Creating new layers automatically assigns random layer colors in the Layers Panel.

Is there any workaround for having new layers assigned the same color (e.g. Red)?

  • just to clarify, why do you need the same color for all the layers ? what are you trying to do ? Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 17:27
  • Apple-Y toggles preview off and on in Illustrator.
    – Emmie
    Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 2:35
  • @Flavius I tend to designate colors for different layer aspects/states. For example, my "build" layers are usually colored red. If I want to iterate a "build" layer ("build 1", "build 2", etc), it would be nice if new layers had the same color as e.g. the one below, or, the currently active layer (or something like that).
    – Henrik
    Commented Sep 14, 2013 at 11:24

4 Answers 4


Unfortunately, no.

You can highlight all layers then choose Options for Selection from the Layers Panel menu. Picking a color at that time will set all the highlighted layers to the same color.

The colors aren't random; they walk through the list of colors available. While the order of the list may have been arbitrarily picked by the developers, the colors are used in that order.


I came to here to find how out how to specifically get rid of yellow as a layer color! I understand it is nice when working on dark colors, but let ME make that choice and not as a default.

As it stands, everything points to no you cannot control layer color defaults.


You could cheat and duplicate an existing layer with the color you want, then delete its contents and rename it.

(My question is why you'd want all your layers the same color. The point of the colors is to help you tell them apart.)

  • I agree, different colors has an advantage, but I think this advantage diminishes when you get too many different colors. To me, the main purpose of layer colors is for reviewing/grouping/sorting layers in the Layers Panel. As for the canvas, I think it's only confusing with more than one color, and most of the time (especially when starting out on a new project) I prefer seeing my path outlines represented in the same color, e.g. red. (It may be just me, though, hehe. It's one of those personal "things".) ;)
    – Henrik
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 18:14
  • 1
    Sometimes a feature takes a little getting used to, but you'll find that there are more advantages than drawbacks to being able instantly differentiate which art is on which layer. The W key (to turn preview on and off) is your friend when things get a bit busy. I would find "all the same color" insanely confusing, personally, for the same reason I use different layers in the first place. Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 20:35
  • 1
    W key doesn't work in Illustrator.. that's an Indesign shortcut. W in illustrator will simply select the Blend Tool. Lord knows I really wish W did have the same functionality in AI as it does in INDD. :)
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 23:51
  • Duh... of course. I live too much in InDesign. Illustrator and Photoshop are my main plug-ins for ID. :) Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 22:59

There are some colors that make the points on a line impossible to see. Yellow. Really? And grey? Can't see it; never use it.

I am making maps and use lots of layers, but I don't want the points to be the same color as the feature. If the single-line streams are on a light blue layer then I can't see the points to, say, make sure a tributary exactly touches another stream. Red roads can't be on a red layer for the same reason.

Then there are times when I want all the type on one color of layer, all the symbols on another color, and the same with line work and polygons--I want to be able to differentiate them at a glance.

Finally, some of the colors are just too unpleasant to look at all day long-- that green, especially.

  • 3
    Sorry, how does this answer the question? It seems to merely be a post of complaints. Yellow.. VERY nice when working on dark files. Grey... nice when working on darker colored objects. It's all relative. the blue is bad if your'e working on blue objects.. red bad if working on red objects.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 9, 2013 at 2:39

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