I've searched for this, but I suppose it's not very common. I am web design enthusiast and I want to make different states for buttons and etc. Personally I don't like to do web design in Photoshop. Is there such an equivalent in illustrator?

  • 2
    I've edited your question because it contained two very different questions. If you still want to ask the second one, please add it as a new question. Thanks.
    – Billy Kerr
    Feb 21, 2018 at 14:14
  • I use new window, float all in windows, tile. Then I can hide and show layers in each window separatelly.
    – LeoNas
    Feb 21, 2018 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


There's nothing to stop you from designing buttons manually in Illustrator, but there is no button functionality in illustrator for adding different button states to a single button.

I suppose you could put different states on different layers, group them into a Button, and enable or disable the layers as required. Although entirely possible, Illustrator would be somewhat cumbersome for this.

For example

enter image description here


Using Illustrator's variable data can accomplish rendering of view states through the usage of he Visibility variable. Using the VariableImporter script can help with consolidation of work regarding this, but the premise is to assign a name to all of your objects and in the spreadsheet every record would contain each of those names and would stand for one view-state. So from your most elaborate view to the most simple, each of the items will need to have a true/false value in each cell for every view state. Now you can use the Variables palette to switch between view states. This feature also enables you to batch export your datasets, meaning that you can render your different view states to all kinds of picture file formats - even SVG - which could be useful in some mockup kinds of workflows. Also thankfully the VI script lets you put in a character vs no character for the true/false. You will simply need to put an "X" into cells which you want visible and nothing for the opposite effect.

Additionally, Illustrator has a layer-comp-like feature called "Views". It records layer visibility and the x/y position of the document view. You could probably take some advantage of this archaic feature, but I doubt it. For one, there's no cycling of views, and one has to reach all the way into Views menu item to pick the saved view. They do provide a shortcut key customization for a user to handily pick from one of the first 10 views only. And as with other super-old features from its heyday, the updating of views is much like the updating of print presets of workspaces in older software: you can't 'redefine' but you have to either overwrite existing items by choosing the exact same name (if you can remember it) or even so far as to having to delete the existing item of the same name first. With views, it's the worse case as the input for view naming does not support overwriting and disallows usage of an existing name.

  • but you could script this then you could have these features. Its not even all that involved.
    – joojaa
    Feb 21, 2018 at 18:02
  • Good idea, too bad all those Craft/Sketch extensions or applications already got the market in this area.
    – Silly-V
    Feb 21, 2018 at 18:07
  • Thank you for the extensive answer! Isn't this VeriableImporter script more useful if you were to do bigger projects with lots of variables ? It seems to me that its not created for simpler projects that need to make variables just for few buttons and hovers. Feb 22, 2018 at 8:41
  • Yes and maybe: what it does is take a spreadsheet format and thus help separate your data from the art. However in the end it is all about minimizing your clicks. If your button states and art amount takes less clicks to set up via native variables palette than creating a csv and using the VI dialog , then you can just use the native palette. Make sure to add a Visibility variable to your items, hide/show things and capture a new dataset. Unlike views and things, you can update a dataset via the native palette.
    – Silly-V
    Feb 22, 2018 at 12:57

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