enter image description hereI was googling to find my answer but No luck!

In illustrator, I have an object that has different layers itself (each part of that object is in a different sub layer) for example: I have a cat in one layer, But each part of that cat is in a separate layer within the main layer. How can I have that cat without layers? PS: I need to have that cat as a vector But I don't need to have each part of that cat in a sub layer. I have tried the "Place" option,which will link that object. that was good But the problem is without that original link file, that wont work. & I don't want to send the layers file for print. It's important for me to send the full object as one single layer without any sub layer.

I really appreciate if someone can help


It may be important to realize the layers in Illustrator aren't like layers in Photoshop or other applications.

Illustrator's Layers panel is actually more like a "Layers and Objects" panel.

There are Layers, then in each layer there can be sublayers or objects. Objects are noted by the brackets around them — <path> or <group> or <image> etc. — these are objects and not layers.

Any layer is always going to also show objects within it.

Here's a screenshot of the panel with one layer;

enter image description here

Note the objects on the layer are the paths, the image, the liked image...

Think of layers in Illustrator as more of a "master group". That's more closely related to what they actually are. All Illustrator files will have at least 1 layer, then any number of objects on that layer.

If merely seeing the objects in the panel is throwing you off, you can choose Panel Options from the Layer Panel Menu and tick the Show Layers Only option to hide all the objects. They are still there, the layers panel merely won't show them. Most users, once acclimated, appreciate the ability to select objects via the Layers panel, so typically you wouldn't want to hide them in the panel.

In short, you can't have an Illustrator file without a layer. You may merely be misunderstanding the objects portion of the layers panel. Objects aren't layers.

  • Thanks a lot Scott. Well I am learning illustrator, but meanwhile according to job I am working on, I face with issues which I still haven't learned. I got your point, well those sub layers I have are "path". what I need is, to make all those path be flatten in that "one layer", means I want to have the whole object just as one layer without sub layer & of course Remain as a Vector. What should I do?? I will send you a screen shot by editing my post. Thanks a lot in advance. Dec 9 '18 at 10:11
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    Hi @MehrsunPour please read my answer again -- two or three times if necessary. You cannot get rid of the <path> objects. They are part of the layer. Removing them means you remove things on the layer. If you remove the top <path> you remove the curl. The <paths> are like looking at the skeleton of the layer. You have to have the skeleton to build something.
    – Scott
    Dec 9 '18 at 14:32
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    @MehrsunPour Well you can use pathfinder to merge them, but even so any subapths that wholy consumed by the other is still a separate item inside a compound path. These arent layers per se but objects. A vector drawing is not a drawing per see, its a abstraction of the outlines of what is a drawing. So they aren't even lines, or filled opaths they are what the motions for lines would be, that will then be made into lines or filled areas.
    – joojaa
    Dec 9 '18 at 16:53
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    @MehrsunPour there is no option once you send a vector file your in fact sending the keys to the kingdom. Its all up to the contract you have. Note that even copyright does not do you any favors
    – joojaa
    Dec 9 '18 at 17:24
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    Yup. Agreed. A vector file will always be editable to a degree. There's no way to prevent that.
    – Scott
    Dec 10 '18 at 2:58

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