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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.

Working with Multiple Artboards?

So what's the point of multiple artboards, and how do they help you? The point of multiple artboard documents, really, is that they're documents made up of pages with similar properties, including defined bleed, color mode, printer marks, printer profiles, and other print features.

You can print any or all of your artboards by using the Print dialog in Illustrator. Many print options apply globally to an entire document and all the artboards within it, but you can elect to print all artboards, select artboards, or only non-blank artboards. To access those features, follow these steps (see Figure 10):

  1. With your multiple-artboard document open, select File > Print to open the Print dialog.
  2. Select the General category.
  3. Use the Range box to define which artboards to print. For example, if you want to print artboards 1, 3, and 5, enter 1,3,5 in the Range box. If you want to print artboards 3 through 5, enter 3-5.
  4. Select the Skip Blank Artboards checkbox if you want to print only non-blank artboards.
  5. Define output features for the entire document, such as page size, marks and bleed, color management settings, and overprint and transparency flattener options.
  6. When you're finished defining artboard-specific settings and general document settings, click Print.
    Figure 10

    Figure 10 Defining print output to publish pages 1–4 and 6 of a document.