Customize Artboard Sidebars video

Quick Tip: Customize Tabs in Sidebars

This video tip demonstrates how to show and hide sidebars, and how to move Tabs within sidebars for a customized workspace.

Artboard 2 collection Material color swatches

12 Custom Color Palettes for MacOS

When considering a new color scheme for your next design project, custom color palettes are a great place to start. Using Apple’s Color Picker, you can manually create new color swatch lists, or download and install pre-made custom color palettes from several sources on the web. Here’s how…

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Artboard 2 Add Perspective with Skew

Add Perspective with Skew

Artboard’s new ‘Skew’ function makes it easy to distort objects and add perspective. Here we combine multiple objects and apply ‘Skew’ to quickly add great looking windows to a tall building.

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Lemonade Day: Lemon Flat Icon

Lemonade Day empowers today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Children are introduced to entrepreneurship through the real world experience of starting their own business – a lemonade stand.  By running their stand, they learn the business and life skills needed to set a goal, make a plan and work the plan to achieve their dreams.

An important part of any business is great presentation. Learn this super easy technique to draw a bold lemon of your own. Because vector graphics are scalable, you can use designs like this on signs, fliers, tee-shirts and more.

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An Easy Trick for Cartoon Clouds

Cartoon clouds are fun to make and use! Sure, you can use the Freehand Path or Bezier Curve tools to draw clouds, and here we show how to use Artboard’s shape tools to get some really awesome (and super easy!) results.

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poster tile print vector drawings in Artboard

How to Tile Large Drawings for Poster Printing in Artboard

Poster print tiling comes in handy if you need to make a poster-sized proof, print, or any other over-sized output. Rather than taking the file to a printing company or service bureau, you can tile-print the drawing over multiple sheets of paper on your desktop at-home printer.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Beginner
Topics Covered: Printing
Estimated Completion Time: Quick

Printed drawings come in all shapes and sizes, but you are limited by the size of paper in your printer. Drawings can be larger or smaller than the physical paper size that you have in your printer. If the drawing is larger, your drawing is automatically tiled over multiple printed sheets enabling you to print large posters. Tiled sheets can be pieced together manually after printing. Choose “Crop Marks” from the print options to show the seams between printed sheets.

To Tile Print:

tile print drawings in Artboard
  1. Choose File > Print to open the print dialog.
  2. Click Show Details to reveal the print options, including “Fit to Single Page,” “Graph Paper,” and “Crop Marks.”
  3. Uncheck  ‘Fit to Single Page’ in the application print options.

To Shrink To Fit:

shrink to fit drawings in Artboard

When tiling a large drawing isn’t desired, you can change settings so a drawing will shrink to fit on a single page. Printing options include a simple checkbox for scaling the entire drawing to a single page.

  1. Choose File > Print… from the main menu.
  2. Check ‘Fit to Single Page’ in the application print options.

When fitting to a single page, all objects including text will be shrunk to fit.


Get Artboard Software Updates

To Install Mapdiva Artboard Updates (Non-Mac App Store)

For Artboard licenses purchased outside of the Mac App Store, open Artboard and click Artboard > Check For Updates in the main menu. A dialog appears letting you know if an update is available.

To Install Artboard Mac App Store updates automatically

OS X Yosemite can install Artboard software updates automatically as they become available in the Mac App Store. Click ‘Turn On’ in the “Turn on Always Update?” notification, which appears the first time an update is ready. Or turn on automatic updates in App Store preferences: choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then click App Store.

Update notification

If your Mac needs to restart to install, it restarts overnight, then re-opens your apps and windows as you left them. 

To Install Artboard Mac App Store updates manually

In OS X Yosemite, Artboard updates that haven’t been installed produce a badge next to App Store in the Apple menu, a badge on the App Store icon, or an App Store notification. You can use the App Store notification to install the update now or be reminded to install it later.

Apple menu App Store icon with red badge Update notification

Or, open the App Store and log in using the same account with which your Artboard purchase was made. Click ‘Updates’ in the toolbar. OS X updates appear first, followed by app updates, then updates installed in the last 30 days. Update each app individually, or click Update All.



