Great Methods of Working in Adobe Illustrator (Part 4)

Natalie Ulrich shares some very interesting tricks with us. In today’s article we will talk about the Layers panel. I always knew that this is a powerful tool of Adobe Illustrator, but I had no idea about some of the functions and how to work with them. Do you know how to speed up your work with Adobe Illustrator for displaying objects with effects and blend objects while they move or zoom? Learn at the jump!


Outlining of Photo

Very often we need to outline the photo to create a vector artwork. A work with the creation of the outlining can be much easier if you place the picture into special template layer. In the menu of Layers panel choose the Template item. As a result, the transparency will be reduced to 50%. To change the template settings double click on this layer of the panel to open the Layer Options window. Put the necessary value into Dim Images To__ box. Then press the Create New Layer button in the Layers panel and start with the outlining.

The template layer can be hidden or seen with shortcuts Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + W.

Hide Other Layers

Sometimes only one layer needs to stay visible; all the others should be hidden. This can be done by one mouth click- in the Layers panel. Press the eye icon of this layer while holding the Opt/ Alt buttons. All the other layers will be hidden. To restore their visibility, repeat this action.

Outline Mode for One Layer

The view of the outline mode (Cmd / Ctrl + Y) is a good way to see all the outlines of the vector picture. But sometimes it is better to use this mode not for the whole document but only for one layer. To do so, click on the layer on the eye icon while holding the Cmd / Ctrl key.

If you click on the eye icon while holding the Cmd / Ctrl + Opt / Alt keys, all the layers in outline mode will be displayed, with the exception of the selected layer. This trick can be very useful when it takes a while for Adobe Illustrator to move or zoom the difficult objects.

Moving and Coping of the Object from Layer to Layer

To move the selected object into the other layer, find in the right part of the layer of the object a small color box. Drag it into the other layer, the object will move into this layer as a result. If you want to copy the object then you need to hold down the Opt / Alt key while you drag the square.


But this tip wouldn’t work if you move a couple of objects from different layers into one layer. To do so you need to select the objects that you want to move while holding the Shift key on the workplace, then click on the target layer in the Layers panel and go to the Object > Arrange > Send to Current Layer.