Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Working with the enhanced Layers panel

From: InDesign CS5 New Features

Video: Working with the enhanced Layers panel

The Layers panel has gotten a welcome makeover in CS5. I'm going to open up the Layers panel; I'm in the advanced workspace. At first glance it doesn't look much different. You see the same top-level layers. This document happens to have three layers: text, pictures, page furniture. But what is different is that if you reveal these layers, you'll see that they have sublayers just like in an Adobe Illustrator. Every single object that you put on the layout gets its own entry in the Layers panel now.

Working with the enhanced Layers panel

The Layers panel has gotten a welcome makeover in CS5. I'm going to open up the Layers panel; I'm in the advanced workspace. At first glance it doesn't look much different. You see the same top-level layers. This document happens to have three layers: text, pictures, page furniture. But what is different is that if you reveal these layers, you'll see that they have sublayers just like in an Adobe Illustrator. Every single object that you put on the layout gets its own entry in the Layers panel now.

So let's say that I just drag out a square, because I'm on the text layer we see the little selection dot that indicates the text layer's active, and if I twirl open the text layer, I can see the selection dot next to the actual sublayer that this object is on. So you can call them object layers or sublayers. Notice that InDesign automatically names them with some sort of generic name, but you can easily rename these. You just click on the sublayer once, pause, and then click on it again to put it into editing mode, and we'll just call this box.

So any sublayer that is surrounded by braces are layers that InDesign automatically named. Now if something is in a group, then you'll see that it gets its own disclosure triangle. So there is a group somewhere on this text layer. If I twirl it open, you can see it's made up of a text frame and a path. Now how can I tell which group this is? Well I can work the other way. Rather than selecting something in the layout and seeing which selection dot gets highlighted in the Layers panel, I can now click on a selection dot in the Layers panel, like group, and see what gets selected in the layout. This is fantastic for when you're trying to make a tiny selection in a crowded layout, or an individual item in a group.

Say that I just wanted to edit the path of this group, I can just click on path, and only the path is highlighted. Let's say you select this hansel & petal group right here. I can see that it's on the text layer and it's a group. I can twirl it open and there is a petal and hansel. So if I click hansel, oh that's the text frame containing word hansel, and that's the one containing the word petal. So you see text frames InDesign names according to the first few words in text frame itself. There's also a group within this group with a whole bunch of paths. So if I click it, I can see this little illustration is part of it.

So there's no getting away from the fact that every single item that you create on a layout gets its own sublayer, or object layer within the Layers panel What's a little disconcerting for new users is that the Layers panel changes based on which spread you have active. If you think about, it does make sense, but it is strange because up until now, anything that was in the Layers panel is document-wide, right? It is still true that the top level layers will remain the same regardless of which spread is active.

So if I go to say the second spread in this document, and I open up the Layers panel, we still have the same layers. But if I open up the picture layer you see that the sublayers are all completely different. This spread has a lot of pictures of beautiful flowers and so we have the names of the actual jpegs here instead. So that's just something that you'll quickly get used to. Now because every item gets its own sublayer, they're very handy for doing things like individually locking or hiding a single item. Say for example that I want to lock this flower. I can select it to identify which one it is in the Layers panel, and then click the lock square to lock this object. I didn't have to lock the entire layer; I can just lock a single object.

It's the same thing as if I'd gone up to the object layer and chosen Lock. Or the same thing is, if I want to hide it. So I can hide the item by just clicking on the Visibility column in Layers panel. I don't have to hide the entire layer. So I'm going to make that visible and unlock it. I'd recommend that you rename certain items that you're going to be referring to a lot. For example, let's say that I'm going to be referring to this text frame a lot, I'm going to need to find it quickly in the Layers panel. So I'm going to open up the text layer that it's in and I can see it's named automatically according to the text. If I change this tax, if I double-clicked on this first word and typed in my name, and then tabbed out of that, or clicked something else, and then selected it again, you can see that InDesign automatically renamed it.

So if you actually give it a custom name, if I call this Camellia descrip, and then I go ahead and change some of the text here, like I'll call this Joe, and then select it again, it doesn't change. I find this is especially useful for things like groups. Let me scroll back up to the first spread and notice that as soon as I click in here to make it active, everything changes here. For example of this group right here, I might want to rename from just group to cover title, and so on.

Another great thing about having every object exist in its own layer is that it makes it really easy to do things like change the stacking order of items. Say, for example I have this flower illustration, that is grouped in the pictures layer, and what I would like to do is I'd like to place it, let me drag it over here, and zoom in. I want to arrange it so that it is still behind the URL, but it is in front of the word petal. So it's very easy to do so, just via the Layers panel. I select the cover title group to see where it is; that's where it is.

I select the URL and it's up there. So I just know that I need to move my group, which I'll take the opportunity to rename to blue flower. I need to drag it so it's in between cover title and the URL. Right, anywhere in between here. As soon as I do that the stacking order has changed to match exactly what I wanted. So the all-new Layers panel in InDesign CS5 adds a lot of features that make life a lot easier when working in InDesign and brings it up to par with Illustrator and Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 New Features
InDesign CS5 New Features

32 video lessons · 19375 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. The differences between InDesign CS4 and InDesign CS5
      3m 0s
    3. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 22m 48s
    1. Working with the Selection tool
      9m 54s
    2. Learning the live corner effects
      4m 11s
    3. Working with the enhanced Layers panel
      5m 57s
    4. Using Auto-Fit to set images
      2m 46s
  3. 40m 51s
    1. Exploring Mini-Bridge
      12m 59s
    2. Using the Gridify technique
      5m 0s
    3. Working with the Gap tool
      4m 24s
    4. Using Live Distribute
      1m 42s
    5. Getting into Live Captions
      8m 50s
    6. Mixing page sizes with the new Page tool
      7m 56s
  4. 19m 55s
    1. Working in Presentation mode
      2m 51s
    2. Understanding document-installed fonts
      5m 53s
    3. Using multithreading for faster PDF exports
      3m 0s
    4. Managing tracked changes in a document
      8m 11s
  5. 8m 4s
    1. Spanning and splitting columns
      6m 8s
    2. Balancing columns
      1m 56s
  6. 26m 20s
    1. Creating documents with interactive features
      7m 59s
    2. Using the new Preview panel
      6m 51s
    3. Exploring new FLA export options
      6m 19s
    4. Using the Export to Interactive PDF command
      5m 11s
  7. 11m 1s
    1. Using the Media panel
      6m 58s
    2. Creating and using navigation points
      4m 3s
  8. 23m 36s
    1. Animating objects with the Animation panel
      8m 57s
    2. Creating and editing motion presets
      5m 16s
    3. Controlling animations with events and actions
      4m 24s
    4. Managing multiple animations with the Timing panel
      4m 59s
  9. 9m 55s
    1. Creating multistate objects with the States panel
      6m 10s
    2. Navigating states with button actions
      3m 45s
  10. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed InDesign CS5 New Features.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.