Object Point of Origin

Artboard has many subtle methods for fine-tuning your work. One of these niceties is the point of origin, or center point, around which objects and symbols rotate and snap. Adjusting an object’s point of origin is simple and direct. Here’s how…

Point of Origin


The point of origin of shapes, symbols, grouped objects, and images is represented with a blue “target” originally rendered at the center of the object. To change the point of origin, simply hold ⌘Command and grab onto the blue target and move it to any location within the object’s bounding box.

Drag the point of origin near the center of the object to snap it back into its original position.

Object Rotation Pivot Point


The direct rotate knob is represented with a purple handle offset to the right of the object’s center. Simply grab the rotate knob and move to rotate the object. The rotation pivots around the object’s point of origin. To change the point of origin, simply hold the Command-key then grab it and move it to any location within the object’s bounding box. Object rotation will now pivot around the new point of origin.

Resetting the Bounding Box

After rotating an object, you can reset the bounding box to perpendicular and return the point of origin to the center of the object. Select the object and choose Graphic > Reset Bounding Box from the main menu. As expected, the object’s appearance does not change, just its bounding box.


Randomized Patterns Make Interesting Fills

Randomized patterns add texture and variety. This is an especially good effect for representing features with naturally occurring randomness. Artboard has several tools in the Style Inspector to help you make awesome randomized patterns.

Tutorial Details

Program: Artboard 1.6+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 25 minutes

Start with a Shape


Create a shape to be used for your pattern. Here we’ll use the Regular Polygon tool with a nice green fill style to make a shape. You could use the Freehand Path or Bezier Curve tools to make a similar shape that isn’t quite as symmetrical. In the Geometry panel we’ll adjust the shape to have 6-sides, turn on the “Star” shape option and adjust the “Tip” setting to about 70%. We end up with a clover-like shape that we’ll use for our pattern.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…


Make a Sandbox for your New Pattern


Use the Rectangle tool to draw a rectangle for your sandbox. We’ll play in here and you’ll be able to see your pattern as you are creating it. With your sandbox selected, open the Style Inspector and choose ‘Reset’ to reset to the default style. For now your rectangle looks like a dull grey box – but don’t worry, it’s going to get exciting fast!

Add a Pattern Fill


Click the “+” button to add a new Style Component. You’re going to add a “Pattern Fill.” Now, click the shape you made earlier and copy it (CMND-C, right-click > Copy, or Edit > Copy in the main menu). Then paste the shape into the image-well for your Pattern Fill by clicking ‘Paste Image’. With the default settings you are going to get a nice evenly spaced pattern like you see here.

Randomize Pattern


Now, let’s have some fun. You can go ahead and turn off the existing Fill and Stroke by disabling them (un-checking) in the Component list.

We hated to do it, but “Rand” stands for randomized. Why? It’s a long word and we’ve simply run out of room. Okay. So, the best way to get familiar with how these settings work is to play with them. Just keep in mind, very small and closely spaced patterns start using a lot of memory and may slow things down a bit. To get this particular look, we changed the Scale setting to 60%, Spacing to 0, Rand Spacing and Rand Scale to 100%, and Rand Angle to 25%.

Note, in the Inspector you may be seeing units expressed in “cm” or “in” or something rather than “pt” (points) as you see here. You can change your display units by choosing File > Drawing Size & Units in the main menu and selecting drawing units.

Suppress Clipped Images


But what about those shapes cut in half along the edges of our rectangle? That doesn’t look very natural.

Click to enable the “Suppress clipped images” option to keep most images from getting artificially clipped at the edges of a shape. Here we see how it looks on an irregular shape (right-click to quickly Copy Style and Paste Style onto a new shape). Sweet.

When you’re satisfied with your new style, you can optionally click on Style in the components list to name it and save it to the Library.



Now that you understand how to make a randomized pattern, go ahead and experiment. For example, you can also use existing images and even Artboard clip art as the basis for your pattern. Clicking “Image file” in the Style Inspector pane will let you select images from a file on your computer rather than pasting your copied graphic. In that case, small images with alpha-transparency (i.e., no white background) work best.

Here we’ve used the Symbol Stamp tool to add a tree symbol to our canvas. We then copy the clip art and paste it into the Style Inspector to create a different pattern. Since we don’t want these upright trees placed at funky randomized angles, we’ve changed the Rand Angle setting to zero. We’ve also upped the Scale back to about 60% since the image is pretty small already and this pattern does start to slow things down a bit. While for a small area like this or simple effect you could as easily use the Symbol Stamp tool and place clip art individually, it’s easy to see how handy randomized patterns can be.

