I need help with creating a new layer in Illustrator. I work with Photoshop on a regular basis doing design work and although I've worked with illustrator a few times, I'm only really getting into it now with my tablet. I'm struggling with a small issue and need help. When I create a new layer and start to draw in it, Illustrator automatically jumps back to the previous layer and my artwork appears there instead!!?? It has happened almost consistently for a week now and I'm wondering if there is a setting causing it. My layers are all listed in the layers panel but all the artwork sits on layer 1. illustrator won't allow me work in a new layer. Please help - very frustrated.

  • 1
    What happens if you highlight another layer in the Layers Panel, then draw? Are you using the Draw Inside or Draw Behind features? – Scott May 29 '12 at 14:28
  • 1
    What tool are you drawing with? I noticed you said "now with my tablet", are you using the blob brush and do you still have the object in the previous layer selected? If so, you need to unselect the old object first else it merges with the old object no matter what layer you've got selected. It's kinda frustrating, keyboard shortcuts help (shift+ctrl+a deselects everything) – user56reinstatemonica8 May 30 '12 at 8:58
  • Hi Scott, I've tried to highlight the new layer and ensure that nothing is selected in a lower layer but it still jumps back. It also happens when i'm not using my tablet and I'm just using the vector shapes in tools. I was also told to tick the "paste remembers layers" in the layers menu. I'm going to try that and see if it works. I'll also try to use the deselction shortcut :) So used to Photoshop, seems like Illustrator is a little more fussy. I think its worth going through the minor hiccups tho to design Vector based art! – Bridget May 30 '12 at 14:46
  • Paste remembers layers.. is for pasting. It won't affect any drawing. There, quite honestly, has to be some other factor you aren't sharing or are just not aware of. – Scott May 30 '12 at 19:46
  • Illustrator is more fussy than photoshop. It's frustrating at first, but when you're used to it, you'll really appreciate the control it gives. A good tip when switching from Photoshop to Illustrator is that you don't need layers nearly as much in Illy as in PS. I often use just 1-3 layers in Illy for images that would need 40-100+ layers in PS. I find groups (double-click to enter isolation mode) and stacking order (learn the 'Arrange' keyboard shortcuts) more flexible and easier to work with for the same result. I personally normally only use layers when I need to lock things or hide things. – user56reinstatemonica8 May 31 '12 at 10:22

It's sometimes a good idea, especially with complex illustrations, to lock all layers you're not working on. This will avoid your problem and others.

  • Thanks All, It seems to have stopped - not sure what I did exactly - It seemed to have come right when I rebooted Illustrator - if it starts up I will lock the layers I'm not working on in future. :) – Bridget Jun 5 '12 at 7:35

I ran into this when learning illustrator recently. Simply expand the layer you accidentally drew in (click the arrow on the layer) and drag the small colored box on the path you just created's right side up to your new layer. Illustrator can have multiple paths on one layer each in its own pseudo layer.

I don't yet know why the new path isn't added to the layer that is highlighted but this does work. I will do some research and add any further info I find.

  • Highlighting a layer in the Layers Panel should create objects on that layer. The only real exception is if you are adding elements to existing groups (via isolation mode) or inside clipping masks (which includes the Draw Inside feature). – Scott May 29 '12 at 22:03
  • How would I turn off isolation mode. I am not using clipping masks. Illustrator is in still operating with the standard settings and has never created a new path in the highlighted layer. – skids89 May 30 '12 at 3:50
  • @ Skids - Thanks - will give it a go - Will give feedback on what works :) – Bridget May 30 '12 at 14:49
  • @Bridget if you find any other info or a solution feel free to answer your own question. And if my solution works vote mine as the answer that works. – skids89 Jun 1 '12 at 3:49

try double clicking the layer panel, it worked for me.

  • Hi mikee, Welcome to GDSE. We follow a strict Q&A format (as opposed to a forum format), so I'm afraid your answer might get some down-votes because i's a really basic answer. If you can elaborate more, that would be great. – WELZ Sep 20 '17 at 12:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.