Add Layers to an InDesign CS5 Publication - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Layers in InDesign Creative Suite 5 are like transparent sheets stacked on top of one another. If you add layers to a drawing, you can create the appearance that objects are stacked on top of one another.

The Layers panel allows you to create new layers, delete layers you don’t need, or even rearrange layers to change the stacking order.

  1. Open the Layers panel by choosing Window→Layers.

    This panel allows you to create, delete, and arrange layers.

  2. Draw a shape on the page using a shape tool.

    Create the shape anywhere on the page, and make it large enough so that you can easily stack another shape on top of part of it.

  3. Click the Create New Layer button in the Layers panel to create a new layer.

    A new layer is stacked on top of the selected layer and becomes the active layer.

    Double-click a layer to give it an appropriate name or, even better, hold down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key and click the New Layer button to open the Layer Options dialog box before the layer is created.

    Make sure that the layer you want to create content on is selected before you start modifying the layer. You can tell which layer is selected because it’s always highlighted in the Layers panel.

    You can easily but accidentally add content to the incorrect layer if you don’t check this panel frequently. (If you add an item to the wrong layer, you can always cut and paste items to the correct layer.)

  4. Make sure that a shape tool is still selected, and then create a shape on the new layer by dragging the cursor so that part of the new shape covers the shape you created in Step 2.

    The new shape is stacked on top of the shape you created in Step 2.