I recently finished a large project with many layers. I was thinking that, in order to resize the project, it might be better to create a back-up copy of the finished file, put all the objects into one layer in that new file, group all the objects, and then resize the one object group. The back-up file with the original layers would allow you to make further changes more easily, if they are needed. And, of course, you just want to back up something that's important.

For resizing or changing the layout of the overall piece, working with one (grouped) object would be better than multiple objects.

Obviously the best thing to do is to think about how big the final product needs to be, or to finalize the layout of objects in a project in the first place. But, I'm betting that people who have a lot of experience with vector programs have run into this resizing/layout change problem before.

  • 1
    I dont think it matters one bit. Ive never have problems with scaling multilayer files.
    – joojaa
    May 11, 2017 at 14:55
  • Could you give us a more specific example on what kind of resizing and layout you're talking about?
    – Cai
    May 11, 2017 at 15:07
  • Sounds like it might be a job for Smart Objects, but I think we'd need a bit more info before we could make any firm recommendations.
    – Westside
    May 11, 2017 at 15:41
  • Scalin g is simple, it can even be done when exporting. It's re-proportioning that will take time. If your art was a wide short rectangle and it needs to be made into a tall narrow one that you will need to rearrange elements. There is no automation and layers do not apply at all.
    – Webster
    May 12, 2017 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


I use Illustrator....

It kind of depends upon the nature of the file.

For spot illustrations I merely Select All then double-click Scale Tool. This leaves all layers in tact. Just need to make certain nothing is locked or hidden first. And be certain to check that the Scale Strokes & Effects setting is set accordingly first. If it's just a simple resize of an illustration I will often not save the new size as a separate file because it only takes a moment to regenerate the size.

If a project needs major resizing or adjustment I always duplicate the file and then adjust, retaining the original as well. I'd rather have 15 slightly different files than lose that one file that is imperative 6 months from now and takes me 6 hours to rebuild. (Hard drives are cheap)

If the artwork is of the nature of a full page like a brochure, flyer, poster, etc. Then I scale each layer as necessary. I may use the "double click scale" initially then adjust. There's really not often a shortcut which works well. While just scaling will get close, I've yet to find it 100% accurate and almost always need to further adjust. Primarily because often the need to resize comes with a non-proportional new document size.

... again it really comes down to the nature of the art.

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