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Manage artboards

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Learn how to copy, move, reorder, rearrange artboards, and set artboard view in Illustrator.

Once you create artboards and modify them to match your design requirement, you'd want to manage your artboards. If your artboards contain numerous designs and layers, organizing your artboards help you put your ideas and designs in order.

You can cut, copy, and paste or move your artboards conveniently within your document or across documents. Illustrator provides multiple ways to rearrange or reorder your artboards. Also, you can learn more about the additional artboard options and modify the view of your artboard.

Read on to learn how you can manage your artboards.

rearrange

Artboard with video rulers

Resize artboard

Before you proceed

  • Before you learn how to manage artboards, be familiar with how to create and edit artboards in Illustrator.
  • Keep your Illustrator panels handy before managing your artboards. To activate the Artboards, Properties, or Control panel, choose any options.

Windows > Artboards

Artboards panel
Artboards panel

Windows > Properties

Properties panel
Properties panel

Windows > Controls

Control panel
Control panel

Cut, copy, and move artboards

You can cut, copy, and paste artboards within the document or across Illustrator documents to easily replicate your designs. Similarly, you can also move your artboards to place them anywhere within the same or another document.

Cut, copy, and paste artboards

Cut, copy, and paste artboards

  1. Click the Artboard tool   .

  2. Select one or multiple artboards.

  3. Press Ctrl + X to cut or Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to paste the artboard into the same document or another document.

Move artboards

add an artboard
Move artboards

To move the selected artboards, do any of the following:

  • Drag the artboard and place them in the same document or another document.
  • To move the selected artboards within the same document with precision, specify the X and Y values in the Properties panel or the Control panel.
  • To move or copy the artboard without the content, deselect Move artwork with Artboard in the Properties panel.

Reorder and rearrange artboards

When you export or print an Illustrator document, you can change the artboard order without moving them around in the workspace. However, to organize artboards in the workspace, you'd want to rearrange artboards. You can rearrange your artboards to any number of columns or rows based on your layout. Rearranging artboards let you organize your idea and export your artboard sequentially.

 

Reorder artboards

To reorder artboards, do the following:

  1. Click the Artboard tool  .

  2. In the Artboards panel, click the up and down arrows.

Artboards panel

A. Rearrange artboards B. Move artboard one level up C. Move artboard one level down 

Rearrange artboards

rearrange-all-artboards
Rearrange all artboards

To rearrange artboards, do the following:

  1. Click the Artboard tool   .

  2. In the Artboards panel, click    to open the Rearrange All Artboards dialog box.

  3. Select any of the layout options shown in the Rearrange All Artboards table.

  4. Choose the number of Columns or Rows based on the layout.

  5. Specify horizontal or vertical Spacing between artboards.

Refer the table to rearrange all artboards:

Option

Description

Grid by Row  

Arranges multiple artboards in the specified number of columns. 

Grid by Column  

Arranges multiple artboards in the specified number of rows. 

Arrange by Row  

Arranges all the artboards in a single row.

Arrange by Column  

Arranges all the artboards in a single column.

Layout order    

Arranges the artboards from left to right or right to left.

Align and distribute artboards

rearrange-all-artboards
Align panel

Follow these steps to align and distribute artboards along the selected axis:

  1. Click the Artboard tool   or press Shift O

  2. Select one or more artboards that you want to align or distribute.

  3. Choose Window Align to open the Align panel.

  4. In the Align panel, select any of the options to align your artboards. 

Display settings in the Artboard Options

You know how to use the Artboard Options dialog to set the preset, dimension, position, orientation, and name of the artboard. Within Artboard options, you can also modify the display and global settings of the artboard.

Follow the steps below to change the display settings of your artboard:

  1. Click the Artboard tool   and double-click your artboard.

  2. In the Artboard Options dialog, select or deselect the checkbox to modify the Display settings of your artboard.

Artboard Options dialog
Artboard Options dialog

Option

Description

Show Center Mark

Displays a point at the center of the artboard to help you position objects.

Show Cross Hairs

Displays cross lines from each side of the artboard that pass through the center.

Show Video Safe Areas

Displays guides to identify the viewable area in a video. 

Specifies the pixel aspect ratio used for video rulers.

Fade region outside Artboard

Displays the area outside the artboard in a darker shade when the Artboard tool is active.

Update while dragging

Keeps the drag area inside the artboard lighter as you drag the artboard to increase its size or move it.

Video display options

Most artboard presets that Illustrator provides have square pixels, that is, the Video Ruler Pixel Aspect Ratio (VPAR) is 1.0. If you specify a VPAR that is not 1.0 (nonsquare pixels) in the Artboards Options dialog, the video rulers auto-adjust the pixels.

Video rulers, center mark, cross hairs, and video safe areas properties help you in creating videos. 

To view video rulers on an artboard, do the following:

  1. Click the artboard using any tool.

  2. Choose View > Rulers > Show Video Rulers.

     The numbers on the rulers represent the dimension of the artboard in pixels.

Artboard with video rulers
Artboard with video rulers

Set the artboard view

When working on multiple artboards, you can activate the artboard where you'd want to create your artwork. You can hide the boundaries of your artboard, fit the artboard on the canvas to work on your artwork precisely. Before printing your artwork, you also can check the printable and non-printable areas of your artboard. 

Activate an artboard using any tool

Select artboards

  • Click an artboard using tools from the tool panel to activate an artboard.

Hide artboard boundaries

Duplicate artboards

  • Choose View > Hide Artboards

Zoom and fit artboard

Select artboards
Zoom-in artboards

To fit and center an artboard on the canvas, do the following:

  1. Click the drop-down list in the status bar at the bottom of the app window. 
  2.  Select the artboard number.

View print page boundary

Print tiling
Print tiling

To view the printable and nonprintable areas of the selected artboard, do the following: 

  1. Select the artboard and choose View > Show Print Tiling.

Tips and tricks

  • To reuse the same artboard-layer organization when copying artboards, click More options in the Layers panel and select Paste Remember Layer.
  • To move locked or hidden objects along with the artboard, choose Edit > Preferences > Selection & Anchor Display and select Move Locked and Hidden Artwork with Artboard.
  • When you copy artboards, the artboard's name remains the same in the copied version. You can differentiate the artboards based on their order numbers.
  • An artboard within an artboard is treated as a crop area and is moved along with the containing artboard when rearranged.
  • To see keyboard shortcuts for zoom, cut, copy, and paste, see keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator desktop.

What's next?

We've got you started on how to copy, move, reorder, rearrange artboards, and set artboard view in Illustrator.
Take a step forward and learn how to save artworkexport artwork, and set up documents for printing.

Got a question or an idea?

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If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Adobe Illustrator Community. We'd love to hear from you.

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