Difference Between Canvas And Artboard In Photoshop

Adobe Systems’ leading graphics editor, Photoshop, is a highly versatile tool with a multitude of capabilities. For new users, however, two features in particular – the Canvas and Artboard – can be a source of confusion. Despite their similar names, these features serve distinct purposes and contain unique elements. In this article, we’ll clarify the differences between them to aid you in determining when and how to utilize each one.


The Canvas in Photoshop can be described as the workspace or the area where you create and modify your images. Every time you create a new document in Photoshop, you are essentially creating a new canvas. You can adjust the size, background color, width, height, and resolution of the canvas according to your needs.

To adjust the canvas size in Photoshop, you can go to the menu bar and select Image > Canvas Size. A dialog box will pop up where you can enter your desired dimensions for the canvas.


An Artboard in Photoshop, on the other hand, is a more advanced feature, similar to what you’d find in Adobe Illustrator. It allows you to create multiple workspaces within a single Photoshop document, making it ideal for designing multi-screen experiences like websites, banner ads, social media posts, etc.

Unlike canvas, artboards can have different sizes and can be viewed and exported separately. This aspect makes it highly efficient for designers as they can work on different aspects of a project without having to constantly switch between different files.

Creating an Artboard in Photoshop is quite simple. Select the Artboard Tool from the Tools panel (or use the shortcut V), and then click and drag on your canvas to create your Artboard.

Key Differences

  • While a canvas represents your entire workspace in a Photoshop document, an artboard is a subset of that canvas and can contain its own individual elements.
  • Each Photoshop document will always have at least one canvas, but it can contain multiple artboards.
  • Artboards are designed to help you efficiently design for multiple devices or screens, whereas a canvas is simply your working area within a document.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between the canvas and artboard in Photoshop can significantly improve your workflow. While the canvas is the traditional workspace where you create and edit your work, the artboard is a feature that offers flexibility, especially when designing for different screen sizes and resolutions.