Adobe Illustrator provides a vast canvas for designers to work on, but sometimes, the default canvas size might not be enough. This tutorial will guide you through the process of increasing your canvas size, ensuring you have ample space for your designs.

What is the Canvas and Artboard

In Illustrator, the canvas is the entire workspace, while artboards are the individual design spaces you work on. The standard canvas size is approximately 16,000 pixels by 16,000 pixels. However, there might be instances where you need a larger canvas.

Creating a Larger Canvas

  1. Initiating a New Document: Go to File > New. This action will open the new document window.
  2. Setting the Dimensions: If you input a size larger than the standard, such as 20,000 pixels by 20,000 pixels, a warning sign will appear.
  3. Understanding the Warning: The warning indicates that the new artboards will be created on a large-sized canvas because the dimensions exceed the standard size. Some limitations might apply, which you can explore by clicking the “learn more” link.
  4. Finalizing the Canvas: Click “Create” to proceed. The new canvas will be significantly larger, offering more space for your designs.

Transferring Designs from an Old Document

If you have designs in an older document that you wish to transfer to the new, larger canvas:

  1. Selecting Layers: In your old document, go to the layers panel. Click on the first layer, hold shift, and then click on the last layer to select everything.
  2. Copying the Layers: Go to Edit > Copy.
  3. Pasting on the New Canvas: Switch to your new document. Before pasting, ensure the “Paste Remembers Layers” option is checked in the layers panel dropdown. Then, go to Edit > Paste.


Increasing the canvas size in Illustrator is a straightforward process, especially when you need more space for intricate designs. By understanding the difference between the canvas and artboards and knowing how to transfer designs, you can optimize your workspace.