In Illustrator CC 2017, there is a limit of 100 artboards per file.

For a project I'm doing, I have several global swatches and symbols that I need on more artboards than that. (If the limit were 200 I would be okay.)

How can I work around this limitation?

Specifically, how can I share my global swatches and symbols between two files such that any changes to the symbol definitions or swatch definitions propagate to the other file?

Failing that, how can I manually propagate such changes without going to every symbol instance?

  • 1
    May I ask do you really need so many artboards? For example – if you have 180 objects... rather than having each one on its own artboard could you not instead have two groups of 90 objects, sharing 90 artboards? Then you could make one group visible, hide the other and export, then vice-versa for the other group. Apologies if I've misunderstood you somehow
    – BANG
    Jun 24, 2017 at 6:39
  • @BANG that may indeed be the best workaround. Please post as answer; I'll certainly upvote. :)
    – Wildcard
    Jun 24, 2017 at 7:30
  • Yeah sure, I can do that. I would have posted as an answer but I wasn't 100% sure I was fully following you, so I thought I'd clarify. Cheers
    – BANG
    Jun 25, 2017 at 0:59
  • 2
    Good news, the new Illustrator update supports up to 1.000 artboards! Oct 19, 2017 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


As far as I'm aware there is no way around this limit. A limit is a limit in this case... So let's just deal with it. This is thinking inside the box...

So for example if you have 176 objects, just make 88 artboards and put 2 objects on each artboard. The easiest way is likely just to have each set of 88 in their own group or layer.

Here (imagine) I have 88 artboards with 88 different icons:


And here I have 88 different (but every bit as lame) icons on the very same artboards:


Then when I want to export them I just do one group/layer at a time by toggling layer visibility:

176 icons on 88 artboards

This way we get 176 icons on 88 artboards in a single file.

  • Or you could have 1 artboard and export layers via script.
    – joojaa
    Jun 25, 2017 at 8:41
  • @joojaa True but maybe that's not really suitable for presentation purposes or something in this case... As with most things there's more than one way to do this as well.
    – BANG
    Jun 25, 2017 at 16:35
  • @joojaa That's why there are available slots here for multiple answers.
    – BANG
    Jun 25, 2017 at 17:03
  • 1
    The problem is that one of the best features of artboards is the ability to give them the names you want the resulting files to have. For me, the layers approach would only work where it makes sense to use layer-specific suffixes such as _mouseover and _disabled.
    – Jon Coombs
    Mar 26, 2018 at 21:59
  • 1
    Fortunately, the newer version with 1000 artboards per file alleviates this pain considerably.
    – Jon Coombs
    Mar 26, 2018 at 22:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.