I know what's the template layer in Adobe Illustrator and how it works. It's a great and perfect way to redraw a raster image in vector paths. But today I found out the template feature just works for raster images and objects, not vector ones! Today I received a vector file that objects were created in AutoCAD software, but some paths were not smooth as they created in AI and had a few minor issues that they needed to redraw in AI. So I imported the ai. document that objects (were created in AutoCAD) into AI's Layers Palette and then create a template layer for it and set the dim to 50%, but nothing happened to it and no opacity view for AutoCAD objects in the document appeared!

Why? Without making a template and create a dim and faint color for the AutoCAD objects, redraw the new AI paths are difficult. So I ignored the template feature and change the opacity of AutoCAD objects to 50 ~ 65 and lock the layer and finally create the anoter layer for the new path that I have to create AI paths and it worked and I finished the job. But I wonder why Adobe Illustrator doesn't make a template and dim view for vector paths that generated in AutoCAD or even Adobe Illustrator itself and just only work for raster images.

1 Answer 1


The option reads "Dim images". And it will only effect raster images. I can't explain why things are this way. But I do know that template layers have never altered the opacity of vector objects, only raster images. I can speculate that because AI is a vector drawing tool, it's somewhat assumed that you would not be using vector objects as a template which needs to be dimmed. Dimming is typical done to allow for easier trace overs, as I'm sure you know.

You can still use a template layer. If you want to reduce the opacity of the layer, simply use the Appearance Panel to lower the opacity.

  • Agree with you and the situation I faced with is rare, mostly we use a template for raster images to redraw, but I'd happy AI could do it without changing opacity feature manually. Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:20

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