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How to Use Multiple Artboards in Adobe Illustrator

Article Description

Perhaps no new feature in Illustrator CS4 has generated as much hype, intrigue, and head-scratching as the ability to define multiple artboards within a single document. With multiple artboards, Illustrator users can now create multi-page documents - but not, perhaps, in the way you might think. David Karlins, author of Adobe Illustrator CS4 HOW-TOs: 100 Essential Techniques, examines how to create and modify multiple artboards and how they can (and cannot) be used.

Creating Multiple Artboards as You Generate a New Document

You can create multiple artboards when you define a new document. This approach is especially useful when you know in advance that you want a set number of equally sized pages, laid out in a grid in your document.

Follow these steps to create a new document with multiple artboards:

  1. Generate the new document by choosing File > New from the Illustrator menu. The New Document dialog opens (see Figure 1).
  2. Enter a value in the Number of Artboards box to define the number of artboards in your document. The maximum is 100.
  3. Next to the Number of Artboards box are four icons that allow you to choose how to lay out the pages: grid by row, grid by column, row, or column. Choose one of these four layout options. For example, if you want to generate four pages in one row, choose the Row option. For four pages in a single column, choose the Column option. If you want to organize 12 pages into a few rows, choose the Grid By Row option.
  4. Use the Spacing spinner to define the spacing between artboards in your document.
  5. Set the Width and Height options to define page size. (All artboards generated this way will be the same size, but you can change artboard sizes later.)
  6. If desired, use the Bleed settings to define a uniform bleed for all pages. (Ableed allows printing to the edge of your print surface.)
Figure 1

Figure 1 Defining a 16-page document using multiple artboards.

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