Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Artboard tool, part of Illustrator CC 2015 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
- In this movie I'll show you how to move an artboard, with or without its contents, using the Artboard Tool. And we'll also see the function that multiple undos play inside Illustrator. So let's say for example what I want to do is I want to move artboard one to a different location. Well, it works a lot differently inside Illustrator than it does inside of any other multi-page application. Which is to say that you don't go to this Document Setup button up here.
I just want you to know that, because that's one of the most misleading things for new users, because you expect it to contain all that stuff that we saw in the New Document dialog box. For example, if I go ahead and choose the New command we can see that we have control over the Number of Artboards, the Spacing between the artboards, how they're arranged, the Size of the artboards, their Orientation, and so forth, as well as the Units and the Bleed values. Compare that, I'll go ahead and Cancel out, to what we see when we click on the Document Setup button, which is located up here in the control panel when the black arrow tool is active.
And so if I click on that button I see a lot of stuff down here, but all I see in the way of artboard controls is my Units, which are set to Points, and the Bleed values, and that's all. If I want to edit the artboards then I have to click on this Edit Artboards button. But that's a little bit misleading, because all that button does is close the dialog box and switch you to a different tool, which is the Artboard Tool located toward the bottom of the toolbox. So really the easier way to work, assuming that you already had some other tool selected, such as the black arrow tool up here at the top of the toolbox, is to just avoid the Document Setup button, no reason to click it, and just drop down here to the Artboard Tool and select it.
And now you'll see handles around the active artboard. So if I click on Artboard 2 I'm going to select it, 3, I'll select it, and so forth. Now one of the things that can throw you about clicking on artboards is you can make the mistake of clicking on an object in an already selected artboard. In which case you'll create a new artboard that is the size of that object. In this case the number 3. Now you might look at that and say how in the world is that artboard the exact same size by the way, in so far as Illustrator is concerned as the number 3? Well the reason is whenever you're working with type Illustrator is always evaluating how big all of the characters might be in this font at this particular type size.
And so like any other font, this one contains letters, some of which have ascenders that go upward and some of which have descenders, imagine the tail on a lowercase G, that go downward. And you can confirm that's the case by switching back to the black arrow tool. And the easiest way to do that by the way, to get out of this artboard mode, is to just press the escape key. That's going to deactivate the artboards and it's going to take you back to the black arrow. And notice, if I go ahead and click on the number 3 right here you can see this bounding box, which is the exact same size as that artboard.
Now of course I don't want that artboard, that was a mistake, so I'll go up to the Edit menu, and choose the Undo command right up here at the top, which has the standard keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Z on the PC, or command + Z on the Mac, and yes, you do have multiple undos inside Illustrator, as we'll see in just a moment. In any case, I'm going to go ahead and choose that command. And now I want to go back to modifying the artboards by selecting that Artboard Tool. And notice if you hover over the tool you're going to see a little tool tip that ends with Shift + O.
That is the keyboard shortcut for that tool. So you don't have to press the control key, or the command key, or anything like that, it's just Shift + O for the Artboard Tool. Or of course if you'd prefer not to clutter your mind with that keyboard shortcut just go ahead and select the tool here inside the toolbox. Alright, now what I'm going to do is click on Artboard 1 to select it, and I'm just going to drag it up and to the left like so to this fairly absurd location and then I'll go up to the View menu and choose Fit All in Window, so that I can see all of my artboards at the same time, set against that dark grey pasteboard, which is a kind of no mans land.
You can put any objects there you like. Things that you don't want to print, but you want to keep around. It's basically Illustrator's equivalent of a junk drawer. Now at this point let's say I want to move this page back into its current location, so that it exactly aligns horizontally to Artboard 5 and vertically to Artboard 2. Well, notice up here in the View menu that we have this command toward the bottom called Smart Guides and it's turned on by default. Smart Guides are extremely useful when you're moving artboards inside Illustrator.
And let me show you what that looks like. I'll go ahead and drag the artboard down and notice those green lines that I'm seeing, with that tiny word intersect. That's telling me that I'm intersecting with some portion of the other artboards, both horizontally and vertically, because I'm seeing two different lines there. Problem is I'm intersecting incorrectly. Because if I drop right here what I'm really intersecting with is the bottom of this bleed associated with Artboard 2, and the right side of the bleed on Artboard 5, which is not what I want.
