When I File > Export using Artboards from Illustrator the (OSX)file dialogue is always pointing at the directory where the Illustrator document is located. If I need to export to a different directory I have to navigate through the filesystem to find it.

The next time I export Illustrator has forgotten this directory and I have to do this all over again. When I am exporting, previewing a webpage that uses the artwork, tweaking and re-exporting repeatedly this is a massive speed bump. I'm sure the answer is painfully simple but what is it?

  • Mac or Windows? Default Folder X for the Mac solves this issue for almsot every application, but it is an additional cost.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 18:24
  • On my machine File>Save for web and devices remembers the directory. How are you exporting it? Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 2:07
  • I'm using File > Export so that I can use Artboards as this isn't an option in Save for Web.... Why this is the case I have no idea. It seems that this is something that needs unifying. Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 9:50

2 Answers 2


There is a shortcut in OSX that presents the last few folders in the save dialog, In the save dialog window, directly under the filename area is a dropdown that reveals the folder structure for the current folder AND below that list is one called 'recent places' which list your most recent folders. Not automated but very handy, so to is the 'save for web' option remembers last folder.


I use a js to export artboards. It remembers the last directory. For a repetitious cycle like you describe, this would probably be a faster solution for you.

Any artboard you want exported should be appended with the correct file extension. Compression and type can be included after the extension:

Artboard1.jpg60 <-- without the compression it picks up Adobe's default (30!)
Artboard2.png <-- exports to 24 by default

    #target illustrator

    var i, il, j, jl, m, doc, filepath, filetype, filetypes, filename;

    doc = app.activeDocument;
    /*filepath = doc.fullName.path;*/
    filepath = Folder.selectDialog("Pick your destination")

    // Build Export Options
    filetypes = [
      { pattern: /\.png(24)?$/i,  rename: ".png", type: ExportType.PNG24, options: new ExportOptionsPNG24() },
      { pattern: /\.png8$/i,      rename: ".png", type: ExportType.PNG8 , options: new ExportOptionsPNG8() },
      { pattern: /\.jpg(\d+)?$/i, rename: ".jpg", type: ExportType.JPEG,  options: new ExportOptionsJPEG() },
      { pattern: /\.gif$/i,                       type: ExportType.GIF,   options: new ExportOptionsGIF() }
    for (j=0, jl=filetypes.length; j<jl; j++) {
      filetypes[j].options.artBoardClipping = true;

    // Export Artboards
    for (i=0, il=doc.artboards.length; i<il; i++) {
      filename = doc.artboards[i].name;

      if (filename) {
        for (j=0, jl=filetypes.length; j<jl; j++) {
          filetype = filetypes[j];
          m = filetype.pattern.exec(filename);
          if (m) {
            if (filetype.rename) { filename = filename.replace(filetype.pattern, filetype.rename); }
            if (filetype.type === ExportType.JPEG) { 
              if (m[1]) {
                filetype.options.qualitySetting = parseInt(m[1], 10);
              } else {
                filetype.options.qualitySetting = 72;
            doc.exportFile (File(filepath + "/" + filename), filetype.type, filetype.options);

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