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I need to move some art from one file to a business card template.

After several hours, everytime I add the art copied from another illustrator file, it appears behind the rectangle created on the bleed layer (a normal layer I added to the file).

I have tried all combinations of inserting with draw mode and moving layers in the layer panel and arranging layers in the object pattern. And all variations of draw mode and inserting and arranging in all possible combinations and sequences.

The inserted art always shows up with a layer containing groups for all the elements. However, it only appears as a blue outline when the layer I named 'bleed' has a white rectangle contained on it.

If I turn off the layer called bleed, then the inserted art appears. But no matter how the rules for layering, arranging, and inserting are followed, any white fill on any layer in the artboard will block all artwork been inserted from another file.

What in the world is going on?

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The option you are looking for is "Paste remember layers". It remembers the name of the layer you are copying from, and pastes into that layer. Quite helpful if you are using consistent templates for files.

enter image description here

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Check Layers Panel Menu > Paste Remembers Layers

You will want that unchecked before you copy things. Then when you switch files, you can paste and the artwork should appear above whatever object you last had selected.

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