When I use Illustrator CS5 on another machine, all objects X and Y are relative to their artboard, not the overall pixel grid (by pixel grid I mean the entire screen). How can I change this so the X and Y values are not relative to the object's artboard?

  • I think you'd have to set AI's measurements to pixels then do a zoom to 100%.
    – DA01
    May 19, 2011 at 13:45

4 Answers 4


You can reset your coordinate system to any point on the drawing surface. Just turn on your rulers and drag the vertex to the point where you want your new XY intersection to be.

Reset coordinates

Keep in mind that this will not move existing art, it will just change the point that the coordinates are relative to. For example, if you have a default letter-size artboard with an object at 0,0 - it will be located at 7795,7885 after moving your coordinates the bottom-left corner of the drawing surface.

  • 1
    Thanks, your answer put me on the right path. One has to go to View-Rulers and then select "Switch to global rulers" May 21, 2011 at 15:03

In CS6 right click on the ruler and select Change to Global Rulers. Not sure if this applies to CS5.

  • The same applies to CS5
    – JohnB
    Jun 5, 2013 at 15:41

If you require pixel-aligned placement, you will need to set the rulers and measurements to pixels and also use the pixel preview setting under View in the menu bar to ensure what you see on screen at 100% is what you are going to get when you export to a raster format.

The artboard is not necessarily a hard limit set by the application. You can set the artboard to whatever pixel dimensions you require and the work with Illustrator as you otherwise normally would using the artboard as a guide. You can even set the origin of the rulers to be anywhere in or out of the artboard or simply turn them off is you find them distracting.

  • Artboard can't be larger than 16383 pts wide or tall. (Limitation of the datatype that holds the dimensions. 2^14 = 16384. Dimension can be stored in 2 bytes.) (Not that this should ever matter)
    – Farray
    May 19, 2011 at 16:09
  • @Farray: True, but I think there is a misunderstanding on the part of the OP on the use of the artboard. I am a big proponent of the idea that anytime we are asking what the limitations are of doing something in software, then we are approaching the problem the wrong way. May 20, 2011 at 1:50
  • In total agreement, was just being nitpicky. ;) I actually cannot recall a single project where I've ever needed to move the axis coordinates...
    – Farray
    May 20, 2011 at 15:06

View -> Rulers. Right-click your ruler and Choose 'Artboard Rulers'.

  • Welcome to GD.SE! Can you please add an screenshot to explain better what you mean?
    – Mensch
    Jul 18, 2017 at 16:12

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