The Layers Tab

Layers are like pages you can look through. Like a stack of tracing paper (or transparent mylar), each drawing layer can hold multiple objects.

Organize your large design by adding related objects onto separate layers. Layers are discrete – you cannot select objects across multiple layers.

Open the Layers Tab

The Layers Tab holds drawing layers, plus the Guides layer, Graph Paper layer, and Slices layer. All layers may be shown or hidden.

The Active Drawing Layer

As objects are drawn, they are added to the active drawing layer. The active layer is highlighted with a colored circular button to the right of the layer name. The color is the active layer indicator, and is applied to object handles and more. Optionally, change the indicator color by clicking on the colored circular button.

Select one layer at a time to work with the objects contained within that layer. Layers are discrete – though visible, objects are not selectable across layers. Draw and select objects within the active layer. If you try to select an object and nothing happens, the object may not be in the active layer layer.

Add New Drawing Layer

Do one of the following:

  • Click the ‘+’ icon at the bottom of the Layers Tab, or
  • Choose ‘Layer > New Drawing Layer’ from the main menu.

A new layer appears either above the selected layer or within the selected group.

Compact Layer View with Smaller Icons

To view the Layer Tab with smaller layer icons and hidden extra information, right-click within the Layers Tab and choose ‘Compact View’ from the contextual menu. The view will be saved as a preference.

To return to the default view, right-click and choose ‘Expand View’.

Expand or Collapse a Drawing Layer

The turn-down arrow to the left of the layer name lets you expand or collapse a layer to view its contents.

Just as layers are stacked on top of each other, objects within layers also have a stack order. Objects are listed in their stack order in the layer list. Object order can be rearranged by dragging an object within the layer list. Alternatively, use the ‘Arrange’ commands (e.g., Bring To Front, Send To Back) in the Geometry Tab.

Select and Edit Objects within Active Drawing Layer

  1. Click a Drawing Layer to make the layer active. The active layer is highlighted and shown with a colored circular button to the right of the layer name.
  2. Use the Select [s] tool to select objects, and other drawing tools to add and edit objects as desired.

Name / Rename Layer

Do one of the following:

  • When a layer is added its name is highlighted for editing, type to add the layer name, or
  • Double-click the layer you’d like to rename in the Layers Tab, then type the new layer name, or
  • Right-click a layer and choose ‘Rename’ from the contextual menu.

Show / Hide Layer

Do one of the following:

  • Click the ‘eye’ icon  to show/hide a layer, or
  • Right-click a layer and choose Hide (or Show), or
  • Choose ‘Layer > Hide (or Show)’ from the main menu.

Show All / Hide Others

To show an active layer and hide all others, hold the Option key and click the layer ‘eye’ icon. This enables switching between layers similar to switching between pages in a document.

Alternatively, with a layer active, hold the Option key and choose ‘Layer > Show All’ or ‘Layer > Hide Others’ from the main menu.

Layer Opacity/Transparency

Right-click the layer ‘eye’ icon for 1-second to reveal a popup slider to change the layer opacity. The opacity setting applies to all objects in the Layer. The ‘eye’ icon changes to indicate a level of opacity less than 100% has been applied.

Slide to 100% to reset to the default opacity with no transparency.

Lock / Unlock Layer

Do one of the following:

  • Click the Lock icon to lock / unlock a layer, or
  • Choose ‘Layer > Lock (or Unlock)’ from the main menu.