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Day 11: Editing Objects, Layers & Groups

As you start working on complicated illustrations, layers will start to build up. And you will have to group and arrange them so that you can move and edit the layers easily. I will show you an example of an illustration I did so that you can see how I name and group my layers.

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Layers Palette

You can access your Layers Palette from Window>Layers. As you can see below, I have grouped my objects into 6 different layers. You can see the stacking order with the background at the bottom and towel at the top for my illustration. Below is a list of layer settings and their uses.

Visibility Icon: Click to hide/unhide layer

Lock Icon: Click the lock to lock the layer

Layer Name: Double click to rename it

Target Indicator: Click to select layer

Delete Layer: Click to delete layer

New Layer: Add new layer on top

New Sublayer: Add new sublayer under Layer 1

Arranging Objects

To bring a layer on top, select the layer and drag it to the top. Now the flower is at the top layer and covers the whole picture.

Grouping Objects

By grouping objects, you can move them together rather than spend time selecting all the objects individually. Here is an example of a flower made up of 6 layers. By selecting my object and grouping them by pressing Ctrl/Command+G, I am able to group them together and move. To edit the grouped object, double click to go into isolation mode to edit the objects. If you want to ungroup them, press Ctrl+Shift+G/Command+Shift+G.

Next, I duplicate a few more of my grouped flower and group them again to form my flower layer.

Appearance Palette

The Appearance Palette shows what effect is applied to a layer. You can Add New Fill or Add New Stroke to the whole layer or individual objects. Go Windows>Appearance to open up your Appearance Palette. Let’s see how it looks when we apply a new fill. Click the option icon and choose Add New Fill.

After we set the Fill with pink color, it turns the whole layer to pink.

Next Lesson: Transparency & Graphic Styles »
Back to Illustrator Training Course

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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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  1. Gravtar for Mohamed Salah
    Mohamed Salah February 8th

    very nice show and easily , it’s make me use allmost of tools and made beauty shapes
    thank u

  2. Gravtar for faisal ikram
    faisal ikram October 11th

    i am so happy to learn illustrator in 30 days that i can not explan thanks

  3. Gravtar for MichaelV
    MichaelV November 29th

    Day11: Nicely presented and easy to follow lesson on layers and such. I found this pretty easy and straight forward with no confusing bits. I just hope the remaining lessons are similar in complexity – although I doubt it – especially as we dig deeper into the program. There has to be some fancy things one can do to make the more intricate designs and I’m certain they will be tricky – but we will see. Day12 – here I come.

  4. Gravtar for air maxe
    air maxe August 30th

    Thank you for the sound critique. Me and this neighbour were just preparing to complete some research about this. I am very able to see such good information being shared freely out there.

  5. Gravtar for im under your bed/in your closey ;)
    im under your bed/in your closey ;) November 21st

    hard at first until you get compterable with teh program

  6. Gravtar for Ilona
    Ilona February 24th

    VERY GOOD TUTORIALS! Thank you! Is editing objects , layers and groups part finished? Becouse it looks like there is something missing, i’d like to know what to do next with all my flowers tuirned pink?

  7. Gravtar for Inasha
    Inasha May 17th

    Really nice tutorials!
    Easy to understand.
    It’s helps me lot! Really!:)
    Thank you very much!

  8. Gravtar for lebron james
    lebron james November 14th

    yeo i was never good at school but I’m rich bra bra i with the money team

  9. Gravtar for rihanna
    rihanna November 14th

    i think antonio is the cutess kid xoxoxo

  10. Gravtar for Aamir Shahzad
    Aamir Shahzad December 5th

    Hmm nice its very important to group when you are working on multiple layers…

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About Vector Diary

Vector Diary is a popular blog offering great illustrator tutorials and tips. It was created by Tony Soh, a graphic designer, who has great passion in illustration. Tony has written one of the most popular tutorial to learn illustrator and has helped more than 20,000 people. On top of that, his tutorials and tips has helped designers improve their illustration skills and have received great feedback. So join Vector Diary and start learning today!

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