I've read many articles on how to adjust Artboard width and height settings in Adobe Illustrator, but have not found a single article on how to adjust the width and height for the background document layer that Artboards sit on.

A single Artboard may be 1000px by 1000px, but I can still scroll for miles left and right of the Artboard. I don't want that. I want the background size to bthe same as my Artboard size. How do we do that? Is that possible?


  • I don't think that is something that can be done. I've never had an issue with it; I actually like it. I can keep materials to the sides, if I'm working on variants of a design. – Manly Sep 4 '14 at 15:32
  • And thats cool that we have the flexibility to do that. I find it annoying at times when I am trying to drag specific items from my artboard, but then my mouse may go off track by accident and scroll allllll the way left. As a result, it doesn't feel that the martial's are contained when that happens, and that bothers me. Thanks for sharing. – klewis Sep 4 '14 at 15:35
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    I always zoom out, when moving objects out of my artboards to avoid (or minimize) the effect of any stray mouse movements. Otherwise, I CMD + Z and try again. To navigate, I always use the spacebar and mouse combo to click and drag around, so maybe that's another reason that I haven't had any real issues with over-scrolling. – Manly Sep 4 '14 at 15:38
  • I second space bar usage. Usually much more useful for moving around. (Hmm, I wonder what drinks they serve in a space bar? Cosmonauts perhaps.) – marcusdoesstuff Sep 8 '14 at 21:05

Nope, that's not possible. The workspace is the workspace, and you can't resize it. To alleviate your scroll problems, you might want to try Ctrl / Option+0, which will make your current artboard fully visible on-screen.

  • Thank you Vincent for the extra tip, along with the absolute truth. I know now what I have to deal with. – klewis Sep 4 '14 at 17:54
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    Very useful shortcut. I'll also add that that huge pasteboard is excellent for mocking up ideas. As there's not really much in the way of a history panel, many of us just duplicate objects or sets of objects as we go and leave a trail of 'sketches' in this area. Then there's multiple art boards. Oh and it's also handy having such a large pasteboard when you want the arc of a very large circle, for example. – marcusdoesstuff Sep 8 '14 at 21:01

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