How to Move a Path to a New Layer in Illustrator


Drawing with the pen or pencil tool in Adobe Illustrator creates a line otherwise known as a path. You can distort the path by selecting and dragging an anchor point, or create a shape by connecting segments. Working in multiple layers gives you added control over groups of shapes, because Illustrator lets you view, hide and lock individual layers via the Layers panel. The panel allows you to easily copy, move and manipulate paths and other objects from one layer to another.

  • Launch Illustrator. Open your file by clicking "File" from the main menu and selecting "Open."

  • Display the layers panel by clicking "View" from the main menu and selecting "Layers."

  • Create a new layer by clicking the "New Layer" icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, or press "Command" or "CTRL" simultaneously with the "L" key.

  • Click the "Select" tool, represented by a black arrowhead, from the toolbar and click on a path to select it. Alternatively, click the "Lasso" tool from the toolbar and circle the path to select it. If the path is grouped with other elements, including other paths, it will be more tricky to select it. Locate the path on the Layers panel, dropping down the view on each layer if necessary, and select it by clicking on its representation there. Shift-click to add to your selection.

  • In the Layers panel, the active layer will have an arrow next to it, and a small colored square indicating a selection.

  • Click the square and drag it to the new layer. The selected path moves to the new layer..

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  • Photo Credit David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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