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From the book Advanced Features of Multiple Artboards

Advanced Features of Multiple Artboards

You can find basic information on artboards in the chapter Your Creative Workspace. Following in this section are some of the more advanced features of artboards, which will help you work productively and maintain consistency within a project. (Scaling artboards is enhanced in CC.)

Duplicating elements to artboards

Among the more common functions you’ll need when you’re working in a multiple artboard document is the duplication of elements on multiple pages. Although there isn’t currently a built-in “master page” function, there are a number of ways to accomplish this task:

  • To duplicate elements when adding another artboard, select the Artboard tool, enable “Move/Copy Artwork with Artboard,” and hold down the Option/Alt key while dragging an active artboard to a new location.
  • Turn artwork created on one artboard into a symbol, then drag that symbol from the shared Symbols panel to any other artboard. Now just update the symbol to update all instances of it used on any artboards.
  • To move or copy the artwork a specified distance, measure the distance between the artwork and where you want it on another artboard. Then use Transform> Move and enter the measurement in the Distance input.
  • To copy “instances” of artwork to another artboard, use the Transform effect.
  • To copy objects to all other artboards in the same relative location, use Paste on All Artboards.

Managing artboards

Many features are available to help you work with artboards according to more specialized needs. If you select the Artboard tool to accomplish these tasks, use the Esc key to return to the tool you were using.

  • To renumber artboards using the Artboard panel, either drag artboard names to rearrange them, or highlight one artboard and click the up or down arrow icons. Renumbering artboards can be very helpful if you’re using them for presentations and storyboarding.
  • Rearrange artboard positions using either the Artboard panel menu, or Object> Artboards> Rearrange. A dialog lets you determine the order they repeat in both across the monitor and down (their layout), how far apart they are placed, how many columns they’re in, and whether or not the artwork is moved with them.
  • Convert any rectangle to an artboard using Object> Artboard> Convert to Artboard. Or use Object> Path> Split Into Grid to create several rectangles from one before converting them all to artboards.
  • To save artboards as separate files, choose Save As, then in the Illustrator Options section select “Save each artboard to a separate file,” and choose All or enter a range of artboards.

Exporting and printing multiple artboards

All artboards in a file share the same print options, including color mode, bleed settings, and scale, and you can choose to print either to a PDF file or to a printer. In the Print dialog, print artboards as separate pages (the default), or ignore artboards and tile the artwork.

  • Print to PDF always flattens the file. But you can choose the media, such as screen or slide, ignoring the actual artboard size—this is useful for presentations. Or you can scale the artwork to fit your media, among many other features found in the Print to PDF dialog.
  • Save As PDF preserves transparency, editing capabilities, and top-level layers, and you can set a level of security.
  • Print only some artboards using the Range setting. Scale them to fit your print media if desired.
  • Figure 13 After drawing a rectangle, choosing Split into Grid (original purple stroke is preserved), and Convert to Artboard

  • Print artboards with landscape orientation, or a mix of landscape and portrait, with Auto-Rotate when portrait is selected for the media. If your media is landscape-oriented, Auto-Rotate is disabled.
  • Print artwork that is larger than your media by using artboards instead of the Print Tiling tool. The Split Into Grid command (followed by Convert to Artboard) can divide the artwork into media-sized rectangles for you.
  • The boundaries of each artboard are cropped if your artwork overlaps artboards and you print each artboard as a page.
  • When printing pages in which two or more artboards are overlapping the same artwork, each artboard will print with whichever portions of the artwork are visible within that artboard.
  • Figure 14 Print to PDF dialog, including Auto-Rotate enabled by default when printing landscape artboards to media oriented to portrait

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