Adobe has done many great things with Photoshop over the years that have made it the best application for editing raster graphics by far. I mean, how many other programs that were developed in 1990 do we still use today?
And yet, every now and then, Adobe introduces a new feature in Photoshop that divides the user community writ large. Without a doubt, one of those features are artboards.
A collection of layers and groups that lets you design for multiple devices on a single canvas, the artboard is supposed to make your design work easier by freeing you from the burden of working in many tabs at the same time.
At least that’s what Adobe’s website says on the topic. In reality, a great deal of long-time Photoshop users, me included, find artboards confusing and frankly unnecessary.
Much of what artboards allow you do to can also be achieved with a few extra layers and good grouping.
If you’re anything like me, this raises the question: How do you get rid of artboards?
Create a File Without Artboards
To create a Photoshop file without artboards, untick the “Artboards” tick box in the “New Document” interface before clicking on the “Create” button.
This will create a Photoshop file with layers only, without any artboards.
Delete an Artboard in a Document
Did you create a Photoshop file with an artboard by mistake? Contrary to what some Photoshop users think, you don’t need to delete the file and create a new one to get rid of the artboard. There’s a way to delete the artboard from the document itself.
To delete an artboard in a Photoshop file, go to the “Layers” panel, right click on the artboard you want to delete, and choose “Ungroup Artboards.”
Alternatively, if you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop, you can select the artboard and press Cmd + Shift + G on a Mac or Control + Shift + G on a PC.
The arboard will be removed and, as you can see on the screenshot below, the layers in your document will be preserved.
Can You Disable Artboards in Photoshop?
For better or for worse, there is no way to disable artboards completely in Photoshop. If you don’t like working with artboards, the best thing you can do is create new files without them (or delete them from your documents if you accidentally create one with).
Love them or hate them, artboards are one of those Photoshop features that are here to stay. While I’m sure they’ll become better and better over the years, for the time being I find them annoying, distracting, and unnecessary.
At least you and I can choose whether to use them or not.