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It may very well be a subjective question, but, is it a good habit not to rename <Group> and <Compound Path> layers? My main hesitation of doing so is that I loose track of what it is.

Once renamed, is there a way to easily differentiate grouped objects (e.g., initially-named <Group> or <Compund path>) from 'normal' layers and paths? Any rationale appreciated.

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I rename everything if needed. You can use <Foo> and include the brackets to indicate a group. – Scott Jan 3 '12 at 3:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is a BAD habit to not rename your layers. Regardless of whether they're simple or complex, grouped or solitary, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera - you should always name your layers!

When you need to get something done quickly, there are few things more annoying than opening a PSD or AI file with dozens of unnamed layers and objects. When this happens, there is no easy way to get right to the work you need to do - whether it be slicing for production, or just making modifications. You instead have to familiarize yourself with the programmatic structure of the document instead of simply working with the artistic elements of the document.

Even if you don't work with any other artists or developers, do it for yourself. If you ever have to revisit that file (and it will undoubtedly happen long after you've forgotten the intimate details of the composition), you will be happy you did.


I see what you're saying now, and I second Alan's recommendation about prefixing/tokenizing the objects. Perhaps rename something to "Group: {Description}" or something similar.

I frequently have constructs like this:
Group naming convention example

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Right. But my concern was about the latter: E.g. after grouping a bunch of layers, then changing the non-descriptive name <Group> to something more useful; how do you keep track of whether it's a group or not (as opposed to a normal layer with a bunch of paths inside, which is pretty different). I definitely agree with your notion of naming layers, this should be anyone's frequent habit and so forth – but, sometimes I'm thinking if it might be wiser putting e.g. a <Group>'s inside a new Layer, renaming that layer instead of the <Group>, so as to easily stay aware of its <Group> status. – Henrik Jan 3 '12 at 0:03
Does that make sense? :) For example, you have one layer that's named A and one group that's named <Group>. You rename <Group> to B. Now, how do you know by looking in the Layers Palette that B is a Group and A is not? – Henrik Jan 3 '12 at 0:24
Just rename <Group> to "Group A" or "grp_A" to keep track. @Farray: Want to add that to your answer? – Alan Gilbertson Jan 3 '12 at 0:56
Alan: yes, tokenizing a group might be a workable option. Perhaps the best there is. (I have yet to try that.) Although having to do so feels kind of half baked compared to just knowing/seeing that a particular layer is either a group/compound path/layer/path, directly, in the Layers palette …Is there any way this can be accomplished? If not, I wonder if anyone else has stopped for a while, reflecting upon this? Maybe it's just me? :-) – Henrik Jan 3 '12 at 1:09
@hced - thanks for the clarification, I did not fully understand what you were asking the first time. – Farray Jan 3 '12 at 2:42

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