Artboard secrets

Photo of Christian Krammer

by Christian Krammer on

I love artboards! For me they are still amongst the most important features of Sketch. Never before it was so easy to iterate on your designs. Want to try something out? Duplicate the current artboard. Have a total new idea? Create a new artboard. It's not unusual that I end up with artboards scattered all over my document this way. There are a few “secrets” about them, that I want to share with you now.

1. Resize to Fit

Introduced with Sketch 3.7, this new function lets you resize the artboard to the bounds of the contained layers. So if you have one with some excess padding and no content there, select the artboard and click on the “Resize to Fit” button in the Inspector. Or select a layer from it and pick “Layer > Resize Artboard to Fit” from the menu bar.

Animated screenshot of Sketch which shows how you can resize an artboard automatically so that it fits the content

2. Around selection

Say you couldn't withhold your idea and started with the first iteration of your design right on the canvas instead of creating an artboard right away. No problem. Select everything that the new artboard should contain, press A to go to the artboard tool and on top of the list of artboard presets in the Inspector click on “Around Selection”.

Animated screenshot of Sketch which shows how you can create an artboard from the current selection

3. Select all artboards

You have your artboards lined up perfectly and want to export them all, so you press cmd + A. But wait, this just selects all layers, not the artboards. Instead press shift + cmd + A to select all artboards.

Animated screenshot of Sketch which shows how you can select all artboards with a shortcut

4. Artboards within an artboard

This one's great for presentations. Instead of exporting all the relevant artboards separately create a big, overarching artboard that spans all the artboards you want to show. Then just export this single, big one.

Animated screenshot of Sketch which shows how you create artboards within an artboard to select all of them at once

5. Define new artboard preset

Your job may require that you constantly work on designs with unusual dimensions, like a gigantic widescreen design of 2148 x 1256. Wouldn't it be great if you could make a new artboard with exactly this size? Well you can with the unremarkable “+” icon at the bottom right corner of the artboard presets. After that you find your new artboard under the “Custom” section. Myself didn't know about this function until recently.

Animated screenshot of Sketch which shows how you can set a new artboard preset