Duplicate objects

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Duplicate objects by dragging

  1. Select one or more objects.

  2. Select the Selection, Direct Selection, or Group Selection.

  3. Alt‑drag (Windows) or Option‑drag (Mac OS) the selection (but not a handle on the bounding box).

Duplicate objects by using the Layers panel

You can quickly duplicate objects, groups, and entire layers by using the Layers panel.

  1. Select the items you want to duplicate in the Layers panel.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Choose Duplicate “Layer name” from the Layers panel menu.

    • Drag the item in the Layers panel to the New Layer button  at the bottom of the panel.

    • Start to drag the item to a new position in the Layers panel, and then hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS). Release the mouse button when the indicator is in the position where you want to place the duplicated item. If you release the mouse button when the indicator is pointing to a layer or group, the duplicated item is added to the top of the layer or group. If you release the mouse button when the indicator is between items, the duplicated item will be added in the specified position.

Duplicate selections using drag and drop

You can use the Clipboard to transfer selections between an Illustrator file and other Adobe software including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. The Clipboard is particularly useful for importing paths because paths are copied to the Clipboard as PostScript language descriptions. Artwork copied to the Clipboard is pasted in PICT format in most applications. However, some applications take the PDF version (such as InDesign) or the AICB version. PDF preserves transparency; AICB lets you specify whether you want to preserve the overall appearance of the selection or copy the selection as a set of paths (which can be useful in Photoshop).

To specify copying preferences, choose Edit > Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard (Mac OS). Select PDF, AICB, or both. If you select AICB, select Preserve Paths to discard any transparency in the copied artwork or Preserve Appearance And Overprints to flatten any transparency, maintain the copied artwork’s appearance, and preserve overprinted objects.

Drag and drop artwork into a Photoshop document

  1. Select the artwork you want to copy.

  2. Open the Photoshop document into which you want to copy the selection.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To copy the artwork into Photoshop as bitmap images, drag the selection toward the Photoshop window, and when a black outline appears, release the mouse button. To position the selection in the center of the Photoshop image, hold down Shift before dragging the selection. By default, selected objects are copied as bitmap images to the active layer.

    • To copy vector artwork into Photoshop as paths, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS), and drag the selection to the Photoshop document. When you release the mouse button, the selection becomes a Photoshop path.

Drag and drop artwork from Photoshop into Illustrator

  1. Open the Photoshop document from which you want to copy.

  2. Select the artwork you want to copy.

  3. Select the Move tool  and drag the selection from Photoshop into the Illustrator file.

Drag and drop artwork to the desktop (Mac OS only)

  1. Select the artwork you want to copy.

  2. Drag the selection onto the desktop.

    Selections are copied to the desktop as a picture clipping, which can be dragged and dropped into the desired document. Picture clippings are converted to PICT format when dragged to the desktop.

Offset duplicate objects

You can create a replica of an object, set off from the selected object by a specified distance, by using the Offset Path command or Offset Path effect. Offsetting objects is useful when you want to create concentric shapes or make many replications of an object with regular distances between each replication.

You can offset an object’s path relative to its original path by using the Offset Path effect in the Effect menu. This effect is useful for converting a mesh object into a regular path. For example, if you have released an envelope, or want to convert a mesh shape for use in another application, apply the offset path command with an offset value of 0, and then delete the mesh shape. You can then edit the remaining path.

Offset objects using the Offset Path command

  1. Select one or more objects.

  2. Choose Object > Path > Offset Path.

  3. Specify the offset distance, line join type, and miter limit.

  4. Click OK.

Offset objects using the Offset Path effect

  1. Select one or more objects.

  2. Choose Effect > Path > Offset Path.

  3. Specify the offset distance, line join type, and miter limit.

  4. Click OK.

Offset objects using keyboard

  1. Select one or more objects.

  2. Hold down Alt and press an arrow key.

A duplicate object is created, and is offset by the Keyboard Increment value specified in the General preferences. The location of the new object is determined by the arrow key you used.

Note:

If a duplicate is not created, make sure that the Keyboard Increment preference is set to a value other than zero.

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