How to create an artboard in Illustrator

Artboards are Illustrator’s bread and butter (okay, maybe just bread).

Almost everything you create in Illustrator will live on an artboard. When exporting a project, it is likely that the workbench will also be used to export the correct file size.

In this tutorial, we will cover the basics of creating new artboards in Adobe Illustrator.

First, we will see how to create a new workbench as part of a new project (quite simple). Next, I will show you how to add a new artboard to an existing Illustrator project.

This is how it is done:

To create a new Artboard (new project):

  1. Open Illustrator
  2. From the startup window, click the Create new button on the left-hand side
  3. Or, to start a new project from the top menu, click on File > New
  4. Set the project size and units of measurement from the New Document
  5. Click on the Create button

To create a new Artboard (existing project)

  1. Open your Illustrator project file
  2. In the left tool panel, activate the Workbench tool (Shift + O).
  3. With the Artboard tool, click and drag to create a new artboard in the canvas area.

How to duplicate an Artboard:

Now that you have successfully created an Artboard, here’s how you can duplicate it in your project.

  1. Select your Artboard
  2. Hold down the Option key, then click and drag to create a copy of your Artboard and all the contents inside it.
  3. Be sure to hold the Option key until you release the copy of the worktable with the mouse.
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Alternatively, you can also do the classic Command + C and then Command + V to copy and paste your Artboard.

Add multiple Artboards:

You can add multiple Artboards to your project in two ways:

  1. Duplicating an existing Artboard as just shown above
  2. Activating the worktable tool (Shift + O) and then clicking and dragging to create a new worktable.

You can add as many Workbenches as you want to a project, which can help you stay organized while working on larger projects.

Pro-tip: you can export individual Artboards of a project, you don’t have to export the whole project if you don’t want to. Simply select the workbench you want to export, right click and select«Export Selection«, from there you will be directed to the export settings for that individual workbench. You can also click Option + Command + ‘E’ and select the individual Artboard you want to export.

How to add Artboards on Mac and Windows:

One of the biggest differences between Illustrator on Mac and Windows is the keyboard shortcuts. Certain actions require different keystrokes, for example, if you want to copy and paste a workbench:

  • On Mac: Click «Command + C» and then «Command + V».
  • On Windows: Click «Ctrl + C» and then «Ctrl + V».

To create a new Artboard the process is the same on Windows as on Mac. The shortcut to activate the Artboard tool(Shift + O) is the same on both platforms.

If you want to see all the differences in keyboard shortcuts on Mac and Windows, click here.

Adjust the configuration of the Work Tables:

Once you have all the worktables you want, you may want to adjust certain parameters, such as the size or orientation of a worktable.

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The easiest way to change the configuration of an Artboard is to simply select the Artboard and this panel will appear on the right side:

From this panel, you can easily change the size, name and orientation of your Artboard. If you want to change more complex settings, click the«WorkbenchOptions» button at the bottom of the panel to see the details there.

You can also manually change the size of any worktable. Once you select an Artboard a blue border will appear, you can click and drag from the corners or sides of the Artboard to manually resize it.

To change the configuration of several work tables at the same time:

  1. Hold down the «Shift» key and select the worktables you want to adjust.
  2. Use the panel on the right to adjust the settings
  3. Or manually adjust the size by clicking and dragging the blue border.

Pro-tip: If you make an adjustment you don’t like, you can easily undo it by clicking‘Command + Z‘.

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