If you have a navigation element like a header or footer that you are constantly changing and you want it to update simultaneously across multiple artboards is there a way to achieve this in Illustrator?

I thought an AI template would be the way to go but it just seems to place an object with a wireframe without rendering any artwork.

Pasting on all artboards comes pretty close, but requires you to manually run the feature every time and pastes a duplicate over the original.

Thanks in advance for any help on this.


  • 1
    It's so easy. After you finished designing the header convert it to a symbol. copy the generated symbol to all your artboards. Now when you want to modify your header just edit the symbol you just generate it.
    – hsawires
    Mar 6, 2016 at 6:29
  • Please leave that as an answer I feel like an idiot because I'm doing that everywhere.
    – jsuissa
    Mar 7, 2016 at 1:37

1 Answer 1


Converting your website header into a symbol to ensure having a single element that could be changed in any time reflecting into any place that symbol will be placed.

Here's my step by step solution

  1. Open a new blacked document and set your document dimensions according to your website.
    1. Make a new dartboards

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  1. Draw you website header the way you like it.

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  1. Select all you artwork (Website header) and convert it into a Symbol by selecting it with the black arrow and drag and drop it into the Symbols Panel.

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  1. you will notice that the select artwork on your artboard converted into a symbol. Name it as you wish. I name it Header

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  1. Cut the new generated symbol Ctrl+x and past it into your all artboard all at once by going to Edit > Past in All Artboards or press Alt+Shift+Ctrl+v

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  1. Now you will notice that you have an instance copy of your header distributed in all your artboards.

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  1. if you change the symbol you have just generate it will be reflected in your all Artboards instantly.
  2. change the design of your website header by double click the Header symbol in the symbol panel or in your artboard .. you will edit your design in Isolation Mode where you can edit the Header symbol in separably.

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  1. You will notice that the changes will be reflected in the other Artboards instantly.

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  1. be ware that any changes in your old design will be permanently, so if you like to keep the old design make an instance of your old design and rename it into another name.

That's it.

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