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Chapter 4. Views > Change views

Change views

To use the Navigator palette to change the zoom level of an illustration:

  • You can also change the zoom level by double-clicking the zoom field in the lower left corner of the document window, typing the desired zoom percentage (up to 6400%), and then pressing Return/Enter.

  • To separate the Navigator from its palette group, drag its tab (palette name).

Within the document window, you can display the entire artboard, an enlarged detail of an illustration, or any zoom level in between. The zoom level (3.13%–6400%) is indicated as a percentage both on the title bar and in the lower left corner of the document/application window. 100% is actual size. An illustration's zoom level has no bearing on its printout size.

To choose a preset zoom level:

Choose View > Zoom In (Cmd-+/Ctrl-+). Repeat to magnify further.


Choose View > Zoom Out (Cmd-–/Ctrl- ). Repeat, if desired.


Make sure no objects are selected, Control-click/Right-click on the image, then choose Zoom In or Zoom Out from the context menu .


Choose a preset percentage from the zoom pop-up menu in the lower left corner of the document/program window . Or choose Fit On Screen from the pop-up menu to make the artboard fit within the current document window size.


Double-click in the Zoom field in the lower-left corner of the document/program window, type in the desired magnification, then press Return/Enter.

  • Choose View > Fit In Window (Cmd-0/ Ctrl-0) or double-click the Hand tool to display the entire artboard in the document window.

  • To apply a new Zoom value without exiting the Zoom field, press Shift-Return/ Shift-Enter.

To change the zoom level using the Zoom tool:

Choose the Zoom tool (Z).

Click on the illustration in the center of the area that you want to enlarge or drag a marquee across an area to magnify that area . The smaller the marquee, the greater the degree of magnification. (To move the illustration in the document window, see pages 61–62.)

Figure 1. Drag with the Zoom tool.

Figure 2. The illustration is magnifed.


Option-click/Alt-click on the illustration to reduce the zoom level.


Drag a marquee, then without releasing the mouse, press and hold down Spacebar, move the marquee over the area you want to magnify, then release the mouse.

  • To display an illustration at Actual Size (100%), double-click the Zoom tool or choose View > Actual Size (Cmd-1/Ctrl-1). Note: If you double-click the Zoom tool when your illustration is at a small zoom level, the white area around the artboard may appear in the document window instead of the illustration. Use the Navigator palette or the Hand tool to reposition the illustration in the document window.

  • You can click to change the zoom level while the screen is redrawing.

This is the method to master for speedy picture editing.

To change the zoom level using the keyboard:

To magnify the illustration with any tool other than Zoom selected, Cmd-Spacebar-click/Ctrl-Spacebar-click or -drag in the document window.


To reduce the zoom level, Cmd-Option-Spacebar-click/Ctrl-Alt-Spacebar-click.

An illustration can be displayed and edited in four different views: Preview, Outline, Pixel Preview, or Overprint Preview. In all views, the other View menu commands — Hide/Show Page Tiling, Edges, Guides, and Grid— are accessible, and any selection tool can be used. (Overprint Preview view is discussed on page 510.)

To change the view:

From the View menu, chooose Preview (Cmd-Y/Ctrl-Y) to display all the objects with their fill and stroke colors as well as all placed images or choose Outline (Cmd-Y/ Ctrl-Y) to display all the objects as wire frames with no fill or stroke colors. The screen redraws more quickly in Outline view.


Make sure no objects are selected (click in a blank area of the artboard), then Control-click/Right-click and choose Outline or Preview from the context menu.


Choose Pixel Preview (Cmd-Option-Y/ Ctrl-Alt-Y toggle) to turn on a 72 ppi display. Use this view for Web graphics work.

  • Let's say you've got a large file on a slow machine and you start to Preview it in all its glory—nah, on second thought, you decide to preview it later. Cmd-. (period)/ Esc to cancel the preview.

