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I have a file with multiple artboards of varying sizes.

When I print to PDF, I usually get just the size of the first artboard, the rest are either cropped or have a white border around them.

Any solution to getting all the artboards to PDF at the correct size?

How can I print all of my differently sized artboards to a PDF, with each of them keeping their originally specified artboard size?

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2 Answers 2

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You need to save as PDF, not print to PDF.

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When you are printing to a PDF using either a PDF Printer (Windows) or Built-in Functions (Mac), they are attempting to emulate the output of a physical printer. As a result, you can often get undesirable elements and results including crop marks, registration marks, bleed, margins, color bars, and other printer marks. In addition, saving to PDF will maintain a CMYK profile which can also shift your colors for export.

Printer Marks that could be enabled (accidently)

When you save as a PDF using Illustrator's native function (via File > Save As and using the drop down switch to select your artboards), you are generating a PDF with Illustrator-like functionality. In addition, you can control which artboards you want to export, what color profile to use, archival profile, add a password, and even retain the Illustrator layers and editability with one check box!

Preserve Illustrator Editability

For an extra tip, did you know that you can open AI files in Acrobat? Just Right Click > Open With on the file and open it in AI. All of your artboards are retained, all of your sizes, all of your settings. And yet, it acts like a PDF. Cool, no?

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