Get started with artboards in Adobe XD

Learn how to use artboards to create your design projects in XD.

Meet Jeanee, a graphic designer who has been chosen to lead a UX design project. She is pitching Adobe XD to her team, the members of which have varying levels of expertise with UX design and tools.

 
  • She is looking for resources to quickly help her get started with the project.

 

  • She needs tutorials to get her started and sample files to learn on-the-go.

Jeanee is training herself on basic design terminologies and working with artboards to create her first prototype in XD. Read on to learn how we can help her get started.

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Before you proceed

Set up artboards in 4 easy steps

What is an artboard? Artboards represent the screens in your application or pages in your website. It streamlines the design processes and creates interactive designs for multiple screen sizes in a single document. Use artboards to create your XD project.

Read on to learn how you can set up your artboards.

Create a new artboard

Adobe XD provides you with artboards for popular screen sizes such as those for different versions of iPhones, iPads, and Web. You can create a custom artboard if the choices do not meet your requirements.

Home screen

Custom artboards

Use the preset artboard sizes or create your custom artboard.

XD app

Artboard Property

Use the Artboard tool  to create additional artboards. Select and apply the artboard presets from the Property Inspector.

Use an existing artboard from Photoshop and Illustrator

You can import existing artboards from Photoshop or Illustrator into XD without having to recreate them. 

Use an existing artboard from Photoshop and Illustrator

Use File > Import from XD to open up Photoshop or Illustrator artboards in XD with every artboard and layer intact and editable.

Check out this article that describes about top 5 ways to use Photoshop assets in XD.

Manage artboards

Changed your mind about the artboard size? Resize them. You can also rename them based on your design needs. Want to create more artboards and manage their placement? Duplicate and rearrange them.

Rename

Rearrange

Double-click the artboard title.

Resize

Resize

Drag the circular handle that appears on the edges of an artboard.

Duplicate

Copy paste artboards

Select the artboard and press Ctrl /Cmd + D.

Align and Distribute

Align and Distribute

Select multiple artboards and click Align and Distribute in the Property Inspector. Drag the artboard around to rearrange them.

Apply layout or square grids

Want to define the underlying structure of your design content added within artboards? Apply Layout grids. Want to get an idea on how to measure quickly and align your design content while laying out objects or text on your artboards? Use Square grids.

Layout grids

Layout grids

Select one or more artboards and in the Grid section of the Property Inspector, choose Layout.

Square grids

Layout grids

Select one or more artboards and in the Grid section of the Property inspector, choose Square.

Design artboards

Now that you have created your first artboard, learn how to add visual and text elements, change the background, and create scroll effects.

Add visual and text elements

Create scrollable artboards

Add visual and text elements

Now that your basic artboard is in place, you can create or modify the background color, add graphics, and create or format text styles into reusable assets. Want to create an editable grid of repeated elements? Use Repeat Grids.

Add visual and text elements

Add elements

Use Drawing tools to create custom elements or select File> Import to import existing elements such as images and icons from your device folder. Use Text tools to create, format, and capture text styles into reusable assets. 

To change the background color of the artboard, from the Property Inspector, select Fill and apply color from the color picker.

Create repeatable elements

Repeat elements

Use repeat grids to create objects with repeatable elements such as lists and card-based layouts.

Create scrollable artboards

Want to add vertical and horizontal scroll effects in your design? Use scroll groups to prototype a window of content.

Do you want to achieve a realistic simulation of scrolling on desktop and mobile? Set the fixed position of an element on the artboard to allow other elements to scroll beneath. 

Vertical scrolling

Dotted line and scrollable content

To extend the artboard beyond the viewport height, use the marker. The marker indicates the position till which you need to scroll to access the content.

Fix position when scrolling

Dotted line and scrollable content

To pin the design elements to a fixed position, select Fix position when scrolling in the Property Inspector.

The final design

Now that you know enough about artboards, you can play around with what you’ve learned so far and create more amazing artboards for your design projects.

Subject to change

Go ahead and download the final design to view how your design project looks.

Learn more

Here is a sample 4-minute video to get started. You can also download the sample files to try alongside the videos

Sample Files

Tips and tricks

Now that you've got the basics of artboards in XD, here are some handy tips and tricks:

  • To measure the distance of an object from the edges of an artboard, click the object and press the Option (on macOS) or Alt (on Windows) keys.
  • To turn OFF the scroll option in an artboard, select the artboard and in the Property Inspector, change Scrolling to None.

For more pro tips on working with artboards, follow @Elainecchao, XD Product Manager on Twitter.

What's next?

We've got you started with creating, managing, and sharing artboards. Take a step forward and learn how to create custom artboard guides and position your artboard using grids.

Have a question or an idea?

Ask the Community

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Adobe XD Community. We would love to hear from you and see your creations.

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