How To Copy Layers In Illustrator: A Tutorial

If you’re a graphic designer or artist, Adobe Illustrator is likely one of your go-to tools for creating stunning visuals. One of the most important features in Illustrator is the ability to copy layers, which can save time and effort in your creative process. In this tutorial, we’ll go over the steps for copying layers in Illustrator.

Step 1: Open Your Illustrator Project

First, open up your Illustrator project file. Make sure you have the layers panel open, which you can access by navigating to “Window” > “Layers” in the top menu bar.

Step 2: Select the Layer You Want to Copy

Next, choose the layer you want to copy from the layers panel. You can click on the layer name or the thumbnail image to select it.

Step 3: Duplicate the Layer

Once you’ve selected the layer, you can duplicate it by simply clicking and dragging it to the “New Layer” button at the bottom of the layers panel. Alternatively, you can right-click on the layer and select “Duplicate Layer” from the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Rename the Duplicated Layer

After duplicating the layer, it’s a good idea to rename it so you can easily identify it later. To do this, simply double-click on the layer name in the layers panel and type in a new name.

Step 5: Move the Duplicated Layer

Now that you have a duplicate layer with a new name, you can move it to a new location in your project. To do this, click and drag the layer to the desired position in the layers panel.

Step 6: Make Changes to the Duplicated Layer

At this point, you can make changes to the duplicated layer without affecting the original layer. For example, you can change the color, size, or position of objects on the duplicated layer.

Step 7: Save Your Project

Finally, make sure to save your project once you’ve made the necessary changes. You can do this by navigating to “File” > “Save” or “Save As” in the top menu bar.


  • Can I copy multiple layers at once?

    Yes, you can select multiple layers by holding down the Shift key and clicking on the layer names or thumbnail images. Then, simply follow the steps above to duplicate and make changes to the selected layers.

  • What if I accidentally make changes to the original layer?

    If you accidentally make changes to the original layer, you can undo the changes by navigating to “Edit” > “Undo” in the top menu bar. Alternatively, you can use the “Revert” command to restore the project to its last saved state.

  • How can I merge or combine layers in Illustrator?

    To merge or combine layers in Illustrator, select the layers you want to merge and then right-click and select “Merge Layers” from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + E (Windows) or Command + E (Mac).

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