It appears that "blue" means a standard path, "green" means a compound path, turquoise/cyan means something else and I've no idea what a pink outline means.

The visual cues presented by mousing over my illustrations are helpful to see the differences, but they would be more helpful if I knew what the colors meant.

Is there a guide somewhere?

I'm talking about the sort of "wireframe" single-pixel-width outline that appears around any object as I mouse over it. The outline is different colors on different types of objects and I'd like to understand what and why. (I'm not talking about stroke color.)

2 Answers 2


Color of the outline does not mean object type. Color is associated with the layer, as such it is something you define. So it has no intrinsic meaning beyond what you want it to have.

You can change the colors in the layers palette by double clicking a layer (but not a object). By default new layers get the next color from the list of available colors.

enter image description here

Image 1: Layers Layer colors and layer settings

  • So perhaps I really should have asked another question: What circumstances (what tools or actions) result in elements automatically being placed on a new layer with a new color? In InDesign (with which I am more familiar) nothing goes on a new layer unless you explicitly decide that it will.
    – Wildcard
    Jun 19, 2017 at 10:41
  • @Wildcard you are welcome to ask another question but the aswer is pretty simple. It changes layer when you select a object on a different layer. Or if you merge objects across layers, or if you paste and you have paste remeber layer on.
    – joojaa
    Jun 19, 2017 at 12:08

It's just as @joojaa said. You can also find some designated colors in the Edit > Preferences tab but those are just for things like Guides and Tabs.

enter image description here

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