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I have an .ai document with many artboards.

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I would like to save each artboard separately as an .eps so I can place it in InDesign. If I use the "Save As" option and check the "Use Artboards" box. It does save them separately but the result has the artboards' border:

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As opposed to when having only 1 artboard in the .ai file, and saving as .eps, it takes only the artworks' frame rather than the artboards':

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I would like to save all the artworks as an .eps but without the artboards' frame.

Is there a way to accomplish what I want without moving each artwork to a separate .ai document and then saving it?

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You do not need separate files or EPS files.

You can easily save your multiple artboard .ai file and then import artwork individually into InDesign without the additional space of the artboard.

It's merely a matter of choosing the correct Import Options when placing artwork into InDesign.

With Indesign...

Tick the Show Import Options checkbox in the Place dialog window in InDesign.
Or hold down the Option/Alt key when choosing Place to bring up the options.

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Select your file and click Open

In the second Place window navigate to the artboard you want to place on the left, then on the right ensure Art is selected under Options > Crop to.

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This will place the artwork on that artboard and clip it to the artwork bounds rather than the artboard area.

There's really no need for individual eps files, especially with InDesign.

InDesign CS6 screenshots, but it's pretty much the same in CC. It merely may look a bit different.


Additional regarding general workflow:

I build INDD documents, often small booklet-style projects ranging from 12 to 80 pages, digest to letter sized. I create dozens every year. Many times for the same clients. SO there's some common branding and "style" across all the documents for that particular client.

I then have a collection of artwork in .ai files. From branding images (logos) to custom created artwork of products or other client-related materials. These are kept in a "Client Art" directory for a particular client.

I do not recreate the same artwork for every new booklet project. I link to the very same ai files every time.

If I need to alter something like a color in an illustration, I open the .ai file, duplicate the art to a new artboard and edit the art on the new artboard. Then I go back and link the .indd file to that same ai file, but the new artboard. This keeps all artwork in the same file. 1 file to track. 1 file to edit. 1 file to backup, etc.

With this workflow I have a collection of .ai files used across multiple .indd files. I don't continually duplicate files for new projects.

Think of .ai files like a photographic headshot... you use the same headshot in every piece. You don't need to copy the headshot for each new InDesign file you create, you can link over and over to the very same .psd, .jpg, or whatever.

This methodology works for .ai files as well. But in addition, offers the ability to target a specific artboard when placing into InDesign.

  • Is there a difference if I place .ai or .eps? Also, if I place it this way, and then I want to change something in one of the artworks, how do I go about that? Do I change it in the original .ai and it updates automatically? Thank you. – Julian Broude Oct 17 '18 at 5:10
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    @JulianBroude Actually the .ai file is better than an eps. EPS is a flat file format unlike the ai format. See here And yes... Edit the original .ai file.. and it will update just like any other link in InDesign. See Here – Scott Oct 17 '18 at 6:37
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The point of the "Artboards" option (when exporting/save as) is to tell the doc not to use the border of the artwork, rather it should use the border of the artboard.


There is a script which may work for you, see this answer to another post.

I just tested it on a document (4 artboards - all artwork on one layer)

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Here were my settings (make sure to select Trim Edges)

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It seems to have worked for me, though it may be slightly different in your case.

  • Didn't work. It made 36 .eps files all the same. With the whole artworks as 1 big artwork. – Julian Broude Oct 17 '18 at 5:55
  • @JulianBroude do you think you could share the .ai file with me? It's possible that there is some difference in how you made it or the settings... – WELZ Oct 17 '18 at 11:32
  • Sure, How do I send it to you? – Julian Broude Oct 17 '18 at 13:39
  • You can upload it to an online file hosting service (I like nofile.io) – WELZ Oct 17 '18 at 13:41
  • Here you go.. NoFile – Julian Broude Oct 17 '18 at 14:06

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