I was wondering if there's a way in Illustrator CC to export artworks containing multiple artboards, to multiple single-paged .pdf files, as Illustrator already does for images like .jpg files.


The plugin @Gramps mentioned is a valuable solution for those who don't need a precise control over PDF settings.

From what I can see from the plugin source code, the author set just this options for the exporter:

   [...] } else if ( this.format == 'PDF' ) {
          options = new PDFSaveOptions();
          options.compatibility = PDFCompatibility.ACROBAT5;
          options.generateThumbnails = true;
          options.preserveEditability = false;


So my question moves just a little bit further, as I need precise control over PDF settings, to pursue high quality and printable vector .pdf filess.


  • 1
    You do know you can open the .pdf in Acrobat and batch script to export each page?
    – user9447
    Jun 26, 2014 at 14:50
  • Also, have you tried using the plugin/script by Matthew Ericson?
    – user9447
    Jun 26, 2014 at 14:52
  • @Gramps Thanks for your quick reply. I've seen the plugin you mentioned and it's really good, but you can't edit options as you would in illustrator
    – Ivan
    Jun 26, 2014 at 15:07
  • 1
    As i saw in the script, all the author set in the options is: } else if ( this.format == 'PDF' ) { options = new PDFSaveOptions(); options.compatibility = PDFCompatibility.ACROBAT5; options.generateThumbnails = true; options.preserveEditability = false; } which is absolutely not complete. My question is more about getting a pdf that is perfectly suitable for HQ prints, so i must attend precise settings.
    – Ivan
    Jun 26, 2014 at 15:08
  • Then you may be better off exporting as a package and bringing into Acrobat and editing.
    – user9447
    Jun 26, 2014 at 15:42

9 Answers 9


ScreenshotExport> Export for screens

Choose PDF as format (Press the settings icon to change preset).

Enter name into the Prefix window.

The name of the artboards should append after that name.

  • 1
    Click the "gear" icon and select your PDF settings Nov 1, 2018 at 8:16
  • That seems to work, but it also add all artboards which it should not do Dec 17, 2018 at 17:06


No scripts required! On my Mac, it's plain and simple:

  • Click "save as"
  • Choose format "pdf"
  • Check "Use Artboards"
  • (Specify Range, one by one if wish)
  • Save as pdf.

I don't know if you are running Windows or Mac though? I cannot say if it is any different on Windows, as I don't run Illustrator on Windows.

  • 3
    That doesn't create separate, single page pdfs from the artboards. It creates one pdf containing all artboards. (I'm using CS6, on Windows) May 25, 2016 at 0:51
  • 1
    True @Samuel, but with Acrobat Pro you can extract a multiple page PDF to separate files. It adds one more step, but can be a solution.
    – ispaany
    Nov 21, 2016 at 20:49

There is a free script available called MultiExporter which can export artboards to PDF, JPG, PNG and EPS.

You can download it here: https://gist.githubusercontent.com/TomByrne/7816376/raw/MultiExporter.jsx

Just add it into your Illustrator scripts folder and it will appear under File > Scripts > MultiExporter.

The best part about this plugin is that it keeps the artboard names intact when exporting.

Note however that the script uses the last used PDF export settings. You may want to uncheck "Trim Edges" if exporting as a PDF - this feature is a bit unreliable.

enter image description here


If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC or Acrobat Standard DC (neither are free):

  1. Save as Pdf, all pages
  2. Open that PDF in Acrobat
  3. "Organize Pages"
  4. cmd + a to select all pages
  5. Top toolbar becomes visible, click "Extract pages as separate files"

I highly recommend the Smart Layer Export plugin. It lets you export artboards (and layers, as the name implies) to many formats, including pdf, and lets you specify many parameters in the export format, naming etc.


Where the "extract" option fails is when you are opening in RIP software for printing. You are not really extracting individual pages. Try opening them as individual, and you find it contains ALL of the artboards. RIP software will try to process all of the artwork contained. I need the ability to export 50+ artboards with cut layers as individual files.

  • Welcome to GD.SE! Seems to me to be a comment ...
    – Mensch
    Dec 28, 2017 at 1:27

At least with CC2014 you can use File -> Save As... -> *.AI and tick Save each artboard to a separate file: Save as Illustrator dialouge

You can then simply use the generate .ai files like an pdf or run some batch processing on them to gain precise control over the pdf settings.


Export to PDF. Then in Acrobat: Organize Pages -> Split -> Split by - Number of pages - 1 -> Split


Using Adobe CC Acrobat, open your multi-page PDF.

  • Create a folder to dump your individual files into
  • View page thumbnails on the left side
  • Select all (if you forget this step, you can select page range later)
  • Right click
  • Select "Extract Pages"
  • Be sure the range is correct
  • Check the "Extract pages as separate files" box
  • Select your desired folder
  • Done.

This is the easiest way I've found. There might be a way to do it in Illustrator now, but if so I haven't found it.

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