How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

how to make artboard transparent in illustrator

How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

You’ve come to the right place! In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about making your artboard transparent in Adobe Illustrator. How do you know this is the best, most complete guide?

I’ve been in the graphic design industry since 2005, and I’ve got a wealth of Illustrator tips to share.

When it comes to the Illustrator artboard, the default color you see will be white. But that is only shown on your computer. It will never be printed in white, exported, or published in white.

In other words, if you were to export your design with a transparent background, the white artboard would not be shown.

That said, you can change the artboard color, make it transparent, or hide the artboard if you want.

Ready to discover how to make artboard transparent in Illustrator? Let’s get started.

How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

What Is an Artboard in Illustrator?

The first thing to understand is what an artboard is. In Illustrator, an artboard functions like a canvas in painting; it’s the space where your design comes to life.

Traditionally, this space comes with a white background, also known as a white artboard. The color of your artboards can, however, be changed.

Why Transparency Matters in Graphic Design

Having a transparent background versus a solid color background can make a major difference. A transparent artboard gives you the flexibility to place your design over any other image background, offering a seamless integration with other elements.

Initial Document Setup

The first step before you make any artboard transparent is to open a new document. If you’re working with an existing file, that’s fine too. Go to the File Menu at the top of the Adobe Illustrator menu bar and select New for a new project or Open to bring up an existing one.

You can have one artboard or add up to 1000 artboards in Illustrator.

How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

The best way to make an artboard transparent in Illustrator is to go to View > Show Transparency Grid and your Illustrator artboard will become transparent.

Here are the different ways and steps to make your Illustrator artboard transparent:

Method 1: View Menu

Step 1: New File

From the top menu, select File. In the drop-down menu, select New.

start new file on illustrator

In the New Document panel, key in the settings you want and click the Create button. Your new file will appear.

create new document file in illustrator

Step 2: Show Transparent Grid

Next, navigate to the View Menu and click View > Show Transparency Grid.

Or use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + D on Mac.

hide artboard keyboard shortcut shift command d on mac

Or Shift + Ctrl + D on Windows to activate the Show Transparent Grid feature.

hide artboard keyboard shortcut shift ctrld on windows

This will replace the white artboard with a gray grid, signifying a transparent background.

Method 2: Ruler & Grid Via Properties Panel

Step 1: Open Properties Panel

Go to the top menu bar and click on Window. Then, scroll down the drop-down menu and select Properties.

open properties panel from window top menu

Step 2: Transparency Grid

In the Properties Panel, go to the Ruler & Grids section and click on “Click to show Transparency Grid”.

transparent artboard in properties in illustrator

Method 3: Layer Transparency

If you’ve already added elements using the pen tool or rectangle tool, and you want them to be transparent, select them using the Selection Tool. Then, head over to the Properties Panel and adjust the opacity settings. The layers panel will also show these adjustments.

How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

How To Export Your Artwork With Transparent Artboard?

Although your artboard is now transparent, you will still have to export your artwork with the right settings to keep the background transparent. This is because the color and transparency of the artboard do not affect the output of your artwork.

If you wish to have an artwork with transparent background, you can do that in the following ways:

1. PNG Format

Go to File > Export > Export For Screens: Choose PNG as the file format.

Open Format Settings: Under the Formats section, select Advanced Settings For Exported File Types with the gear icon.

Check Transparency Box: In the Format Settings dialog box, select PNG and under the Options settings, Background Color, select Transparent. Then click on the Save Settings button.

Export Artboard: Next, click the Export Artboard button and choose a folder in your computer to save your PNG file.

2. SVG File and Other File Types

For web use or other use cases, exporting in SVG form may be more appropriate. The process is similar to PNG, except you choose SVG as the file type. EPS file format is another option for vector form outputs.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake in this whole process is forgetting to set the background transparent when exporting. Always double-check your PNG options and correct file format before you hit the export button.

Why This Skill Is Essential for Designers

Having mastery over your artboard background, not just the elements you place on it, is crucial for any serious user of Illustrator. This skill can make or break your logo design or any other project.

