I know there is no such feature in AI, but I'm about to find any way to doing so.

In Photoshop, user can "Link" objects to each other by selecting multiple objects and select "Link" through layers panel right click menu or layers panel options drop down.

  • This feature bounds objects transformation (scale, move, rotate) to each other, even if they in different groups (after linking, a chain icon appears at right-most part of each layer title in layers panel).

I'd though about a script, plugin, effect or procedure to doing the same in AI.

** * It should Link objects to each other, then they can move, rotate and scale with each other, and this feature should hold the link between objects even if they are in different layers, clip masks or groups.**

Below, a Photoshop document displays the purpose of "Link", you can see arm and its shadow linked, while not grouped and shadow preserves its own clipping mask:

enter image description here

  • Scripts dont have interactive events. This feature would require to implement a new selection toolset. C++ API time, honestly though the entire system is stacked against you, its kindof the drawback of the simple drawinf system. But you can save selections loading selection and moving seems to be the easiest solution.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 6:24
  • For sure adding such feature needs a core design, thanks for mention that. But also, it might be code-able, to equal objects transformation properties to each other. For instance, keep last object, or key object as parent, and other objects trans-props will be equal to that.
    – Roozbeh E
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 6:52
  • What advantage would this have over grouping which would allow you to do the things you listed? What is the actual problem you are trying to solve by having such a feature? Currently, it is possible to target individual layers for moving and transforming objects together as one, by shift clicking on the targets of each layer/sub layer/group. Targeting is not permanent however, it's really only a selection, and is released when you click away from the selected objects. You can also similarly shift+click using the selection tools (A or V) to make multiple selections for transforming.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 10:07
  • * Now you can see a .gif in the thread. example says why to layers linked and why they won't have to grouped. they have their own clipping mask.
    – Roozbeh E
    Commented Jun 7, 2020 at 13:58
  • @RoozbehE then I would suggest using the Shift+Click method to make a multiple selection, then you can move/transform as one. There's currently no way to implement layer linking in Illustrator - it would probably require Adobe to implement such a feature. Perhaps you could make a feature request on the Adobe feature request page.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 9:18

3 Answers 3


There is sort of a method... but not "linking" really.

  • Select the objects
  • Choose Select > Save Selection from the menu
  • Give the selection a name so you can easily remember it.

Then, in the future, merely choose the saved selection from the Select menu. The objects will be reselected.

The selection will surpass any layers or grouping. The saved selection objects are treated as if each object was clicked again with the Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) to select it.

It's not as quick, easy, or intuitive and "linking" or grouping. But it essentially works the same. It will reselect specific objects and allow them to be to move/transform them. It's faster than having to re-click each object and gets around those times when grouping, or layer structure, is simply no feasible due to object stacking.

  • This solution is a good workaround. It's not as powerful as the Photoshop feature, because the linking is not permanent. You will probably mess with the objects if you forget to recover the selection. And an adicional action is required to "link" the objects again. But with this simple action you can in fact recover multiple selections with objects from different groups and simulate the linking of the elements at any time. I didn't know this. Thanks.
    – Valdemar
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 16:54

Currently there's no way to implement layer linking in Illustrator. If you want that feature I think Adobe would probably need to implement it. You can make a feature request here.

Possible workaround solutions:

  • With the Direct Selection tool (A), Shift+click to make a multiple selection of the pieces that make up the right arm and its shadow. Switch to the Selection tool (V), then you can move/transform the selected pieces as one, regardless of what layers or groups they are in.

  • Alternatively, create a covering piece of the t-shirt neck above all layers, with the left arm as a group under that layer. Then you could group the right arm (and its shadow), and put it on a layer below the left arm, with the rest of the artwork on layers below them. Then you could move/transform the arm groups.

enter image description here

  • Thanks, it helps a lot! ;)
    – Roozbeh E
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 10:09

Ctrl + G that will group them together. To ungroup them Ctrl + G + shift

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