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Toggle Layer Visibility & Change Selected Layer - Keyboard Shortcut

Explorer ,
Sep 28, 2017

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I'm totally hung up on how to create a keyboard shortcut to step through layers. I've got a sequence of animated layers and want to speed up workflow to see how they look before importing into AE.

Ideally Page UP / Page DOWN would:

  1. Turn OFF visibility for selected layer
  2. Select Next layer above/below (layer names could be used since each are numerical IE 00->15)
  3. Turn new selected layer visibility ON

This article seems to touch on it, but I'm not sure how to use this code:

Toggle Illustrator Layer visibility? - Graphic Design Stack Exchange

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Toggle Layer Visibility & Change Selected Layer - Keyboard Shortcut

Explorer ,
Sep 28, 2017

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I'm totally hung up on how to create a keyboard shortcut to step through layers. I've got a sequence of animated layers and want to speed up workflow to see how they look before importing into AE.

Ideally Page UP / Page DOWN would:

  1. Turn OFF visibility for selected layer
  2. Select Next layer above/below (layer names could be used since each are numerical IE 00->15)
  3. Turn new selected layer visibility ON

This article seems to touch on it, but I'm not sure how to use this code:

Toggle Illustrator Layer visibility? - Graphic Design Stack Exchange

Thanks

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1.7K

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Sep 28, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 28, 2017

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Perhaps not exactly what you want, but I would prepare and use Layer Visibility variables to cycle through different visibility states.

You can do that with the Variables palette.

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Sep 28, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Sep 28, 2017

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Could you elaborate on that a little? I'm not familiar with how that's a variable.

Thanks for your reply

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Sep 28, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 28, 2017

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The following steps may sound pretty complicated, but as you asked for the basic principle you will have to bear the elaboration. In fact, it is a simple procedure and as soon as you have familiarized with it (including setting up custom template files), it is dead easy.

1. Open a new document and name Layer 1 "Cyan"

2. Add three main layers and name them "Magenta", "Yellow" and "Black"

3. On each layer draw a shape and colour it according to the Layer's name.

4. Save the file as "My_first_Variables.ai"

5. Target Layer "Cyan" (click the circle at the right hand of the Layer's name)

6. At the bottom of the Variables Palette click the Make Visibility Dynamic button

Now you've created your first Layers Visibility Variable. Continue with …

7. Target Layer "Magenta" and click the Make Visibility Dynamic button in the Variables Palette

8. Target Layer "Yellow" and click the Make Visibility Dynamic button in the Variables Palette

9. Target Layer "Black" and click the Make Visibility Dynamic button in the Variables Palette

Done. You have created four Layers Visibility Variables. The next step is to define the Data Sets:

1. Layers Palette: Show Layer "Cyan" and hide all other layers

2. Variables Palette: Click the Capture Data Set button (the camera icon)

3. Layers Palette: Show Layer "Magenta" and hide all other layers. Now in the Variables Palette the first Data Set becomes italic, indicating that you can create a new Data Set. So click the Capture Data Set button to define Data Set 2.

4. Layers Palette: Show Layer "Yellow" and hide all other layers

5. Variables Palette: Click the Capture Data Set button to create Data Set 3

6. Show Layer "Black" and hide all other layers. Click the Capture Data Set button to create Data Set 4

7. Show all layers and click the Capture Data Set button to create Data Set 5

Done. You have created five Data Sets. Just play arround by toggling them in the Variables Palette (Next/Previous Data Set button or via Popup menu/Flyout menu) and notice one feature among other things: The Variables Palette as a remote control of the Layers Palette. If you like, rename the Data Sets according to the Layers names, for instance.

By the way, showing the Next/Previous Data Set is actionable (that is, a shortcut can be assigned).

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Sep 28, 2017 2
Explorer ,
Sep 29, 2017

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Uhm, wow. thanks for taking the time to write everything out. Good to know though unfortuntely isn't as applicable using on multiple files.

Again, appreciate the input.

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Sep 29, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 29, 2017

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I expected that you would answer with cautious enthusiasm.

As mentioned, at first glance it is an overly cumbersome approach, but if you need that often in the future, it may be worth considering to use this route in conjunction with custom template files (including a certain number of predefined layer visibility variables). Variables can recognise main layers and sublayers. Custom views cannot do that currently (only main layers are supported).

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Sep 29, 2017 0
New Here ,
Sep 27, 2020

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this was extremely helpful @Kurt_Gold! I am processing over 3000 files with different backgrounds but same shapes on top of them. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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Sep 27, 2020 0