Introduction to Artboards
Designing a project in professional software such as Adobe Illustrator would be a far more difficult and complex task if there weren’t any tools that organized our canvas and workspace. One of the good things about Illustrator is that it allows us to create canvases which we call ‘Artboards’
Artboards, in a nutshell, is the workspace of canvas that composes an entire document. It is simply the space that we are working on to design specific projects. This space is bounded by lines or borders that separate the printable area from the outer edges of the canvas.
One of the wonders of Illustrator Artboards is that it lets us create multiple canvases in a single workspace. This is essential and helpful if we are designing multiple pages such as magazines, brochures, newsletters, etc. Thus, it is easier to scroll and take a look at other pages of our design in one single workspace rather than opening up another file per page. Less clutter will make it more efficient and easier for designers to get their quality job done on time.
Workspace with Flexibility
Adobe Illustrator Artboards allows you to create multiple artboards or canvases in a single workspace, so you can scan and scroll and zoom through each page in a single window. You can make one artboard up to as many as you want. Adjusting to the preference that you like is not a hassle. While opening a new document, you can supply the number of artboards you want in a single document, (you can have 1-100 art boards) as well as adjust its spacing, arrangement, size, and orientation.
There is also an option to place “bleed” for all those print documents that you are designing (magazines, brochures). You can supply all the necessary values according to your print setting and preference.
With Illustrator, you can do a variety of layouts with your artboards. Whether you want your documents to be landscape and arranged in rows such as the example below, or in portrait column, you have the option to mix it up and customize it according to your comfort and ease working with multiple pages.
Artboards Tool & Panel
To further amp up the organization of your artboards, Illustrator has the Artboards Tool & Panel to help you control and arrange or edit your artboards.
The ARTBOARDS TOOL allows you to add, resize and rename your art boards. You can find the Artboards Tool by clicking on the “ARTBOARDS” button located at the side tool area.Once you’ve clicked on the ARTBOARDS side button, a Toolbox on top will appear.
‘Presets’ lets you resize and adjust a selected artboard to a preset size document such as A4, Letter, etc. with an option to set it to either Landscape/Portrait.
This section lets you see the Artboard selected. You can also edit the Artboard name inside the field. Several guide and essential buttons can also be found on the toolbar such as Move/Copy artwork with artboard, Show Center Marks, show Cross Hairs,
Show Video Safe Areas, Artboard Options and Reference Point.
This field lets you adjust the dimensions and positioning of your artboards such as the Width, Height and the X/Y positioning of the guides. You can also see a Constrain Width and Height Proportions button – enabling it will ensure that the artboards you are adjusting will keep its proportion.
The ARTBOARDS PANEL lets you manage the order of your art boards. You may also edit the art board names in this panel. And just in case you have moved a selected art board to a different position, or you’ve changed the orientation, there’s a drop down tool in the panel that will let you refresh the art boards to make it appear in order again. To go to the ARTBOARDS PANEL click on WINDOW – > ARTBOARDS.
How to Add an Artboard in Illustrator
Adding Artboards in Adobe Illustrator isn’t that complicated. Below are some guides on how to add art boards for your project. Creating a Single Artboard
1. In Adobe Illustrator, click on FILE -> NEW.
2. In the Create New Document Window, type “1” in the Number of Artboards field – this will ensure that you’ll only have a single artboard in your new document. Supply the necessary size, orientation and bleed according to preference then click OK.
3. You can now start designing your project in the newly created artboard.
Creating Multiple Artboards
1. Create a new document by clicking FILE -> NEW.
2. In the Create New Document Window, type the number of artboards that you’d like to work on. You can supply as little as 2 to 100 artboards in the Number of Artboards field. In this example, we are going to be creating “5” art boards with a spacing of 40pt and arranged in 3 columns with a Grid arrangement by ROW. Take note that you can arrange the placement of your multiple artboards according to rows or columns. After supplying the size and other necessary details, click OK.
These buttons will arrange the grid placement of your multiple artboards according to Row or Column.
3. You can now work on your multiple artboards.
Artboards arranged in GRID by ROW
Create Additional Artboards
Just in case you need to add an additional artboard to work on in an already created document with artboards, follow the guide below:
1. Click on the ARTBOARDS TOOL. This will activate the ARTBOARDS TOOLBAR.
2. In the ARTBOARDS TOOLBAR, click on the NEW ARTBOARD button to create a new artboard of the same size as your opened art boards, move your mouse and click on where you’d like your additional artboard to be placed.
Click the Artboards Button
3. OR hold your left click mouse button while dragging the cursor anywhere on your canvas. This will let you create a whole new artboard of custom size. Resize or move it along the workspace according to preference.
4. Once settled, you can now work on the additional art boards. To smooth the bend, click on CONVERT ANCHOR POINT TOOL to start moving your converted anchor into a curved bend.
While editing, you might move your artboards out of place. To organize and make it look neat again, you can do the following:
1. Open the ARTBOARDS panel by clicking WINDOW -> ARTBOARDS.
2. In the panel, click on the ARTBOARDS drop-down selection and select REARRANGE ARTBOARDS.
3. The REARRANGE ARTBOARDS dialogue will appear. Supply and select necessary details according to preference. Click OK.
4. Your moved or new artboards will now be rearranged.