I have an issue when editing my final work for print in Adobe Illustrator CC regarding Opacity Settings. If I have many groups of objects where the opacity is set on the group level or layer level (so that the opacity setting applies to all objects inside) when I go to do my pathfinder merge function the objects loose their opacity settings.

The reason for this is obvious: they are no longer held within the original layer structure and therefore the opacity settings on objects in the layer structure have been lost and the default is applied.

What I am wondering is the following: is there a way to apply the opacity settings placed on a layer to all objects within it individually? Instead of selecting them all then changing the object opacity manually I would like to just select the layer and apply the appearance effects to all objects within.

I thought expand appearance applied at the layer level may achieve this; but a layer nor a group can have it's opacity effect expanded to the objects within it.

I would settle for a JavaScript function if this is not something supported by Ai; In fact one may be better. I need to know how Ai stores its objects; someone familiar with Ai JS library would be appreciated. In essence what I would want is the following: - gather all groups and layers into an object - loop through all these objects checking for an opacity effect setting. - If opacity is present on layer/group initiate a loop for it's children and apply that opacity setting to all objects within the later/group. - Then resume the original loop seeking layers/groups with an opacity setting and applying it to all contained objects. - lastly do a gather of all the layers and objects and set them to default 100% opacity since the effect has been transferred. Then I could hotkey the script and ta-da done.

I am creating laser cut print plates and cannot output without resorting to slicing everything with the pathfinder first.

  • Hi Eolis, why do you need to apply a pathfinder when you already have all the objects and layers with the right opacity and position? The explanation is perfectly understandable except for the pathfinder steps to finish the job.
    – user120647
    Aug 27, 2018 at 19:13
  • I make the art and in order to flatten it for print I use pathfinder to slice everything; this process destroys the original layer structure and basically I work in a new flattened and split document. it is simply part of the process of prepping for print that cannot be avoided; so I would like to know what step to add so that the opacity is less teedious to apply effects to. I just want to take my entire document and slice it up without loosing opacity; or appearance effects applied on the layer level.
    – Eolis
    Aug 27, 2018 at 19:20
  • Ok, you don't need to use any pathfinder to print an Illustrator file. Pathfinder and printing are two different and independent things that have nothing to do with each other. If you need to print or prepare your Illustrator job for printing, leave it as it is and save it as a PDF printing document, there are many tutorials on the web
    – user120647
    Aug 27, 2018 at 19:26
  • You have another wrong concept, slicing, if you mean using the slice tool, this is for creating web images files, not for printing. If you need to divide your document because is too large for printing, do it in different artboards.
    – user120647
    Aug 27, 2018 at 19:44
  • 2
    Arguing about you not grasping what I need to do is not the question that was posed. I am creating laser cut print plates; and my method; while not fully understood by you is one which I am knowledgable on the process of. what I want to know is: Can the opacity effects applied on a layer be applied to all objects inside the layer by some process or function so that when I remove them from the layer the effect remains.
    – Eolis
    Aug 27, 2018 at 21:10


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