What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

what are artboards in Illustrator

Wondering What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

You’ve come to the right place! In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about artboards in Adobe Illustrator. How do you know this is the best, most complete guide?

I’ve been a graphic designer since 2005 and used Adobe Illustrator for even longer. Illustrator is a key tool in my design toolkit, and I’m thrilled to share my insights about artboards with you.

Meantime, artboards in Adobe Illustrator serve as individual canvas spaces where you can create, preview, and organize your design elements. Think of them as different pages or sections in a sketchbook, where each page contains a specific part of your overall project.

Ready to discover more about what are artboards in Illustrator, how to change Illustrator canvas size, and more? Let’s dive in!

What Are Artboards In Illustrator?

When you open a new document in Adobe Illustrator, you’re greeted with your first artboard, a blank canvas where your design process will unfold.

It’s accessible through the Artboard tool on the left toolbar.

select artboard tool from toolbar in Adobe Illustrator

Or via the Artboards panel on the right, which helps you manage the number of artboards you have.

select artboard from artboards panel

If you don’t see the Artboard panel, click on Windows in the top menu and select Artboards in the dropdown menu for it to appear.

select artboards from window on top menu
Windows > Artboards
What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

How To Add An Artboard In Illustrator?

Creating a new artboard is straightforward. Click the new artboard button on the bottom of the Artboards panel and a new artboard with the same size as the previous one will appear.

click add artboard button at the bottom of the artboard panel in illustrator

Or use the keyboard shortcut Shift + O.

keyboard shortcut Shift and O

This keyboard shortcut will change your cursor to enable you to draw out an artboard on your Illustrator document.

Each artboard you create will have a specific artboard number assigned to it for easy identification.

Navigating the Control and Properties Panels

Once your artboard is set up, you’ll need to head to the control panel or properties panel to tweak your settings further. You’ll find options for changing the size of your artboardcolor mode, and even background color in these panels.

How To Change Artboard Size In Illustrator?

The size of your artboard or Illustrator canvas size can differ depending on the project. To change the artboard size in Illustrator, select the artboard tool, and bring the cursor over the edge or corner of the artboard. The cursor changes to two-headed arrows. Click and drag to increase or reduce the artboard size.

use artboard tool to drag artboard corner to change canvas size

Adobe Illustrator allows you to create custom-sized artboard for different sizes and dimensions, which you can set up in the dialog box that appears when you create a new file.

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

Working with An Existing Illustrator Artboard

To move artwork or change the size of an existing artboard, use the Artboard tool and access the bounding box to resize or move.

You can even duplicate artboards . Then bring it over your artboard until the cursor changes to a Move tool. Then hold down the Alt key and click and drag the newly duplicated artboard away from the original artboard.

Each individual artboard has a unique artboard name for easier management.

Layers and Artboards

While each artboard can contain different elements, all artboards share the same layers, accessible through the Layers panel. You can use new layers to better manage the different elements on your different artboards.

open layers panel
Layers panel

Saving and File Formats

When you’re satisfied with your work, use the Save As option by going to File > Save As… in the top menu to choose your preferred file format. Your Illustrator file will include all your artboards, making it easy to manage your project in a single document.

select file > save as to save file in word document
What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

Privacy and Personal Information

Adobe Illustrator doesn’t collect personal information within the software, but it’s always a good idea to review privacy statements and privacy policies, especially if you’re storing contact information on your artboards or using Adobe InDesign in tandem for larger projects.

Additional Information

For privacy notice and privacy policy, you can usually find these on the Adobe website. It’s essential to know what identifiable information changes Adobe might track for analytical purposes. In rare occasions, they may collect IP address or internet service provider details.

Final Thoughts: Artboards In Illustrator

So, what’s the best option for maximizing artboards in your Adobe Illustrator workflow? The easy way is to familiarize yourself with keyboard shortcutsoptions bar, and the Artboard panel.

This ensures you can use artboards efficiently, whether you’re a seasoned graphic design professional or just dipping your toes in.

The bottom line is, understanding and effectively using artboards in Adobe Illustrator streamlines your design process, offering a one-stop-shop to manage multiple aspects of a project in a single document.

Ready to get the most out of your Adobe Illustrator artboards?

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

Artboards In Illustrator: FAQs

What Is The Use Of Artboards In Illustrator?

The use of artboards in Adobe Illustrator fundamentally enhances your design process. Think of an artboard as a personalized workspace or canvas. 

It’s the area where you draw, design, and arrange your graphic elements. Artboards can come in various sizes and dimensions, accommodating designs meant for various media—be it web, print, or mobile.

Moreover, the program allows multiple artboards within a single Illustrator document, letting you manage different aspects of a project efficiently.

What Is The Purpose Of Artboards?

The purpose of artboards is to provide a structured yet flexible space where you can create and manage your designs. They serve as the boundaries within which your artwork is displayed and eventually exported. 

This becomes especially useful in larger projects that include multiple deliverables, like creating a corporate branding package that includes business cards, letterheads, and web banners.

Different artboards can be customized for different sizes and purposes, all within a single Illustrator file, making your design process more cohesive and organized.

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

Where Are Artboards In Illustrator?

In Adobe Illustrator, artboards can be managed and accessed in multiple ways. Primarily, you find them in the main workspace as soon as you open a new document. 

Do I Need An Artboard In Illustrator?

Yes — Artboards are essential in Illustrator as they serve as your workspace for any given project. When you open a new Illustrator document, it automatically starts you with a single artboard by default.

