The title says it all. Is it possible in Adobe Illustrator to move selected items to new separate layers?

  • Can you be more clear, as you say separate layers! Do you mean you have multiple elements selected that need to be moved in to a new layer for each object? Or if you mean you want to move already selected objects to a new (one) layer?
    – Mamoon
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 10:27
  • 1
    @Mamoon First one, I have multiple selected items that I want to move to seperate layers for each item. Let's say I have 5 items on one layer selected, I want illustrator to create 5 new layers and move every item on its own layer Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 10:30

2 Answers 2


Well there is no direct way to have them as new layers at top level.

But what you can do is this:

  1. Select the layer that contains the objects you want to move. (in image Layer 1)

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  1. While Layer 1 is selected press the panel menu button. Then click Release to Layers (Sequence).

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  1. This will create a sublayer for each object under Layer 1.

enter image description here

  1. Select the new Layers (Layer 2, 3, 4) and drag them outside Layer 1 so they sit as top Layers.

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Hope this helps you! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • The option "Release to layer" is greyed out. What to do?
    – KSPR
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 10:11

Select all the objects you want to move to the new layer and cut them using Ctrl + X.

Then, make a new layer and select it. You can now paste the objects you want to move to the new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+V. Using shift allows you to paste in place.

  • The objects will change location
    – Ulf Aslak
    Commented May 19, 2021 at 10:04

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