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The Layers panel is very powerful, and it has the ability to do a lot of things that can make working in Illustrator even easier. In this movie, I am going to be exploring some of the ways that you can work with your layers inside of the Layers panel to do things like hide, lock, and even delete layers that you don't need anymore. So the first thing I am going to do is I'm going to do some locking of layers, to ensure that I don't mess up something that I've already completed in my drawing. In this case, the background is pretty much set, and I don't want to do anything to remove that nice gradient I've created in the background, or accidentally move, or delete it.
So I am going to go right here, and you'll notice when I hover over this blank space in the Layers panel, it tells me that it toggles the lock. Basically, when I click this, it locks that layer down, so that I can't select it, and can't modify it in any way. If I come out here with my Selection tool, and try to make a selection of the background, it just doesn't work. If I want to unlock that layer, I can click the Lock icon, and then come back out, and I'm able to click right on it, just like I could before.
But locking it makes sure that I'm not able to make any unnecessary changes. Let's do the same thing for the backgrounds on the buttons. I'll come up to the Buttons, and I'll expand out the layer. Then I'll go into the sublayers here, and I'm basically going to lock down the button shapes themselves. I'll leave the text editable, though, so that we could change that in any given time. So I'll go in, I'll find the path, then I am simply going to lock the path. Same thing here; open it up, find the path, lock the path, and I'll do that all the way down, just like so.
Then I'll twirl all of these back up. So basically, it looks as though the Buttons layer is unlocked, and technically it is, but if I come out and try to click on the backgrounds of these buttons, I can't get anything to happen. However, if I click on the text, you can see that I am able to get right in there, and start making changes. I'll escape out, and get right back to work. I can also temporarily hide artwork if I want to. For instance, let's say that I wanted to add several different photos to the Photo layer, and then I wanted to toggle the visibility of those photo layers, so that I could test individual photos.
Well, to hide the overall appearance of a layer, you simply come up to the left, and toggle the Visibility. When I do that, it temporarily hides the layer that I am viewing. When I click it again, the layer comes back. If I wanted to do this on a sublayer basis, I would expand this out, I would find the individual object, and click the Visibility icon next to it. Since there aren't any more photos on this layer, it looks like this layer is blank now, but if I had several photos stacked up here, you would actually see the next photo underneath it. Then if I hit the next one, you would see the next one, and so forth.
To turn it back on, just click the Visibility icon right there. And I'll go ahead and twirl this back up to return it back to its normal state. Now occasionally, you may find that you move objects from one layer to another, or that you've created one layer too many. I've done that lots of times. So then you might want to be able to throw layers away. For instance, in this case, maybe the Photo and the Logo work best on the same layer, simply because they're part of the heading. So I'm going to go ahead and throw the Photo layer onto the Logo. I am going to do that by targeting the object, and then taking this little dot, and dragging, and dropping it down.
So now I'm going to change the name of the Logo layer to Header, and then I'll take the Photo layer, and I don't really need it anymore, so I can delete it. I'll simply take this, and drag it down, and drop it onto this little trashcan icon. When I do that, the layer is removed. Let me undo that, and show you another way to accomplish the same thing. I can simply target the layer, and go down to the trashcan, and click, and it automatically removes the layer. In any case, you have a lot of power when it comes to the Layers panel; whether it's locking, hiding, rearranging, renaming, or even deleting layers.
This is a great way to keep your files organized, and make sure you can find everything that you need at a moment's notice.
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