How to Create Multiple Artboards in Adobe Illustrator (and how to edit the artboard size)

One of the greatest things about working in Adobe Illustrator is the ability to edit multiple designs in one document. Unlike Adobe Photoshop where you have to create completely new file to edit a new logo, photo, or other design, in Illustrator, you use what are called ‘artboards’ as your design space.

Why would you want to use multiple artboards? One way that I use multiple artboards is when I’m designing logos. I’ll create as many artboards as I have designs. I can see all of my previous designs on the screen to reference. Another way to use multiple artboards is if you have a graphic that you want to duplicate and easily compare. You can literally copy an entire artboard, with the design and all, and the make changes to the new artboard. In this way, you can compare color choices, font selections, etc. all on one screen.

How do you do it?

Option 1:

Create a document with multiple artboards from the start.

  • Launch Adobe Illustrator, create a new file (File -> New).

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.14.19 AM

  • Choose the amount of artboards you’d like by entering a number in the Number of Artboards text box.

choose number of artboards

  • Choose how you’d like to arrange the artboards (e.g. grid, row). You can also choose how you want your rows/columns to be arranged.

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  • Enter an amount of Spacing. This will determine how close your artboard is together. I usually want them separated by 20 points or so.
  • Choose the size of your artboards. Since Adobe Illustrator works with vector shapes, you don’t really need to worry about using an artboard that is the exact pixel-size of your end product.
  • Hit OK, and you’ll have your new document.

adobe illustrator project with 4 artboards

Option 2a:

Create new artboards in an existing project. If you’ve already started a design, or get a design that you’re working off of with only one artboard – here is an easy way to create a new artboard.

  • Select the Artboard Tool (Shift + O).
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Select the Artboard Tool


  • Click and drag to create a new artboard.

Click and drag to create new artboard

  • Start designing!

Option 2b:

Duplicate an existing artboard. This is what I usually do to create multiple artboards in a document that I already have open. With this method, you can easily create a new artboard that is exactly the right size/aspect. You can also duplicate designs (as I mentioned above) to create multiple iterations of a design.

  • Select the Artboard Tool (Shift + O)
  • Hold the option/alt key on your keyboard
  • Click the existing artboard that you want to duplicate, and drag. You will notice a ghost version of your artboard as you start to drag. Keep holding option/alt until you’ve moved the artboard to it’s final position. Unclick to set it in place.

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 9.18.36 AM

  • You now have a duplicated artboard that can be used.

PRO TIP: When using the artboard duplicating method above, while holding the option/alt key down, also hold down the shift key. This will lock the new layer on the same axis, so it is aligned properly. You will have to first due the option/alt + click before you hit the shift key. Otherwise, Illustrator won’t duplicate your artboard if you have option/alt & shift keys pressed before your click.

Adjusting Artboard Size

It’s really easy to adjust the size of your artboard, once it is already created.

  • Select the Artboard Tool (Shift + O)
  • Click and drag one of the edges or corners of your artboard to your liking.
  • Start designing!

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Thanks for checking out, I really appreciate it. If you have any comments or thoughts about designing in Adobe Illustrator, let us know in the comments below!