Documents can have one or multiple sheets. You can specify the initial size of sheets in the New Document dialog when you are creating a new document.
Activate a Sheet
To activate (or select) a sheet, click on its name in the Sheets panel. If you are going to work with multiple sheets, it makes sense to name sheets appropriately in order to distinguish them in the list.
Another way to activate a sheet is to click on it with the Sheets tool .
Objects and Sheets
The location of an object can be calculated in either a local or global system of coordinates. When the coordinate system is local, each sheet has the zero point at the top left corner. Consequently, the object coordinates are calculated in relation to the zero point of the active sheet.
Each object is associated with some sheet. There is no strong linking between sheets and objects. Once an object is added on top of a sheet, the object becomes associated with this sheet. Then, any time you select that object, the respective sheet becomes activated.
Later, it will be explained how to rearrange sheets on the canvas. When you change the location of a sheet, objects can either move along with it, or they can keep their global position. In the former case, all objects that are placed over the sheet completely or partially will move no matter which sheet they belong to. After that, all objects that were relocated together with the sheet will belong to this sheet.
If you choose to move objects together with a sheet, make sure that all of your artwork either moves or stays. Otherwise, you can break the design apart.
The Move artwork with sheet button controls the ability to move objects when you relocate a sheet. It is available in the Control panel when the Sheets tool is activated.
Manage Sheets using the Sheets Panel
To open the Sheets panel, choose Window > Sheets command from the main menu.
The Sheets panel lists sheets present in the current document. If there are multiple sheets in the document, give them meaningful names to easily differentiate one sheet from another. In order to rename a sheet, double-click on its name in the list. Notice that each sheet has two identifiers. In the image above, "Sheet 1" is the name that you can edit. To the left from the name, there is the sheet number which is "1" in our case. The sheet number cannot be changed.
The panel lets you add and delete sheets using and buttons correspondingly. See the Add and Delete Sheets subsection for more details.
A sheet can be made invisible by clicking on a check box near the sheet's name.
To define how sheets should be arranged on the canvas, click on the button. The Move and Arrange Sheets section has more details on this topic.
Properties of each sheet can be accessed by clicking on the corresponding icon. The Properties pop-up lets you set up the size, orientation, and position of the sheet.
You can choose a pre-defined sheet size by selecting a combination of Type and Preset. You can also input the width and height directly into the W and H fields.
The Orientation buttons simply swap the current width and height.
Each sheet can be positioned on the canvas by inputting the X and Y coordinates. Notice that these fields always operate with the global coordinates.
You can also change the origin point using the 9-point Anchor control. It defines which of the nine points should appear at the coordinate set by X and Y. For example, if you want to place the center of the sheet at the zero coordinate, click on the point in the center of the Anchor control.
Add and Delete Sheets
In order to add a new sheet, click the plus button at the bottom of the Sheets panel.
By default, a new sheet has the same size as one that was previously selected in the list. That is, if your document already has big and small sheets, and you want to have one more small sheet, select the small one before clicking on the plus.
To delete a sheet, select it in the list and click on the trash icon. You cannot delete the last sheet.
There is an alternative way to add and delete sheets. This can be done using the Sheets tool that is described below.
Move and Arrange Sheets
You can select how sheets should be arranged on the canvas by clicking on in the Sheets panel. This button opens a pop-up panel.
The Layout options define how sheets should be arranged on the canvas.
The Reverse check box inverses the order of sheets when you add them.
The leftmost button in the Layout settings places sheets in a fixed number of columns and variable number or rows. The Columns parameter defines how many columns there should be. Identically, you can set up the number of rows when the second Layout button is selected.
The Spacing field defines the distance between sheets vertically and horizontally.
To apply a new setting, you simply click the Rearrange button.
Jump to a Sheet
In a document with multiple sheets, one or several of them may appear outside the editing area. You can use scrolling in order to access such a sheet. The Sheets panel lets you jump to a sheet by double-clicking on the sheet's number. This function scrolls to the sheet and fits it into the editing area.
The Sheets tool lets you add, delete and relocate sheets. To activate this tool, click on its icon in the Tools Panel.
Once the tool is activated, the Control panel displays the related controls. Later, we'll discuss the purpose of each of them.
Select a Sheet
In order to delete, move or resize a sheet, you should select it.
To select a sheet, click on it with the Sheets tool.
A selected sheet displays a frame with handles. The Sheets panel indicates the selected sheet in sync with the tool. You can use any of them to select another sheet.
Resize a Sheet
To resize a sheet, click on it with the Sheets tool. Then drag a side or corner handle.
To input the exact width and height in pixels or other units, use the Properties pop-up in the Sheets panel.
Add a Sheet
There are two ways of adding new sheets using the tool in addition to the method given in the Add and Delete Sheets section.
To add a new sheet with predefined dimensions, click on the plus icon and then choose one of the options from the Preset drop-down menu.
You can apply a Preset and change the Orientation of a sheet any time later.
Another way to add a new sheet is to draw it. Activate the Sheets tool. Place the cursor over the free space on the canvas. Press and hold the left mouse button to define the position of the first corner. Move the cursor to another point where the opposite corner should appear. Release the button.
In order to create a new sheet, you can also duplicate one of the sheets in your document. To duplicate a sheet, Option-drag it on the canvas with the Sheets tool. If you activate the Move artwork with sheet option in the Control panel, the program will duplicate all objects on the sheet as well. Otherwise, an empty sheet will be created.
Delete a Sheet
To delete a sheet, click on it with the Sheets tool. Then click on the trash icon.
Relocate a Sheet
To relocate a sheet, drag it with the mouse.
A more accurate way is to input new coordinates into the X and Y fields in the Control panel.
The Move artwork with sheet option lets you move objects located on the sheet together with the sheet. Normally, this option should be activated.
The rulers can show the coordinates of a sheet and objects on it in one of two modes: Global Rulers and Active Sheet Rulers. To select one of them, click on the measurement units button on the rulers in order to open the drop-down menu.
Global Rulers: The coordinate system and, consequently, the rulers' zero are used for the whole document.
Active Sheet Rulers: The coordinate system and the rulers' zero are local for each sheet. As soon as you activate a new sheet in this mode, the rulers will align the zero coordinate with the sheet. By default, whichever sheet you activate, its upper left corner appears at zero.
Modifier Keys and Shortcut Summary
- S activates the Sheets tool.
Sheets tool modifier keys:
- Space switches to the Pan mode.
- Command switches to either Move or Selection tool depending on which of them was active most recently.
- Option lets you duplicate a sheet. Drag a sheet to create its duplicate.