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I have been using Illustrator for many years, but suddenly, when I create a new document, I can't get rid of the white background. I am creating line drawings to overlap and I want to retain a transparent background. can anybody guide me.
Can we see a screenshot?
Did you use Shift Command D to show the transparency grid? If you were using a document preset for film & video in the past, that would be on by default, along with the video safe areas.
Maybe you have a white shape that is locked via layer or object and you need to unlock and delete. Sounds like this happens on new documents, so thinking my first suggestion is what is going on.