You’re on your way to creating interesting fill styles. Have fun!


Import Free SVG Graphics, Like This Awesome Chinese New Year Dragon

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open-standard vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. SVG graphics are available from many sources, and here we show how to import and edit a graphic from, a free and public domain source of SVG clip art (Mapdiva is not affiliated with

Tutorial Details

Program: Artboard 1.7+ graphic design app for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Image Browser
Estimated Completion Time: about 10 minutes

Step 1

Obtain an SVG file to open in Artboard. Here, we visit and download an SVG file to our local computer directory.

The file in this tutorial is “Chinese New Year Icon” by nicubunu and is provided here as a convenience.

There are two ways to use SVG graphics in Artboard. Add an SVG graphic to an existing Artboard drawing or open an SVG graphic file directly. Both options will open the SVG in the native Artboard file format.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…


Step 2

Option 1: Add an SVG graphic to an existing Artboard drawing


Click the Image Browser icon in the Artboard toolbar to open it. As needed, click the “+” in the lower left corner of the Image Browser window to add the directory in which the SVG file is located. Drag and drop the graphic from the Image Browser onto your drawing canvas.

Artboard implements the SVG 1.1 standard, and ignores any and all non-standard comments that other applications frequently use to “help out” when parsing SVG. Occasionally, results may differ from what is expected. See Working With SVG for more information.

Option 2: Open an SVG graphic file directly from Finder

In Apple’s Finder, right-click the SVG file and choose “Open With > Artboard.” A new Artboard file will be created containing the vector graphic.

Step 3


Often SVG graphics contain many grouped objects, and sometimes groups within groups. As needed Select and Ungroup the imported graphic, then edit as desired.


Create Scrapbook Styles for Fun Spring-time Graphics

A scrapbook style is characterized by a wide outline around your graphic in the color of paper – as if the graphic were cut out by scissors. The key to this style is adding a wide stroke to show underneath the shape’s silhouette. Artboard’s advanced Style Inspector makes easy work of these fun scrapbook styles.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Step 1

Open a new drawing. We’ve changed our drawing units to points’ in the File > Drawing Size & Units… dialog. For this tutorial we are demonstrating using a graphic we’ve already drawn – a silhouette of a pigeon. Start by drawing your own shape or using a simple clip art (silhouette/outline shapes work best) in the built-in library. Even a simple circle or square will work to let you step through this tutorial.

Step 2

Open the Style Inspector. With the object selected, click “Reset” to create a new style. Change the fill color to a creamy off-white paper color (we’ve used RGB-251,248,229). Change the stroke color to a medium grey. Click the “+” button in the Style Inspector to add another stroke; change the width to about 14-pts and make it the same color as the off-while fill; check the box to add a shadow. Now, make sure this new stroke is at the top of the style components list – as needed, you can click onto the “Stroke” name in the style component list and drag to move it. Items at the top of the list are drawn first, therefore the wide stroke will appear under the other fill and stroke in your drawing.

This is a nice scrapbook look already – you could stop here. We’re going to enhance the look by adding some wavy line texture to the style.

TRY IT NOW! Download the Artboard resource file for this tutorial.

Step 3

With the shape still selected, click the “+” in the Style Inspector and add a “Hatch Fill” style component. Play with the settings to get the look you’re after. We’ve made the line width about 4.5-pts, used a nice blue color with partial transparency, and added some roughness and wobble to the lines.

Step 4

Follow step 3 above to add a second Hatch Fill using another color. We’ve made ours a nice semi-transparent green with different line width, spacing, roughness and wobble. The key isn’t trying to copy exactly how we’ve done it, but to play with the settings so you get a feel for what is possible.

Final Image

Congratulations! You’ve created a fun scrapbook style. Use the Style Dropper to apply this style to other graphics for instant gratification ;) or save it to your library for future use. Make variations of the style by clicking “Clone” in the Style Inspector and removing the hatch fills, adding new colors, and more. Enjoy the awesomeness – here are some free eggs for your basket.

Your pigeon dressed up with a cheery pink background – ready for spring!