James J. Olszewski, a CAD technician, shares some advice about AutoCAD's paper space display settings.
"This is a problem that annoys me more as I age: not being able to see the items I have set outside my sheet layout. The background — the all-encompassing area outside the drawing — is where I place items I may need to copy into the drawing area. These items are very hard to see against the background (which is typically a light gray), as are the crosshairs and pick box.
"The solution to this problem is to open the Options window, then the Display tab. In the Display tab, uncheck 'Display paper background' (this option is located in the lower left-hand corner under Layout Elements). Now everything has the same background color — which is black, in my case. This eliminates the distinction of where the drawing layout is, but once you have established that, seeing it all the time does not really matter, and now you can see everything else in the drawing."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: How do you want AutoCAD's paper space to be displayed? You can have a shadow around your drawing area (or not). You can make the drawing area the same color as the area outside of the drawing area. There are many choices; it's really up to you. The way the screen looks will have no effect on your drawing when you print it, so make the visual display appear however is easiest for you to see and work with.