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10.2 Artboards

Artboards are a fantastic tool to help with creating multiple aspects of different projects, such as the front and back sides of fliers, or multiple device size previews for UIs. Artboards were introduced to Affinity Designer in version 1.5, and you’ll learn to use them in this lesson.

10.2 Artboards

Hey welcome back to the bonus lessons in Affinity Designer in Quickstart. In this lesson we're gonna go through how you can use Affinity's art board functionality. So if you haven't worked with art boards before, they essentially allow you to create something like multiple documents inside one document. Let's say you need to create the front of a flyer and the back of a flyer. And you need those to be independent of one another. Well with Appboards, you can have both of those but inside the same document. All right, so let´s go through the different ways that you can create app boards in Affinity Designer. So one of the ways is from the word go when you first create a document. So we are gonna make a new document. For the type we are gonna choose devices and we'll leave this set as iPad Air. This is gonna give us a space to work in that has the same dimensions as an iPad Air. And now we just want to make sure that this box here is checked, that's Create artboard. So now instead of just making a document that is this size here, it's gonna create an artboard within a document at that size. So let's see what happens. Right so now this is our art board. Now this space works just like a regular canvas in Affinity Designer. But you can create multiple art boards like this inside this single project. So like in this example we've just created an art board that is designed to be the size of an iPad that's in landscape orientation. And we can also add others in different orientations and at different device sizes. So from here, if you wanna add another art board, we can choose the art board tool up here. And now, with this tool, we can either draw out an art board at the size we want. Or from up here, we can choose a predetermined size, so, we've already got our iPad, so let's choose an IPhone as well. And now we hit Insert Artboard, and there's our second art board here. So with these two, we can have examples of how the same UI will look in different layouts. So you'll notice that this one's been automatically labeled iPhone 6, but this one still says art board 1. So we can rename that by going to the layers menu here, double clicking and now we can change that so it says, iPad Air. So now, what happens if there's some other arbitrary size that you wanna cater for? What you can do is draw out an art board at any size you please. And if you wish you can come down here and you can directly enter the size that you want. So you need to be a little bit careful because working in points here, as we set this to use retina sizing. So we have two pixels on the screen here for every one pixel that we are going to have in [INAUDIBLE]. So this means it will let you use half pixels. So we'll just change that to a full pixel amount. So that size can be set into anything that you like. And you can also. Any art board that you draw out, you can resize it in basically the same way that you would if you'd just drawn out a regular square shape. So you can grab the corners, you can resize. The same thing all basically works the same across the board. And those types of transformations can be done with either the artboard selected or with the move tool selected. So that's the same thing there. And these can also be moved around in the same way. So you can click and drag them to position your art boards just as though they were regular shapes. You notice that right now I can click on any of these art boards to select it. And as long as they're empty, you're going to be able to select them in that way but once you have something inside the art board, you're no longer gonna be able to select that art board by clicking on it. I can still select the other ones but not this one. So, once you have something inside your art board to select it, you just want to click the label up here instead. And you can always select your art boards directly from the layers panel as well. And depending on the kind of color scheme that you're using in whatever design that it is that your putting inside these art boards. You might want to change this background color here. This might be too light or too dark. So the way you can do that is by going to edit preferences going into user interface. And then here, you can see we have art board background gray level. And with this dragger, you can make the whole background darker, or lighter, anywhere in between black and white, you can set that at. Now another really handy thing if you're working with art boards particularly if you're using art boards to show off different device previews is these transformation buttons up here. So let's duplicate our iPhone 6 Artboard with Ctrl + J. We'll just move this over. Now, with this art board selected, if I wanna have a landscape orientation, all I need to do is hit one of these Rotate buttons here counterclockwise or clockwise. So now, we've got the same device shown with the two different orientations. Now as you're moving around in between these different art boards and working on your design. You're also going to often want to zoom straight in on the one that you're working on. To do that, make sure that the art board in question is selected. Then go up to View>Zoom And then hit Zoom to Selection, and you can also use Control-Alt-0, or Command-Alt-0 to do the same thing. So now we're zoomed in on the iFind 6 Landscape Artboard. And then to go back to looking at the entire document, with all of the art boards, you can hit Control-0. So now what about exporting your art boards? Now there are a couple of ways that you can go about exporting individual art boards. One of them is to select the art board that you want to export. Go up to File, Export. And now here you see that we have an area drop-down. By default that's set to export the entire document, so it says whole document here. But if we hit that drop-down you can see that it's populated with a list of all the art boards we have in our document. So in this case we can choose whichever one we want to export. And then we will be able to export that alone in whatever file format we need to. So that's one way to go about it. The other way you can go about it is to switch into the export persona. And here you'll notice that each one of our art boards has already been automatically sliced. Each one of those slices has been named according to the name of the art board. So to export one of these all you have to do is hit this little button here. And there you're gonna be able to export your art board with whichever file format and settings you have setup here in the export options. But what if you don't need export an art board, what if you just need to print an art board directly off your machine? Well for that the process is almost the same as doing a regular file export. But instead of going to File>Export, you head to File>Print. And then in the range drop down here, this is where you'll be able to choose the art board that you wanna print out. So you can choose whichever one you need and you'll get a little preview here of that artboard so that you know that you're exporting the right one. So that's it, that's all pretty straightforward just like most things are when you are working with Affinity Designer. And art boards are a function that a lot of people have really come to depend on in a workflow. So, now you can use them in Affinity Designer as well. In the next bonus lesson, we're gonna be going through another one of the new features that came out with Affinity Designer 1.5. And that is the constraint system. Constraints allow you to control to how a child object will respond when its parent is resized. So with that functionality you can save some time when you're trying to reuse objects throughout your designs. And to a degree you can kind of simulate responsive functionality as well. You can't fully simulate it as you would expect to see in a web browser, but you can certainly get part of the way. So in the next lesson we're gonna go through how to access the constraint system, how to use it, and what the different settings are that it involves. So I'll see you in the next lesson.

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