So I'll go ahead and press control + Z, or command + Z on the Mac, to undo. And I'll try again, and this time what I'm looking for are lines going through the center of the artboards. See how I have a line directly through the center of Artboard 5? But I also have one at the bottom of Artboard 1, so that's a problem. In other words I'm aligning incorrectly with the previous location of the currently moved artboard, which can be a problem. So I'll just go ahead and put it some place else and try again. And now what I want is to see a center line going right there through Artboard 2.
Do you see it? That horizontal center line. And a vertical line going through the center of Artboard 5. And then if I release I have exactly aligned that artboard into place. Alright, now I want to show you a little bit of gotcha that can get you in trouble. Notice if I drag Artboard 1 down so it covers a little bit of that 5, and then I drag it to another location I'm going to take the 5 along with it. So objects can start getting stuck from one artboard onto another. And the same would happen, I'll go ahead and press control + Z, or command + Z on the Mac, if I were to click on Artboard 5 and drag it to a different location I would take the 1 along with it.
Which is why it's so useful, just given that I've muddled things up here, that I have multiple undos inside of Illustrator. So I'm going to go ahead and take advantage of them by pressing control + Z, or command + Z on the Mac, a few times in a row until I get back the original appearance of my artboards. Alright, now just one more thing. Notice that every time I've been moving an artboard I've been moving the contents of that artboard along with it. That's a function of this icon right here up in the control panel. If you don't want to move the object along with the artboard turn it off by clicking on it.
And then go ahead and drag the artboard anywhere you like. Now you may wonder why in the world would you want to do that? Well, sometimes objects in artboards get out of alignment. For example, if you check out this illustration right here, which contains a bunch of slides that I created for another course of mine called Pen Tool fundamentals. Everything looks like it's aligned properly, except for this upper right artboard, which is obviously out of alignment with its contents. So what I'm going to do is click on that artboard to select it, and notice that the Artboard Tool is still active, even though I switched from one document to another.
So I'll just go ahead and click on that artboard. If this option was on, this icon up here in the control panel, as by default, and I tried to drag this guy into place, you can see that all of the objects are moving along with it and that would of course be a disaster, because it's very hard to get these objects back into alignment after you've moved them with the artboard. So I'll go ahead and press control + Z, or command + Z on the Mac, to undo that move. And I'll turn off that icon up there in the control panel. And now notice when I move the artboard into exact alignment, which I know I've got, because I can see those center guide lines right there, as soon as I drop the artboard into place I've managed to properly position it without upsetting the position of those objects in my document.
And now that I'm done modifying the artboards I can go ahead and press the escape key in order to deactivate the Artboard Tool, so that I don't accidentally mess things up, as well as return to the black arrow tool up here at the top of the toolbox. And that friends is how you move artboards with and without their contents here inside Illustrator.
Start watching to learn how to create multipage documents with artboards; how to draw anything you can imagine with the Pen, Pencil, and Curvature tools; and how to start adding color to your artwork with swatches. Deke also covers drawing shapes, adjusting strokes, formatting text, and painting digitally, with or without a tablet. Each chapter should leave you with a new set of skills—and a sense of accomplishment.
And as Creative Cloud evolves, so will we. Check back every time Illustrator updates for new movies, new feature reviews, and new ways to work.
- Opening, creating, saving, and closing documents
- Working with artboards
- Zooming and panning
- Drawing lines, arcs, grids, and spirals
- Drawing shapes
- Creating compound paths
- Working in RGB vs. CMYK color modes
- Creating and applying swatches
- Adjusting the line weight of strokes
- Formatting text
- Building custom paths with the Shape Builder and Join tools
- Freeform drawing with the Pencil
- Painting and erasing artwork
- Painting with a tablet
- Drawing with the Curvature tool
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 02/24/2016. What changed?
A: We added five new videos and updated eight others, to keep up with the latest version of Illustrator CC.
Welcome to One-on-One4m 20s
1. Working with Documents
2. Working with Artboards
3. Getting Around
4. Drawing Lines
5. Drawing Shapes
6. Color and Swatches
7. Strokes, Dashes, and Arrows
8. Creating and Formatting Text
9. Building Custom Paths
10. Using the Pencil Tool
Creating a tracing template3m 28s
11. Painting and Erasing
12. Using the Curvature Tool
13. Using the Pen Tool
14. Drawing with Round Corners
15. Making Screen Graphics
Until next time1m 50s
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