How to change a sublayer to a layer?

Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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Hi all,

I'm trying to do something that I would think would be very simple, but I've walked a couple of videos now and have scoured the forum and have come up empty-handed. How can I change a sublayer to a layer and then have it in the correct order? Here's a screenshot:

BillSiever_0-1639127994654.png

I'm trying to get layer 8. Marshland so that it will be under layer 7. Roads but not nested under 7. Roads. I would think that would be really easy to do, but I've spend half an hour so far, fruitlessly dragging it, using Ctrl and Shift and various combinations, but so far I can only do one of two things:

a. Move 8. Marshland to the very top of the list, above 1.

b. Make 8. Marshland a sublayer of 7. Roads.

What am I missing? I hope I don't need to install a script or something like that for what seems like such a basic thing to do. Thanks in advance!

-- Bill

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Bug , Feature request , How to , Performance

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021
I tried to come up with a demo situation equivalent to yours. Here I want to move Layer3 from a sublayer to a main layer below Layer2: As you said, I can only drag it somewhere away from Layer2, so I drag it to the top for simplicity. At this point, if I try and drag it to the correct position, it just becomes a sublayer of 2 again -- but not of any other layer. So I drag Layer2 out of position, in this example to the bottom: After that, I can drag Layer3 in between Layer1 and Layer4, then dra...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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Certainly seems odd. I can (initially at least) drag a sublayer to any position except below the layer it came from -- if I do that, it becomes a sublayer again.

What I can do to get around this: Drag the sublayer to the top of the list (or anywhere else), drag layer 7 to another position (the bottom perhaps), drag the sublayer to the correct position, then drag layer 7 back into the correct order.

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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Hi Doug,

Thanks for the quick reply! Alas, I tried those instructions, but that left me with this, where 7 and 8 are now sublayers of 9:

BillSiever_0-1639130065911.png

Any other ideas out there? Thanks!

-- Bill

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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Oops, apologies for all the typos this morning: they're now sublayers of 6, not 9.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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I tried to come up with a demo situation equivalent to yours. Here I want to move Layer3 from a sublayer to a main layer below Layer2:

Screenshot 2021-12-10 103518.png

As you said, I can only drag it somewhere away from Layer2, so I drag it to the top for simplicity. At this point, if I try and drag it to the correct position, it just becomes a sublayer of 2 again -- but not of any other layer. So I drag Layer2 out of position, in this example to the bottom:

Screenshot 2021-12-10 103549.png

After that, I can drag Layer3 in between Layer1 and Layer4, then drag Layer2 above it. Now I have the correct order:

 

Screenshot 2021-12-10 103613.png

Screenshot 2021-12-10 103613.png

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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Ah, thank you, Doug!

I have no idea why that worked, and it didn't work at first, but eventually, I was able to drag everything to the bottom, and then reconstruct the list of layers in order from there:

BillSiever_0-1639133584432.png

Ah, I can rest easy now. Thank you!

-- Bill

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 10, 2021 Dec 10, 2021

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No worries. This certainly seems like a bug or oversight. I'll try and log it if I get time today.

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Explorer ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Hi all,

I've just discovered an easy fix to this problem I asked about a few months back, where I was trying to change a sublayer to a layer. The easy way is to lock all the other layers, then move around the offending sublayer. You can move it to the top, then move it to wherever you want it to be among the other layers. Here's a screenshot to show you what I'm talking about, with the original at the top and the new, improved layers on the bottom. I know the numbers are out of order, but that's okay.

-- Bill

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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If the area you want to drag the sublayer to is below an expanded layer, AI will make it a sublayer under the new location. If you collapse the other layer, it can drag it below it. 

 

Expanded Layer:

ExpandedLayer.gif

Collapsed Layer:

CollapsedLayer.gif

 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Explorer ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Ah, good to know. Thanks!

-- Bill

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Very easy to solve with a basic script:
TenderPerkyKitty-size_restricted

var active = app.activeDocument.activeLayer,
    parent = getParent(active);
function getParent(layer) {
    if (layer.parent && /(layer|group)/i.test(layer.parent.typename))
        return getParent(layer.parent);
    return layer;
}
active.move(app.activeDocument, ElementPlacement.INSIDE);
active.move(parent, ElementPlacement.PLACEBEFORE); // PLACEAFTER if wanting it to be below parent

That way you could use Insert Menu Item within an Action and assign to a hotkey if needed, though looking at the document it'd be far better to parse through all layers and sublayers then separate any with a "\d*\.\s" prefix and automatically sort/order them at the root of the document instead of ever needing to do any manual dragging.

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Explorer ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Hi Inventsable,

Many thanks for the reply, but the problem has already been solved, and I'm a beginner at AI, so I'm not ready to get into scripts just yet. Thank you, though -- I appreciate it! And I'm sure others who are more advanced than me will find that helpful.

-- Bill

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Fair enough. You have the scripting tag on the thread fyi, so it looks like you're asking for scripts.

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Explorer ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Ah! How do I remove the scripting tag from my post? I can't find any info on that. I originally posted this message about 3 months ago, and today I just meant to post a quick note saying that I'd found an easy solution. It doesn't look like it's easy to edit posts, based on searching the forum.

-- Bill

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Tag removed.

 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Explorer ,
Mar 04, 2022 Mar 04, 2022

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Thanks!

-- Bill

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