

User Preferences

It’s possible that the white background was set manually, either by you or someone else who used the software before you. These preferences can be changed in the Document Setup Menu under the File Menu option.

How Do I Get Rid Of The White Canvas In Illustrator?

Getting rid of the white canvas in Adobe Illustrator is a straightforward process. Here’s how you can do it:

Use Transparency Grid

  1. Navigate to the View Menu: Located in the overhead menu, click on the “View” option.
  2. Toggle Transparency Grid: Choose ‘Show Transparency Grid’ to remove the white background, displaying a transparent grid instead.

Remove White Rectangle

  1. Go to the Layers Panel: You’ll find this on the right-hand side of your user interface.
  2. Find the White Rectangle: If there’s a white rectangle layer, select it.
  3. Press Delete: Hit the ‘Delete’ key to remove the rectangle.

Key Insight: Using the Transparency Grid helps if you’re designing for digital platforms where a transparent background might be needed.

How Do I Change the Color of My White Artboard in Illustrator?

If you want to change the color of your white artboard in Adobe Illustrator, follow these steps:

Use Rectangle Tool for New Background

  1. Select Rectangle Tool: You can either find this in the left toolbar or use the keyboard shortcut ‘M’.
  2. Cover Artboard: Draw a rectangle that completely covers your white artboard.
  3. Choose Color: Open the color palette and select a color of your choice.
  4. Lock the Layer: In the Layers Panel, lock the layer so it doesn’t get mistakenly edited.

Document Setup Method

  1. Open Document Setup: Go to the File menu and select ‘Document Setup’.
  2. Find Transparency Section: Navigate to the ‘Transparency’ section.
  3. Simulate Colored Paper Option: Select the ‘Simulate Colored Paper’ setting, then choose the color you want.

How Do I Remove Color From Artboard In Illustrator?

If you’ve added a color to your artboard and want to revert to the original color, follow these steps:

Rectangle Method

  1. Unlock the Background Layer: Navigate to the Layers Panel and unlock the colored rectangle layer if it’s locked.
  2. Delete the Rectangle: Click on the rectangle to select it, then hit the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard.

Document Setup Method

  1. Open Document Setup: Navigate to the File menu, then choose ‘Document Setup’.
  2. Transparency Section: Find the ‘Transparency’ section and uncheck the ‘Simulate Colored Paper’ option.

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