Learn the basics of using layers in Adobe Illustrator, including how to create, edit, and organize content.

Change the order of content 

Explore how to change the order of content using arrange commands.


What you learned: Change the order of content

  • Artwork you create in Illustrator is stacked one object on top of another as you add them.
  • Arrange commands, found by clicking the Arrange button in the Properties panel on the right, allow you to select artwork and change its order in the stack.
  • Different arrange commands bring content in front of or behind other content.

Understand layers

Discover what layers are and why we use them in Adobe Illustrator.


What you learned: About layers

  • Layers are like transparent folders for managing content. Find a document’s layers in the Layers panel (Window > Layers).
  • Layers contain the images, text, or artwork that make up a layered file. 
  • Layers are arranged in a stack in the Layers panel. In the document, content on the layers at the top of the Layers panel appears in front of content on layers that are lower in the panel.
  • Layers allow you to move, edit, hide, lock, and work with content on one layer without affecting content on other layers.
  • To hide a layer, click the eye icon in the Layers panel. Click again to make the layer visible.

Create and edit layers

Learn how to create new layers to organize content in your projects in the Layers panel.


What you learned: Create and edit layers

  • The Layers panel is usually located on the right side of the work area. If it’s not visible, choose Window > Layers to open it.
  • Each new document starts with a single layer named Layer 1.
  • To rename a layer, double-click the layer name in the Layers panel, change the name, and press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS).
  • To create a new layer, click the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  • To select a layer, click the layer in the Layers panel.
  • Drag a layer up or down in the Layers panel to change the order of layered objects in the document.

Organize content with layers

Better organize your existing artwork using the Layers panel.


What you learned: Organize content with layers

  • To move content from one layer to another, select the content you want to move in the Layers panel and drag the color box (called the Selection indicator) to the right of the layer name up or down to the new position.
  • To locate objects in the Layers panel, select artwork in the document and then click Locate Object at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  • To hide individual objects, click the eye icon in the Layers panel to the left of the object name in the Layers panel.


Back to: Create with drawing tools | Up next: Work with artboards



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