I'm trying to convert a vanilla rectangle to Artboard in Illustrator CS5. Using the rectangle tool, creating a 100x100 rectangle, selecting Object > Artboards > Convert to artboard, I get a error dialog saying "To create Artboards, select non-rotated rectangles that are not clipping masks."

Now, since my rectangle is not rotated or not a clipping mask, I have no idea what's wrong. Do you ?

NOTE: Have tried restarting Illustrator and tried multiple times. The problem is bound to that document only. That is, if I create a new document in Illustrator, I can easily create artboards with this method.


7 Answers 7


Your best alternative would be to use the Artboard Tool. Select the Artboard Tool and just click on the edge of the rectangle and I hope that should solve your problem…


It should work just fine. I made my own 100 x 100 shape in Illustrator CS5 and did Object > Artboards > Convert to artboard without any problem. I would suggest trying to recreate it, it may be that you accidentally rotated it by just a bit. Oh and, restart Illustrator. Adobe products sometimes get glitchy and a simple restart of the program may just fix your issue.

Edit If it's bound to that specific document, it may just be easier to move everything over to the new document. It'll save you the headache of figuring out what's wrong, which is more effort than it's worth if the solution is to simply move everything over.

  • +1 for "restart." You have no idea how often that makes problems go away. Apr 12, 2011 at 15:39

I know this is an old question, long ago answered, but I thought I'd add this in case anyone is looking:

To convert a path to an artboard, it obviously has to be a closed path, with 4 anchor point forming 4 exactly 90° corners.

If any of the segments are bezier curves, or if the aren't exactly 4 anchor points, you cannot convert it to an artboard. Even a Rounded Rectangle with a 0 radius on the corners won't allow converting to an Artboard.

  • This turned out to be the case for me. I restarted Illustrator, created a fresh path (with 0.125in. radius) and it still would not convert to an artboard. I give up. Sep 22, 2015 at 2:41

I've had the same intermittent problem in CS5. Using the artboard tool is the only surefire way but I have had the issue mysteriously clear up at it's leisure.

There is one feature of the artboard tool that a lot of people don't know about you might find helpful. Once you have an artboard at the right size, you can create a new one with the same dimensions quite easily without duplicating (which can be a pain).

  1. Using the artboard tool, select the artboard in your doc with the dimensions you want to use.
  2. Click the new artboard button in the control bar enter image description here . Your tool is will be loaded with those presets.
  3. You'll see a preview of your new, sized artboard as you hover around the doc. Click to position it somewhere.
    enter image description here

I get this error a lot, but not every time. I'm not sure what the difference is between when I do get it and when I don't, but my fix is pretty simple.

I just double-click the rectangle that I'm trying to convert. This enters isolated editing mode for the object even though it's not part of a group or clipping mask or anything. Then, with the object still selected I re-do the Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboard step and it works.


If you still have this problem - i might have the solution: Make a new layer - create the rectangles that you want to convert to artboards - put them on the new layer. select rectangles - convert to artboards in the dropdownmenu from the artboard panel. Now this should work!


Solved: Create a New Layer > Move rectangles you want to convert to that new layer and it works every time!

  • There is no correlation between having a rectangle on a layer with multiple items or on a new layer with it being able to be converted to an artboard. It should be converted into an artboard even if it's on a layer with other items on it. It's always a good idea to ask for clarification or trying to replicate a problem before answering.
    – Abhimanyu
    Apr 23, 2020 at 11:50

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