The Magic of Copy-Paste: PART 2-More tricks and spells

In this Productivista blog, I´ll continue the Copy-Paste theme by showing how you can use it together with Duplicated Artboards

But before that, I just want to give another quick tip about where it is smart to use the Cut-Paste method. Sometimes it can happen, that you begin to make some changes to an object and then suddenly, after some steps, find out that you want to have both designs. You can use Ctrl/Cmd+Z command to undo the changes back to your first design, but in this case you will loose the new one. Her is what you can do:

  • Choose your new object and cut it by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+X
  • Then go back to your first design by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+Z
  • Then press Ctrl/Cmd+F/B/V to restore your second design

I use it quite often.

But let’s get back to the topic.
If you created your artboards the way I described in my earlier Blog post (Duplicated Artboards), then your artwork is located exactly in the same place on all artboards.

Now you have created an object and found out, where it should be placed on your design
(In my case this is a simple round logo).

  • Choose the object you want to copy and press Ctrl/Cmd+C
  • Click on the next artboard in order to make it active, as shown below
  • Press Ctrl/Cmd+F and your object will appear on the next artboard at exactly the same place as on the first artboard
  • Activate the last artboard by clicking on it
  • Press Ctrl/Cmd+F

You now have your object on all three artboards.

It works the same way, if you want to place something behind all your artwork (in my case is a green circle)

  • Choose an object you want to copy and press Ctrl/Cmd+C
  • Click on the next artboard in order to make it active
  • Press Ctrl/Cmd+B and your object will appear on the next artboard at exactly the same place as in the first artboard. Just behind all other objects on the layer. Make sure that you don’t have anything on top of it that can cover it completely
  • Activate third artboard by clicking on it
  • Press Ctrl/Cmd+B and your logo will appear behind all other objects on the layer
Doing this one artboard at a time can be a little tedious. But I want to introduce a way you can place your objects on all artboards at once. Ctrl/Cmd+Alt+Shift+V
As an Example I write “Size 22/23” and find a proper place for it. I want to place it in all my artboards at once.
  • Chose your object and press Ctrl/Cmd+X (it is important, that you cut your object, because if you copy it, you will get two similar objects on top of each other on your first artboard)
  • Then press Cntr/Cmd+Alt+Shift+V
  • Your object will get inserted on all artboards at once.
It is a very smart method and truly a time saver.
At the end I want to stress the point about the difference between duplicating artboards and using the Copy/Cut-Paste method.
When you “Duplicate Artboards” all your object will keep their layers and order as shown in the animated GIF below.
But when you Copy/Cut-Paste all your objects will move to same layer, as illustrated with the animated GIF below.
I find these techniques very smart and useful and I use it a lot in my daily work. I am sure you will be happy for it too and quickly will figure out how you can use it in your projects.
Just remember:

Ctrl/Cmd+F-Paste in Front
Ctrl/Cmd+B-Paste in Back
Ctrl/Cmd+Alt+Shift+V-Paste in all artboards

Next time I want to look inside the Appearance palette and its secrets, which I also want to share.NOTE: I made a really cool discovery. Read it in my next blog post


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My name is Katja Bjerrum and I love to eliminate boring routine tasks in Adobe Illustrator. I work with scripts, actions and other tricks in Adobe Illustrator to streamline work processes.

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