What Are Artboards in Illustrator

Artboards are not to be confused with the canvas in Illustrator. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about artboards in Adobe Illustrator.

what are artboards in Illustrator

Illustrator Artboards Defined

Artboards in Adobe Illustrator are essentially individual pages within a single document that can be used to create different parts of a design project.

They allow creators and designers to work on multiple pieces of a project within the same file, making it easier to maintain consistency across designs and to organize related components together.

Here’s a more detailed look at what artboards are and how they are used:

  • Multiple Workspaces: Artboards provide multiple workspaces within a single Illustrator file. This means you can work on different design elements or variations of a project side by side. For example, if you’re designing a branding package, you can have separate artboards for the logo, business cards, letterheads, and other elements all within the same document.
  • Customizable Sizes and Orientations: Each artboard can have its own size and orientation, which is particularly useful for projects that include a variety of item sizes, such as print materials, digital graphics, and more. You can customize artboards to match the specific dimensions required for each part of your project.
  • Efficient Workflow: Having multiple artboards in a single file streamlines the design process, as it reduces the need to switch between different files. This is especially useful when creating variations of a design (like different color schemes or layouts) or when working on projects that require multiple assets in various sizes and formats.
  • Export Flexibility: Illustrator allows you to export artboards as separate files or as a combined document. This flexibility is useful when you need to send specific parts of a project to a client or a printer, or when you need to generate multiple assets from the same Illustrator file.
  • Organizational Tools: Illustrator includes features for managing artboards efficiently, such as the Artboards panel, which lets you rearrange, rename, add, and delete artboards. There are also options to automatically arrange artboards in a grid and adjust the spacing between them, which can help in keeping your projects organized and accessible.

Artboards are a fundamental feature of Adobe Illustrator that enhances the versatility and efficiency of the design process, making it easier for designers to create complex, multi-faceted projects within a single, manageable file.

Exploring The Artboard Tool And Panel

Wondering how artboards work in Illustrator? When you open a¬†new document¬†in Adobe Illustrator, you’re greeted with your first artboard, a¬†blank, so-called digital paper¬†where your¬†design process¬†will unfold.

To select an artboard, change its size, colors, and more, look for the Artboard tool on the left toolbar and select it.

Related: What Is The Artboard Tool In Illustrator?

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

You can add artboards to one Illustrator file, as many as you want until the size limit that the Illustrator canvas can support.

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 artboard,¬†color mode, and even¬†background color¬†in these panels.

open properties panel in adobe 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 the Artboard tool over your artboard until the cursor changes to a Move tool.

Then hold down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) 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.

Related: 4 Easy Ways To Delete Artboard In Illustrator

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

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

This is especially if you‚Äôre 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?

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‚ÄĒbe 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.

Do I Need An Artboard In Illustrator?

Yes ‚ÄĒ 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 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.

Related: Change Canvas Size In Illustrator For Large-Scale Designs

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.

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.

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.

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