Thanks for coming to, the world's #1 resource for all things InDesign!

Tip of the Week: Reveal Silhouetted Images with the Document Grid

This InDesign tip on revealing silhouetted images with the document grid was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on November 17, 2016.

InDesignSecrets Tip of the Week

Sign up now and every week you’ll get a new tip, keyboard shortcut, and roundups of new articles, plus exclusive deals sent right to your Inbox!

Just scroll down to the bottom of this page, enter your email address, and click Go! We’ll take care of the rest. Now, on with the tip!

Ever surprised when an image in your InDesign layout was silhouetted (or not) when you expected it to be the opposite? Unless you change the definition of the [Paper] swatch, you can’t tell at a glance whether some images or objects have a white fill or a transparent background. For example, take the two Japanese flags in the screenshot below. At first, they look identical.

indesign tip reveal silhouetted images with document grid

But you can see that only one has a white fill when you put some other content underneath.


Fortunately, you can instantly spot silhouetted content by turning on the Document Grid. Choose View > Grids & Guides > Show Document Grid. Or just press Command-‘/Ctrl+’ (that’s a single quote). And voila, the secret is revealed.


Note: this trick doesn’t work if you have Overprint Preview or Preview Mode turned on.


David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

Latest posts by David Blatner (see all)

  • - November 30, -0001
Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *