How to resize an artboard in Illustrator

Do you need to resize an Illustrator artboard?

Like most things in Adobe Illustrator, learning how to edit the size of an artboard in Illustrator can be very simple or very frustrating, depending on your point of view. The problem here is that most people often make the mistake of approaching Adobe Illustrator from the same direction and assumptions as approaching Adobe Photoshop.

Although similar in some respects, the small complexities found in both programs make them highly unique from each other. If you try to transfer what you learned in Photoshop to Illustrator, you will have problems. These two programs are inherently different, and as such, both require unique perspectives.

That said, resizing an artboard in Illustrator can be useful for many reasons. Sometimes project requirements change, the client wants a different size graphic, or you may be creating several artboards on a single project and need to individually customize the size of each one.

Whatever the case, Illustrator makes the process very easy.

Creating a workbench in Illustrator

If you are familiar with Adobe Illustrator, you already know what an Illustrator artboard is. Simply put, it is like a layer in Photoshop or a page in Indesign. It is an empty space where you can create and display design elements.

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When creating a new document in Illustrator, you must choose the size of the artboard or canvas you prefer. There are eight commonly used presets:

  • Letter: 612 x 792 pt
  • A4: 28 x 841.89 pt
  • Printing-Large: 19008 x 8640 pt
  • Legal: 612 x 1008 pt
  • Tabloid: 792 x 1224 pt
  • A3:89 x 1190,55 pt
  • B4:5 x 103.81 pt
  • B5:9 x 708.66 pt

If you have something more specific in mind, you can edit the workbench settings. Perhaps you are not satisfied with your design, or there is too much or too little empty space. Change the size of the worktable using one of the following three methods.

Option 1: File > Document Setup > Edit Work Tables

As with most tasks in Illustrator, there are several ways to resize an artboard.

Here is one of the easiest ways.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your Illustrator project
  2. Select Document Settings from the tool’s options bar (or select File > Document Settings from the top menu).
  3. When the pop-up window appears, select Edit Workbenches. This will activate the handles on the edges of your workbench.
  4. With the Move tool (Shift + M), drag and drop any of the four corners or sides to the desired size. Hold down the Shift key while doing this if you want to restrict the aspect ratio of the artboard.

In summary, with this method, you will essentially be following these steps: File > Document Setup > Edit Work Tables.

  • Pro tip: You can also press «Shift + O» to perform the same action. This keyboard shortcut can also be used in Canvas to change the dimensions of the artboard (width, size, shape) and can save you a lot of time and headache.
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Option 2: Window > Workbenches > Workbench options

This is another option or method you can use to resize an artboard in Illustrator. It is quite simple (Window > Workbenches > Workbench Options).

  • Simply go to Windows > Workbenches, where a workbench palette window appears. Once it has appeared, there are two options available
  • Double-click on the icon of the working tables
  • Click on the horizontal lines in the upper right corner of the Workbench panel. Once there, click on the lines and a drop-down menu will appear. Go to the «Workbench Options» menu, and from there, you can change the workbench settings, including the size of the workbench, to whatever you want.

Option 3: Using the tool on the working table

This is the manual option.

To achieve this, you need:

  • Step 1: Start by opening the Illustrator project you want to resize. Once the project is open and before you can change the specific size of the artboard, you will see the original or existing artboard on the canvas.
  • Step 2: On the left side of your new document, there is a toolbar panel or tool pane. Select the «Artboard» tool, which has the «+» symbol at the top of the page. You can also select this tool using the keyboard shortcuts («Shift + O» for Windows and «Command + O» for Mac).
  • Step 3: A blue box with anchor points will surround the worktable at this point. You can then hover the mouse over any of the points in this blue bounding box and drag it manually to resize the artboard. You can repeat this process until you achieve the desired results.
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If you are working on several Artboards simultaneously, you can simply select the one you want to resize in your workspace using the Artboard tool. After that, it is just a matter of following the steps described above until the desired results are achieved.

Note: If you are new to all this, you can simply make a clone of the existing Artboard using the Artboard tool. To achieve this, all you have to do is select the tool, then press Option for Mac and Alt

for Windows while dragging the desired Artboard.

This action will immediately create an exact copy of the selected artboard, with all existing design elements. You don’t have to worry about ruining your original artwork.

What is the maximum size of an Illustrator artboard?

Currently, the maximum size of an Illustrator artboard is 227 x 227″. If your design is larger than this, you can resize it when you send it to print. You can also resize several work tables simultaneously.

Hold down the shift key and select the artboards you need to resize, and then change the value using one of the three methods you learned above.

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