Photoshop 2015 Has Artboards

A couple of quick pointers

Yes. This happened. It’s the first release of Artboards in Photoshop. We have more to do, but here’s some interesting stuff about our implementation so far.

Artboards — for those of you who, like first-time seatbelt users on airplanes, may be new to the concept : It’s like having as many pieces of paper as you would like to draw on all laid out a the table, instead of just one. (You can also draw on the table.)

Scroll to the bottom for the basics — but first some of the cooler stuff.

Can I still use Layer Comps?

You can still use layer comps with artboards. For example, you can set up a template for responsive screen design with a number of different layouts for different size devices then swap the states for all the devices with a layer comp.

Create a Library full of Artboards Templates
(and share them ?)

Artboards can go into a library. Just select them like you would any other layer and add them to your library.

When dragging your template out of the Library, hold down the Option key to get the layers (and the artboards!) back out of the library (instead of a cloud-linked smart object) and you’ll have a starting place for your next design.

They can be as detailed as you like you can actually put all of your starting layers in the templates you store in your library. Including the new Cloud linked smart objects.

And because they’re cloud libraries you can easily share your library of templates with your team with using Library collaboration.

Make sure you hold down Option when dragging from the library to get un-smart-object-ed artboards.

What about Stateful Design?

When you duplicate an artboard — it copies all the layers. Not a thunder-stateful way of working. But you can still mix stateful design with artboards in a number of amazing ways. All your atomize-able design components can be stateful objects : headers, footers, icon states, avatars. In this way you can keep your file size small but still rock the glory of artboards.

Spring Loaded Birdseye View

This is not an artboard specific, nor is it new — but it’s handy on really vast documents. Hold down H and click-and-hold anywhere on the canvas to zoom in. Move around… then let go and you’ll zoom out. It’s totally rad.

Feedback and Artboards 2.0

We’ve got a lot left on our backlog. Feel free to drop me a line and add your voice to the mix.

Ok, Now the Artboard Primer

  • Photoshop artboards are visible in the layers panel as a darker layer. The will feel similar to groups except that artboards cannot be nested.
  • New artboards can be created in the new document dialog or any layer group, or layer (vector or raster or smart) can be converted to an artboard by right-clicking the selected layers. (In this way you can convert non-artboard documents over to using artboards)
  • Any content placed within an Artboard layer moves with that artboard.
  • To select and work with an artboard, click it’s name or it’s exact border on the canvas, or select it in the layers panel to edit it’s properties in the properties panel or in the tool options bar. You can move them and change their sizes by dragging them around or just adjusting their borders.
  • Artboards auto-clip any content that falls mostly within it’s bounds. Pull the content out — it unclips and un-nests in the layers panel.
  • You can use the new Adobe Device Preview to preview just the right artboard sizes on connected devices.
  • You should be able to script artboards and create actions just like any other part of Photoshop.