Grouping / linking objects from different layers
Hi Illustrator ! It would be great if there’s a feature to group objects and not have them in the same layer. Many instances I want to be able to resize/multiple select different objects (frim different layers) at the same time without having to select each of them individually everytime.
You can now see a new 'save selection' button on the layers panel which enables to select multiple objects and save it for later use. Please try it out in BETA and let us know your feedback.
Gary Wintle commented
This isn't what I had in mind for "Grouping / linking objects from different layers".
What you guys need to add is a proper ability to parent layers. This is already done in After Effects and most 3D software.
Derek Watson commented
How does this vary from the old save selection option?
Grouping items and they all move to a single layer can be useful but is mostly frustrating
Oliver Malms commented
Saved Selections is not the same... For example: in Freehand I could group objects from different layers, duplicate, rearange, resize, align, etc. them and after that I could ungroup them and everything was in place (on the original layers) again. With saved selections I can not (for example) allign duplicates of those selections to each other as illustrator will handle them as single objects.
Michael Portaro commented
I didn't see a place to respond to the email so I'm doing it here:
1. Illustrator offers Saved Selections functionality.
Did you know about this functionality when you requested the feature in question?
Yes. This is a lot of work for something I do hundreds of times a day. This 'solution' would cripple my work flow.
2. Do you use Saved Selections in your workflow?
Tell how, if you do, and explain why not, if you don’t.
No. Reasons are in my previous answer.
3. Do you think that Saved Selections solve the problem you personally wanted to fix?
If it does, give example of a case it helps you with.
If it does not, explain in details, why.
No. Reasons are in my first answer.
4. Photoshop offers another functionality, Linked Layers.
What do you think about having this functionality in Illustrator?
Again - its too much work for the number of times I need to link things that are on different layers.
While I appreciate your suggestions, improvements are to increase work flow - all of your suggestions increases work TIME. That's going in the wrong direction. I didn't see a place to respond to the email so I'm doing it here:
All I want is a setting in preferences "Grouping objects retains layers".
Rhino 3d is able to do this. Illustrator should too.(Edited by admin)
Henry Fenby-Taylor commented
Great to hear this is being worked on. I'll answer the questions I was sent in an email (can't see where to reply)
Do you use saved selections in your workflow?
I tried, but I am trying to create reusable components. E.g. Create button 1, button 2, then add them to tile A. Now I want to create multiple versions of this new objects, each one with some combination of these elements and extra objects. Personally, I want to create approximately 100+ objects. This quickly breaks saved selections as there is too many of them to make sense of. Plus I can't change the order of saved selections.
Sergey Osokin commented
A few questions:
1) Will the linking of objects be based on a GroupItem entity?
2) Will the linking feature be added to the ExtendScript language?
3) Accordingly, will script and extension authors be able to interact with user linked objects? Or will the new feature break all previously created third-party scripts?
When programming scripts in Illustrator, there are containers based on groups (GroupItems). These include Clipping Group, a group that has a "clipped" attribute, and editable Compound Shapes, which place objects inside an invisible group. By the way, we cannot access objects inside compound shapes in scripting.
Brian Matis commented
Yeah, this would be a huge help! We frequently work with Dielines, Foil, and Spot UV which need to be on separate layers, but have to move with the artwork. Having to group for positioning and then needing to separate back out into the correct layers is really annoying.
InDesign puts objects back on their original layers when you Ungroup, and even just that ability would be a big help!
Yvonne Creter commented
When designing on multiple artboards, there are often some objects that are supposed to be at the same position on every artboard.
Unfortunately grouping doesn't work for onesided links (as in you can't change the position of one object without affecting the object it was linked to). The feature does exist in Photoshop but since PS isn't vectorbased it's not an option for me.
Being able to tag or link multiple objects independent from it's group, and then either move the original layer it was linked to (like how an empty layer in After Effects is often used) or select all objects with a certain tag would be a huge timesaver, so I wouldreally appreciate it.
Insane that this doesn't have more votes. Adobe please fix your **** this software is so unintuitive and built on ******* workarounds
Johnny R. Japa-Natera commented
YES PLEASE! Make it to where objects are chained to each other but the layers they are on do not change so that you can change the size, shape, color or opacity without needing to compromise the design!!
Basically what you need is 'linking objects', the same way it is done in Photoshop? When you can press a chain icon and two or more objects (as well as groups) and transform them all at once, without breaking their relative hierarchy.
Hi Egor (OP here) I see what you're saying and I can see a limited benefit, but that just adds to the workflow (in my case). I work with files the may have hundreds of elements, and I need to be able to grab an element that may be intricately position around other elements that get in the way of the selection tools. It'd be nice just to click on the group and move/resize quickly and easily. As many great improvements that we've got in the last 10 years, I'm really surprised this wasn't one of them. But I will say I was not aware of save selection (more like never really thought to explore it) - I'm sure I'll be able to incorporate that in it's own way.
You kind of can do it already. Instead of groups you should make Saved Selections: Select > Save Selection.
Later you can call these via Select menu (displayed at the bottom) and manage through the Edit Selection command.
Be ware — this is an old piece, it has some weird quirks to it and an awful UX.
One object can be contained in different saved selections (that is good actually, but maybe not for your task).
It also supports storing subselections (array-based).
There was a request to boost this into a proper panel... or I never made it yet.
We need the ability to group items that are on multiple layers in a way they retain their original layer (ie, items don't merge to one layer when grouped). This would be invaluable when selecting pieces of art that are in intricate proximate to other items where it's not practical to use the selection or direct selection too. Also valuable for using Warp features with items on multiple layers.
This would be a great tool to have, similar to how you can link layers in Photoshop but keep them in separate groups.
For instance in Illustrator I create printable artwork. I could have a text box on my 'Text' layer which needs a clear zone (no-print) around the text box, but I wouldn't want this object to be on my 'Text' layer, instead I would want the clear zone area defined on a 'Guides' layer. So if I move the text box at any point, the clear zone object would move with it even though they are on separate layers.
Karlos60 has the right Idea with tags. I do a lot with sketchup. it treats layers and groups separately and the double hierarchy leads to some awesome. levels of control. Not to mention saved scenes. and visual styles.
Perhaps you could support adding tags to objects, and add "By Tag" to the Select menu.
Oliver Malms commented
Freehand had this feature an it was very usefull. You could group objects from different layers and when you ungrouped them, they went back to their original layers.
I would like to manage to align a drawing that is composed of objects that are spread in several layers. The only way I can do this is by grouping these objects and aligning the composed drawing of several objects. The problem with this is that all object get merged into the same layer.
Using the selection is not an alternative because it will align all the object withing the composition, changing my drawing.
I end up creating guidelines and alining my drawing manually which takes me a lot of time.