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Illustrator CS4:
Artboard Basics
Cheat Sheet 20090212

Artboard Mode (entering)
Shift-O or clicking the Artboard Tool (see below) puts you in artboard mode.

Illustrator CS4 artboard tool

Artboard Mode (leaving)
Press Escape (and it will save your changes when you do this and switch you to the last tool you used) or click any other tool in the Toolbar to get out of artboard mode.

Creating a new artboard inside an existing artboard:

  • Shift-Hold using the selection tool (A) to make your new artboard. (It will be a square. Release Shift and just drag to change its size.)
  • Shift-Hold while re-sizing to re-size proportionately.

Click the Close button (see below) in the upper-right corner of an artboard or select it and use Delete.

Illustrator CS4 artboard close button

Different Sizes
You can have many different sized artboards in the same document where each artboard is going to a different destination (i.e. one’s a business card, one’s a poster, one’s a calendar page, etc.) by using the Artboard Options button (see below):

Illustrator CS4 artboard options button

Duplicate your selected artboard using Option-Drag-Release (use Shift to constrain your movement) or clicking the New Artboard button (see below):

Illustrator CS4 new artboard button

Duplicating with Artwork
You can also Move/Copy Artwork with Artboard using its button which is next to the Trash button (see below):

Illustrator CS4 move/copy artwork w/artboard button

Editing Individual Artboards
Select your artboard and click the Artboard Options button (see below) to edit it specifically in its own Artboard Options Dialog Box.

Illustrator CS4 artboard options button

Artboards are numbered in the order you add them. If you delete one, the others will re-number themselves automatically. You can still position them any way you want.

Note: Although Illustrator will not let you freely re-number your artboards for export purposes - you can save as a PDF, then open the PDF in Acrobat and re-order them there if that helps. However, if you return the file to Illustrator your re-ordering does not follow.

Artboards can overlay each other (i.e. you can work on images that will print across several pages).

You can drag an artboard around and re-position it when you’re in artboard mode.

Click on it - or, if it’s inside another already selected larger artboard, click outside the larger one and then click it - or use Option when clicking.

Any questions?

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