43 votes58 comments · Illustrator (Desktop) Feature Requests » Documents and Artboards · Flag idea as inappropriate… · Admin →
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Allow me to explain the behavior, and also seek your opinion on possible solutions.
There are two 'working units' in Illustrator. One is at the document level, and the other is at the application level. Former may sound complex, but it is there for a purpose - to enable users work with documents of different units at the same time. e.g., one document with units as Inches, while the other could have Pixels. Control for document's units are in the Document Setup dialog, in the new Properties panel, and context menu (right-click) over visible rulers.
What we see in the Preferences > Units is the application level unit control which applies to all open documents - using which, working units of all open documents could be changed in one go.
There is a third aspect too, closely related to the first one - all documents save their native units. And this includes the document profiles too. What we see in the New Document dialog as Print, Web, Mobile, etc. are .ai documents and hence have a unit saved within. When we create a new document, and start with a document profile, say Print, the new document dialog populates its Unit field (and other fields too) with the default unit of that profile.
What was happening in the last version was that a change in the Preference > Units in a no-document state was causing a change in the new document dialog, turning the profile field as 'Custom', and making it difficult to identify the starting profile. This has changed in the latest update. Now, changes in New Document dialog are preserved and un-related to the changes in Preferences > Units. So, if you change the units in new document dialog and create a new document, this setting would be preserved the next time you bring up this dialog, irrespective of changes made in Preferences > Units.
This was a technical explanation of the two-unit behavior. According to which, the ideal place for making unit changes for new documents is the new document dialog. But it is possible that this may not be the right expectation for users. With an idea to keep the behavior technically correct, yet improve the experience of working with units, we can think of a few simple possible solutions - like graying-out the Units field in Preferences in no-document state, or adding distinct labels like Application Units and Document Units in places. A radical solution could be completely getting rid of this two-unit behavior, which we believe will not go well with users who work with documents of different units. But keeping our thoughts aside, we'll like to hear your suggestions on this. What do you think would be the right experience of working units in Illustrator. We look forward to your ideas on making units work in a predictable manner.
(On a side note, it is possible to create your own Document Profile, which can have your preferred unit, font, swatches, symbols, etc. , and use this profile as the starting point of all your new documents.)
63 votes28 comments · Illustrator (Desktop) Feature Requests » User Interface · Flag idea as inappropriate… · Admin →Completed (Comments Open) · AdminNeeraj Nandkeolyar (Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Illustrator) responded
In CC 2019 (latest update 23.0.1), at 100% Zoom 1inch artwork would display at 1inch in physical (Print) size, on any display. If this doesn’t work right for screen design workflows, please use the checkbox Preferences > General > Display Print Size at 100% Zoom, to turn off the feature. Currently this feature works only on primary display, and there are plans of extending this to other attached displays.