Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a complex artwork in illustrator with a few hundred separate objects altogether. I want object A behind object B. I know I can send object A all the way to the back, but I would like it to be directly behind object B. If I send it back/forward one at a time, it takes an hour to get it to the right position. Is there a way I can send object A specifically behind object B?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted
  • Select the object you want to move with the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow)
  • Edit > Cut (Command/Ctrl-x)
  • Select the object you want it behind/font of
  • Edit > Paste in Front/Back (Command/Ctrl-f or b)

The object will be pasted in the exact same position, just moved in the stacking order.

Alternatively, you can expand layers in the Layers Panel and drag layers or objects up and down.

share|improve this answer
You sir/ma'am, are the man/woman! I've always used the command-f command but never realized if i selected another object it pasted it directly in front of that one. I will say, the direct selection tool didn't do it for me, it was the regular selection tool that I needed to use, but other than that you were spot on. Thank you! – MrRoundtree Feb 26 at 18:54
@MrRoundtree Direct Selection while holding the Option/Alt key often works better (this is actually the "Group Selection Tool" -- it's there in the tool bar... but I've never actually picked it from the tool bar. Option/Alt works better :) ) If you are working within a group The Selection Tool won't help, which is why I mentioned the Direct Selection Tool -- and alternatively you could always enter isolation mode. Much depends upon current construction of objects. – Scott Feb 26 at 19:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.