Additional Tips for Best Results

  • Use keyboard shortcuts like Press Alt + Shift to speed up your workflow.
  • Transparency preferences can be accessed for more detailed control.
  • Always read the terms of service and privacy policy when updating to the latest updates or latest version of Illustrator.

By the end of this guide, you should be well-equipped to make your Illustrator background fully transparent, optimize it for various file types, and avoid common pitfalls. Now, you’re ready to tackle any project that comes your way!

How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

Transparent Artboard In Illustrator: FAQs

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

Sometimes, you might draw a white rectangle as the background, or your imported image might come with a white background. Let’s get that out of your way.

Removing White Background Manually

  1. Select the Background: Use the Selection Tool to click on the white background.
  2. Press Delete: Once the background is selected, hit the delete key.

Using Pathfinder

  1. Select All: Select everything or use the keyboard shortcut Command + A on a Mac or Ctrl + A on Windows.
  2. Open Pathfinder Panel: Go to Window > Pathfinder.
  3. Minus Front: Click the “Minus Front” option in the Pathfinder Panel.
How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

Can You Remove A Background In Illustrator?

Yes — you can absolutely remove a background in Illustrator. Whether it’s a white backdrop or a more complex scene, Illustrator provides different tools for this job.

Pen Tool: For more complex backgrounds, you can manually trace around your object using the Pen tool. Or create a shape with the Shape tool that covers the object you want to keep, select both the object and background, then go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.

How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

Why Is My Artboard All White?

It’s important to distinguish between the artboard and a background layer. Illustrator artboards are essentially transparent. If your artboard appears white, you may have added a white rectangle as a background layer.

Checking for Background Layers

  1. Layers Panel: Open the Layers panel by selecting Window > Layers and check if there’s a layer with a white rectangle that covers the entire artboard. Delete it if necessary.
  2. Document Setup: Go to File > Document Setup and ensure that the Simulate Colored Paper option is not checked, as it can make your artboard appear white.
How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

Can You Make A Canvas Transparent?

First, note that in Adobe Illustrator terminology, what’s often referred to as a “canvas” is called an “artboard.” In Illustrator, artboards are already transparent by default.

Ensuring Transparency When Exporting

  1. File Format: Choose a file format that supports transparency, such as PNG or SVG.
  2. Export Settings: For PNG exports, use the Save For Web option File > Export > Save For Web and ensure that the Transparency checkbox is ticked.
How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

How Do I Not See Anything Outside The Artboard In Illustrator?

There’s a way to hide objects lying outside the artboard. Toggle between different preview modes using the View menu.

  1. Go to the View Menu: Navigate to View >Trim View. This will make sure only the contents inside the artboard are visible like a preview.
  2. Shortcut: Press Command + Shift + H on Mac or Ctrl + Shift + H on Windows to toggle between showing and hiding objects outside the artboard.
How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

How Do I Remove Background Color In Illustrator?

You can remove the background color in Illustrator in the following ways:

Check Layers Panel

  1. Open Layers Panel: Go to Window > Layers.
  2. Identify the Background Layer: Locate the layer that contains your background color and either hide it by clicking the eye icon or delete it by dragging it to the trashcan icon.

Use the Direct Selection Tool

  1. Select the Tool: Click on the Direct Selection tool or press A.
  2. Click the Background: Select the colored background and hit the delete key.
How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

How Do I Make The Background Of A Png Transparent?

The fastest way to make the background of a PNG transparent is as follows: Go to File > Export > Export For Screens, then choose PNG as the file type. Click the gear icon under Formats. Then, in the Formats settings dialog box, select PNG and select Transparent in the Background Color section. Click the Save Settings button. Lastly, click the Export Artboard button and save it on your computer.

How To Make Artboard Transparent In Illustrator?

How Do I Make An Image Transparent In Illustrator?

Here are the different ways and steps to make an image transparent in Illustrator:

Use Opacity Slider

  1. Select Your Image: First, select the image you want to make transparent.
  2. Navigate to the Properties Panel: On the right-hand side, you’ll see the Properties Panel.
  3. Adjust Opacity: Use the Opacity slider to set the level of transparency for your image.

Use Transparency Panel

  1. Go to Window > Transparency: This opens the Transparency Panel.
  2. Set Opacity: Like in the Properties Panel, set the desired opacity level here.

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