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Illustrator - UI & Web Design using Adobe Illustrator

How to use layers in Illustrator CC 2017

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 25 of 45

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Video transcript

Howdy, campus! In this video we are going to look at layers in Illustrator, and what we're going to do is we're going to end up looking like this, where we've got one layer with all that kind of art work, and one layer with the background layer. The cool thing about the background layer is that it's kind of locked. There's a locking icon here, so we can't move it around. So let's go and do that now.

First thing I want to do is, I'm not going to use the white of the background here, that's a pure white from Illustrator. What I want to do is, actually I want to put it in kind of like my off white that I've been using here, so I'm going to grab the rectangle tool, and you cannot take the artboard color, so we've got to actually manually draw a box, and give it that fill. Then I'm going to use my black arrow, right click it, 'Arrange', 'Send to Back', and just make sure it's got no stroke around the outside. I'm just using this gray here, so that's going to be my background color. You could stick it behind everything just to make sure it covers everything. So there's no way of recoloring this artboard.

So, what I want to do now is play with the layers because I find that really hard now to start kind of moving things, and I accidentally grabbed the background, so it's easier. I never want these things to move, so I want to get these guys to stick where they are, and not move, and the easiest way to do it is to stick them on their own layer, and lock that layer. So, in your layers panel, go to 'Window', go to 'Layers'. You’re, by default given one layer, it's really common to be working in Illustrator and only ever have one layer, don't sweat it if you only got one, you’ll know, from Photoshop you'll end up with hundreds of layers, but in Illustrator if you end up with just the one, that's not bad, there's nothing wrong with that.

We are though going to make a new layer, this little turned up page here, we're going to double click it, and call it background. There's nothing on the background, you can kind of see that little thumbnail there, there's nothing on it. What I want to do is select everything that I want to move there, and because I'm dragging a box around all of this, it’s grabbed my green box, the black box, the image behind it, and this gray box altogether  in one big go, which is awesome. 

What we want to do is drag them to this background layer, and the easiest way is-- See this little dot here, this little square, click and drag it, that moves everything that I had selected to my background layer. Now I'm going to lock it. Now, the locking icon is just-- you mean to randomly know that that's the locking hole, click on that, and it will lock that layer, and that can't be moved now. The only problem is it's above, you can kind of see the background's above my layer 1, let's double click layer 1, and let's call this one Artwork, and just drag this guy, click, hold, drag, so he's underneath. 

Now, I shouldn't be-- when I click on Artwork, so that's my active layer, my background layer now is unselectable, so I can go and select all of these guys, move him around without selecting the background, and I guess that is the point I'm using the layers here. The other nice thing about it is you can turn that layer off, see that eyeball? You can turn all of your background layer on and off, just by clicking the litle eyeball there.

Alright my friends, that is how to use layers in Illustrator. On to the next video.