  • You won't learn much about layers until you get to Chapter 11, but just to give you a little hint, you can Cmd-click/Ctrl-click an eye icon for a layer on the Layers palette to toggle between Preview and Outline views just for that layer.

It's a snap

In Pixel Preview view, you can get a good inkling of what your vector graphics will look like when they're rasterized for the Web (choose View > Actual Size first). But Pixel Preview is more than just a preview. When you choose this view, View > Snap To Pixel is turned on automatically, causing the edges of objects to snap to the nearest pixel edge. Also uncheck Use Preview Bounds in Edit > Preferences > General. Snap To Pixel reduces the need for anti-aliasing and thus helps keep edges crisp. (Anti-aliasing adds pixels along the edges of objects to make them look smoother, but it also can diminish their crispness.)

Figure 1. Deselect all objects, then choose Outline (or Preview) from the context menu. This is Preview view.

Figure 2. Outline view

Figure 3. Pixel Preview view

You can define and save up to 25 custom view settings that you can switch to quickly using an assigned shortcut, and you can specify whether your illustration will be in Preview view or Outline view for each setting that you define.

To define a custom view setting:

Choose a zoom level for your illustration and choose scroll bar positions.

Put your illustration into Preview or Outline view (Cmd-Y/Ctrl-Y).

Choose View > New View.

Type a descriptive name for the new view in the Name field, as in “40% view” .

Figure 1. Type a Name for the view setting in the New View dialog box.

Click OK.

To choose a custom view setting:

Choose the view name from the bottom of the View menu .

  • You can switch views at any time. For example, if your illustration is at a custom view setting for which you chose Outline view but you want to display your illustration in Preview view, choose View > Preview.

To rename or delete a custom view setting:

Choose View > Edit Views.

Click the name of the view you want to change .

Figure 3. In the Edit Views dialog box, highlight a view, then change the Name or click Delete.

Change the Name.


Click Delete to delete the view setting.

Click OK. The View menu will update to reflect the changes.

  • If you want to rename more than one view setting, you have to click OK, then reopen the dialog box.

The number of Illustrator documents that can be open at a time is limited only by the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) currently available to Illustrator. To activate a currently open window, you can either click in it or choose the document name from the list of open documents at the bottom of the Window menu .

To facilitate editing, an illustration can be displayed simultaneously in two windows. You could choose a high zoom level for one window (such as 200%) to edit small details and a lower zoom level for the other so you can see the whole illustration. Or in one window you could hide individual layers or display individual layers in Outline view and in another window you could Preview all the layers together.

Note: The illustration in the window for which Preview view is selected will redraw each time you modify the illustration in the window for which Outline view is chosen. In this case you won't save processing or redraw time when you work in the Outline window.

To display an illustration in two windows:

Open an illustration.

Choose Window > New Window. A new window of the same size will appear on top of the first window, and with the same title followed by “:2” .

Figure 2. One illustration displayed in two windows.

Mac OS: Reposition the new window by dragging its title bar so the original and new windows are side by side, and resize one or both windows.

Windows: You can choose any of these Window menu commands: Cascade to arrange the currently open illustrations in a stair-step configuration; Tile to tile open windows side by side; or Arrange Icons to move the minimized windows to the bottom of the application window.

To change the screen display mode:

Click the Standard Screen Mode button at the bottom of the Toolbox to display the image, menu bar, and scroll bars in the document window . This is the default mode.


Click the Full Screen Mode with Menu Bar (second) button to display the image and the menu bar, but no scroll bars . The area around the image will be white.


Click the Full Screen Mode (third) button to display the image, but no menu bar or scroll bars . The area around the image will be white.

  • Press “F” to cycle through the three modes.

  • Press Tab to hide (or show) all currently open palettes, including the Toolbox; press Shift-Tab to hide (or show) all the palettes, leaving the Toolbox.

  • Choose View > Hide Artboard. Choose the command again to redisplay the artboard.

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