Even if your project is simple and doesn’t require multiple pages or different sizes, you’ll still be working within at least one artboard. The concept is similar to a canvas in traditional painting; you need a surface to create your artwork.

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

What Do Artboards Enable You To Do?

Artboards enable you to create multiple, customized workspaces within a single Illustrator document. This is invaluable for multitasking, as you can work on different components of a project simultaneously without having to switch between files. Artboards also allow for greater flexibility in your design process.

You can easily duplicate artboards to create variations of a design, move artwork between artboards, and even resize artboards as your project evolves. They’re your ally in keeping your design workspace both organized and versatile.

What Is The Difference Between Artboard And Canvas In Illustrator?

The terms “Artboard” and “Canvas” are often used interchangeably but they represent different things in Illustrator. An artboard is like a page in a book, a confined space where your design resides. It’s what you’ll export as your final design piece. The canvas, on the other hand, is the overall workspace that surrounds your artboard.

You can place items outside the artboard on the canvas for storage or staging, but they won’t be part of the final exported file. So, while the artboard contains the design you’re actively working on, the canvas serves as a broader workspace for all elements related to your project.

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

How Many Artboards Can You Have In Illustrator?

The number of artboards you can have in a single Illustrator file varies depending on the version of the software you’re using. In recent versions, you can have up to 1,000 artboards in one document.

This gives you the flexibility to manage multiple elements of a complex project within a single file, improving your workflow and organizational efficiency.

How Do You Manage Artboards In Illustrator?

Managing artboards in Illustrator is simplified through a dedicated Artboards panel, typically found on the right-hand side of your screen. This panel lists all the artboards you have in your document, along with their specific artboard numbers.

You can add new artboards, delete existing ones, or rearrange them by dragging. You can also use the Artboard tool to directly select, move, and resize artboards in the workspace.

Additionally, you can duplicate artboards and their contents through the Artboards panel by clicking the New Artboard icon at the bottom, thereby creating a replica.

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

How Do You Manage Artboards?

Managing artboards effectively involves a combination of practices. First, name your artboards clearly to reflect their purpose within your project. This can be done in the Artboards panel by double-clicking on the artboard name.

Second, utilize layers to separate different elements on each artboard, making it easier to edit and track your work. The Layers panel is especially useful for this.

Finally, you can also use guides and grids to ensure that your designs are perfectly aligned across multiple artboards. The key is to make your workflow as organized as possible to avoid confusion later.

Can You Have Multiple Pages In Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator doesn’t use the concept of “pages” like other Adobe software such as Adobe InDesign. However, the ability to have multiple artboards essentially serves the same purpose.

Each artboard can act as a separate page, allowing you to work on different aspects of a project or different versions of a design within a single document. You can even specify the order in which these artboards are to be printed or exported, giving you full control over your multi-page document.

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

Can I Make A Master Page In Illustrator?

While Adobe Illustrator doesn’t have a “Master Page” feature like Adobe InDesign, there are creative workarounds to achieve similar results. One effective method is to create a template artboard containing all the recurring elements you need, like logos, headers, or footers.

Once this is set up, you can duplicate this artboard as many times as needed. Any changes made to the template can be manually replicated across other artboards. Another approach is to use Layers.

Create a new layer containing the common elements and make sure it’s visible on all artboards. This way, changes to the “master layer” will automatically appear on all artboards where the layer is visible.

How Do I Trace An Image In Illustrator?

Tracing an image in Illustrator can be done in several ways, but the most straightforward is to use the “Image Trace” function. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Import the image into your Illustrator document via File > Place.
  2. Select the image to activate the Image Trace button on the Control Panel.
  3. Click on the Image Trace button.
  4. A default tracing will be applied. For more control, go to Window > Image Trace to open the Image Trace panel, which allows you to adjust settings like Paths, Corners, and Noise.
  5. Once you’re satisfied, click Expand to convert the tracing object into editable vector paths.
What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

How Do I Vectorize A Logo In Illustrator?

Vectorizing a logo involves converting its image format into a vector format. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open a new Illustrator document and import the bitmap logo.
  2. Use the Selection tool to select the imported image.
  3. Activate the Image Trace feature by clicking the Image Trace button on the Control Panel.
  4. Fine-tune the tracing settings via the Image Trace panel.
  5. Click Expand to finalize the vectorization.
  6. Your logo is now a fully editable vector graphic.

This method is suitable for logos that are relatively simple and don’t contain too many colors or gradients.

Is It Legal To Trace Images In Illustrator?

Tracing images can present legal issues, primarily if the original image is copyrighted. If you do not own the copyright to the image or have explicit permission from the copyright holder, tracing it for your own work—especially for commercial use—could be considered infringement.

Always ensure you have the right to use the image in this manner, or seek to use royalty-free or licensed images where permission is granted for such adaptations.

What Are Artboards in Illustrator?

How To Vectorize An Image?

Vectorizing an image essentially means transforming it from a raster format, like JPG or PNG, into a vector format. In Adobe Illustrator, this is commonly done using the Image Trace feature, as outlined in the earlier FAQs. Here’s a simplified guide:

  1. Import your raster image into Illustrator.
  2. Select the image.
  3. Click the Image Trace button on the Control Panel.
  4. Use the Image Trace panel for custom settings.
  5. Click Expand to convert the image into vector paths.

The image is now a vector graphic, allowing you to scale, edit, and manipulate it without losing quality.

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