New Layer Creation in Adobe CS5 Illustrator

When you create a new Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Illustrator document, you automatically have one layer to start with. To understand how layers work, create a new file and then follow these steps to create new layers and put objects on them:

  1. If the Layers panel isn’t already visible, choose Window→Layers.

    The Layers panel appears. In Illustrator CS5, you see layer color bars to help identify selected objects and the layer they’re on.

    image0.jpg

    The layer name is in italic because the creator double-clicked that layer (to open the Layer Options dialog box) and deselected the Print check box.

    You can double-click a layer to change its options.
    You can double-click a layer to change its options.
  2. Create a shape anywhere on the artboard.

    The size of the shape doesn’t matter, but make sure that it has a colored fill so that you can see it easily. For example, create a square.

  3. Click the Fill button in the Control panel and select any color for the shape from the Color Picker that appears.

    The Fill button is the swatch with an arrow on the left side of the Control panel.

    Select any color from the Fill Color Picker.
    Select any color from the Fill Color Picker.

    The blue handle color that appears on the active shape matches the blue color bar you see in the Layers panel on the left side of the layer name you use that square to see which layer a selected object is on.

    Notice that you’ve added a shape to this layer, so an arrow appears to the left of the layer name. This arrow indicates that you now have a sublayer. Click the arrow to expand the layer and show any sublayers nested underneath it.

    Adding objects to a layer automatically creates sublayers.
    Adding objects to a layer automatically creates sublayers.
  4. Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel to create a new layer.

    The Layer Options dialog box appears, and you can use it to name a layer and change the selection color.

    Creating a new layer.
    Creating a new layer.
  5. Enter a name for the new layer in the Name text box and click OK.

    You can name the original layer square, by double-clicking Layer 1. Click the circle layer again to make it the active layer.

    A new layer is added to the top of the stack in the Layers panel.

  6. Make a shape on the new layer and overlap the shape you created in Step 2

    A circle on the new layer overlaps the square on its underlying layer.
    A circle on the new layer overlaps the square on its underlying layer.
  7. Change the fill color for your new shape.

  8. Just to be different this time, choose New Layer from the panel menu.

    The Layer Options dialog box appears.

  9. (Optional) In the Layer Options dialog box, change the color of the selection handles by selecting an option from the Color drop-down list.

    You can also hide or lock the contents of the layer.

  10. Enter a name for this new layer in the Name text field, click OK, and then create a shape on it.

    We entered star into the Name text box and used the Star tool to create a star on the new layer.

    Create a new layer using the panel menu.
    Create a new layer using the panel menu.
  11. Again, change the fill color of your newest shape so that it’s different from the other shapes.

  12. Use the Selection tool to move the new shape so that it overlaps the others slightly.

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