Possible to move multiple layers from one Illustrator file to another?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2012

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I have 2 large illustrator files (lets say version 1 and version 2). If I have 40 layers on version 2 that I want to send/add to version 1, is this possible (without copy/pasting in place each individual layer?)

thanks

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1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Apr 04, 2012
Grant H Adobe Community Professional , Apr 04, 2012
in the layers panel flyout menu: make sure "paste remembers layers" is checked. Select  the artwork, copy paste in new document. It will recreate the layer structure as prev doc.G

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 04, 2012

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in the layers panel flyout menu: make sure "paste remembers layers" is checked. Select  the artwork, copy paste in new document. It will recreate the layer structure as prev doc.

G

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 04, 2012

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Thanks!

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2015

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I'm not sure if this function no longer works in CC or if I'm not doing it correctly, but I made sure "paste remembers layers" is active, then selected the layers and objects I wanted to copy, but when I paste in a new document it all pastes into the active layer. No new layers are created.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2015

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Paste Remembers Layers must be on in both documents.

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Engaged ,
Jun 24, 2015

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Are you sure PRL can be set on a per document basis, Larry?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2015

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Yes, I just turn it on in the New Document Profile I use most.

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Engaged ,
Jun 24, 2015

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Ok, then something must have changed.

I'm using AI CS5 and can set it only globally. That means it is not possible to have it turned on in Doc A and turned off in Doc B at the same time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2015

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That may well be. I always work with it on.

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Engaged ,
Jun 24, 2015

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Jeff, can you show a screenshot of your Layers palette (expanded)?

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New Here ,
Feb 24, 2015

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Thank you SOOO much. I knew there had to be a way to do this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2015

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Sorry to resurrect this post, although i suppose it's not really THAT old.

I use Paste Remembers Layers for some very specific applications, but have it turned off most of the time because it can break other parts of my process. However, I'm attempting to build a new procedure for my mockup artists which requires specific layer hierarchy to be retained from one doc to the next. However, I've found that the oh so handy "paste remembers layers" option does not do anything for blank layers...

Does anybody know of a way to copy a layer (full of blank sublayers) from one document to the next? I may end up just scripting the process, but if i can avoid that i'd be very grateful.

Thanks.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2015

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Have you ever considered using template files or new document profiles?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2015

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Indeed. I'm actually building custom templates that are conducive to scripting for very specific artwork placement and naming rules. But sometimes those templates need to be merged together (some orders will have multiple styles in the same master file). So I'm building the template exactly how i need it, but in the event that i need to merge two or more, i'm looking for a way to maintain the layer structure (even if some layers are empty) because those empty layers may be filled later, and it's important for the subsequent scripts for those layers to be named properly and in the right level of hierarchy.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2015

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‌You might try using a small object of an oddball color on each layer, maybe off the artboard, to use as a place holder for the sub-layers when using "Paste Remembers Layers" and then delete it afterwards.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2015

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Thanks, Larry. I had considered that as well, but it leaves open the very likely possibility that an artist will forget to delete the placeholder artwork and then I will get blamed for the error that ensues when they attempt to run the script later. As is the nature of the operation i'm working in... I volunteered to script and automate our process, but nobody wants to change a single thing about their process because they can't see the tremendous time/money savings just over the hill.. But alas. I've decided to take on the challenge and gladly accept all the hurdles, because i know the knowledge and experience will only make me more valuable.

Anywho, Thanks for your suggestions. 😃

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2015

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When you automate this with an action, you can include deleting the objects in the action.

Selecting object via a "Note" you apply to them ad delete. Read about actions in the manual.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2015

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Thanks. But I quit using actions for most things a long time ago. Especially when trying to reliably transverse multiple files. For one thing, an action cannot target a particular open document.. It can only target a saved document by filename. I need to reliably move objects from 1 file to another (including all layers and sub layers). There are some other stipulations that actions cannot access as well, such as unlocking layers by name. And most of all, the actions panel has been all but forgotten about by Adobe. There are a multitude of stability issues that have been present for years and Adobe has never even acknowledged them. So i keep my actions use down to a minimum (performing tasks that don't have hotkeys or the ability to add a hotkey such as align and pathfinder functions, and certain other things that javascript doesn't do very well such as selecting all text objects).

I do appreciate your suggestions, but JavaScript is the only tool that will do all the things i need to do, I was just hoping that there was a way around that blank layer issue.

Thanks again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2015

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Check out the last post in this for a method to create and remove an action which might be what you need to remove the objects from your files.

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Contributor ,
May 18, 2016

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In my case, I got the error underneat, although both documents have the same size.

Solution: use 'Place in Front or Place in Back', which past the layer on the same position.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.08.52.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2016

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alternatively, paste in place, which is essentially paste in front i suppose. but it is another option.

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New Here ,
Oct 12, 2017

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Thanks so much! I had no idea you could do that in Illustrator! This shortcut will save me TONS of time in the future! Can't believe I spent so much time in the past copying and pasting individual elements. Haha

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Explorer ,
Jun 21, 2019

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Is it possible to duplicate a layer and avoid having both the parent and sublayers automatically get "copy" appended to the end of the layer name? I don't mind it for the parent layer but it becomes a major pain when having to also rename sublayers. Essentially we use this to track design options and each sublayer gets a graphic style applied for consistency. This way it's much easier to maintain or purge out old obsolete options. An ideal solution might be to specify the new layer name after running the 'Duplicate [Layer]' command rather than the command blasting all new layers with the 'copy' text appended to the end.

Thoughts on this anyone?

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 27, 2021

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This doesn't preserve the layer hierarchy. 

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