- Preview and Outline views: By default, Illustrator shows Preview view, where you see colors, stroke widths, images, and patterns as they should appear when printed or completed for onscreen presentation. Sometimes this view can become a nuisance, especially if you’re trying to create a corner point by connecting two thick lines. At times like this, or whenever you want the strokes and fills reduced to the underlying structure, choose View → Outline. You now see the outline of the illustration.
- Pixel view: If you don’t want to be surprised when your artwork appears in your web browser, use Pixel view. This view maintains the vectors of your artwork but shows how the pixels will appear when the image is viewed onscreen, as though it’s on the web.
Pixel view is helpful for previewing the look of text onscreen — some fonts just don’t look good as pixels, especially if the text is small. In Pixel view, you can review fonts until you find one that’s easily readable as pixels.
- Overprint view: For people in print production, the Overprint preview can be a real timesaver. Choose Window → Attributes to bring up the Attributes panel, which you can use to set the fill and stroke colors to overprint. This view creates additional colors when printing and aids printers when trapping abutting colors.
Trapping is the slight overprint of a lighter color into a darker color to correct for press misregistration — that is, when the printed colors don’t align exactly. When several colors are printed on one piece, the likelihood of perfect alignment is slim! Setting a stroke to Overprint on the Window → Attributes panel is one solution. With Overprint selected, the stroke is overprinted on the nearby colors. This mixing of color produces an additional color but is less obvious to the viewer than a white space created by misregistration.
Select Overprint (View → Overprint Preview) to see the result of overprinting in Overprint view.Overprint view. Image is of the Attributes panel.