Checking the contrast or legibility of a figure Checking the contrast or legibility of a figure

Checking the contrast or legibility of a figure

Shane Williams Shane Williams

BioRender has a built-in “View in Grayscale” feature that allows you to check the contrast of an illustration. Contrast refers to how easily you can distinguish one object from another, such as text overlaid on a shape.

We recommend checking your contrast before exporting since high-contrast illustrations are easier to understand at a quick glance. This feature also helps determine if your illustration will be legible in various scenarios:

  • When viewed on a low-resolution screen
  • When printed in black and white
  • When viewed by color-blind audiences

You can tell if your illustration has high contrast when you can still see all your icons and objects clearly in grayscale preview, and nothing disappears into the background or blends in.

For example:

How to View Your Illustration in Grayscale

You can toggle View in Grayscale on from the canvas using:

  • The top toolbar,
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • The “View canvas in grayscale” button,
  • The export preview window

From the Top Toolbar

  1. Click on View in the top toolbar, and select Canvas in Grayscale from the drop-down menu. A checkmark will appear next to the menu item.
  2. To disable grayscale preview, simply click View in Grayscale again.



Using Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Click Alt+G (for PC) or Option+G (for Mac) on your keyboard.
  2. To disable, simply repeat the above step.


Using the “View canvas in grayscale” Button

  1. Click the “View canvas in grayscale” button.
  2. To disable, click the button again.

Previewing in Grayscale at Export

  1. Click on the blue Export button in the top-right corner of your canvas. You’ll see an export window pop-up.
  2. In the bottom-left corner of the window, click the switch labeled “Preview in grayscale”.
  3. To disable this, click the switch again.

Note: to learn more about the grayscale feature, hover over the View in Grayscale button, then click Learn more about grayscale or the question mark icon.