How to merge layers in Illustrator in 4 Easy steps

In this article, I will show you how to merge layers in Illustrator and explain the difference between merging and grouping layers. 

There are several differences between the grouping and merging of layers. When you merge layers, you join all elements in a layer with all elements in another layer to form one layer.

Once you form a layer, going back to separate the layers is not easy. 

Grouping, on the other hand, refers to combining different elements, even in different layers, to be in one group. Once you group layers, going back and separating them is easy. You just need to select the group and ungroup.

Grouping in Adobe Illustrator

In Adobe Illustrator, it is impossible to group layers into one. However, you can group elements in different layers to form one group.

Group in Illustrator

To group elements in different layers, just select elements in one layer, then hold down shift and select the elements on the other layer. You will notice the highlights are in different colors to show different layer objects.

Group in Illustrator

Steps How to Group in Illustrator

1. Select the object you want to group
2. Hold down Shift, then select the other elements
3. Go to Object>Group or Control+G shortcut on PC nad Command+G on MAC.
4. Elements are Grouped

To move a group of elements from one layer to another, select and click Control + X to cut the elements. Create a new layer, the Control + V or Control + F to paste on the new layer.

How to merge layers in Illustrator

To merge 2 layers into one, click on one layer, hold shift, and click on the other to select both layers that you want to merge. From the layers panel click the top right corner and choose merge-selected. Once you do this, your layers are merged into one.

How To Merge Layers In Illustrator

Both elements in layers 1 and 2 are joined to one layer.

How to merge layers in Illustrator

1. Go to the window, then Group to open the layers panel
2. Select the layer you want to merge
3. Hold down the control and click on the other layer
4. Choose Merge selected from the Layers Panel

How to unmerge layers in Illustrator

To unmerge layers, you can choose the elements you want to be on a different layer. Click cut or control + x to create a new layer, then control + f to paste in the second layer.

Alternatively, you can select the hidden menu on the layers panel. Choose the options and select release layers.

Conclusion

You now know how to merge layers and the difference between grouping and merging. Although they sound similar, it is clear that they are quite different procedures, especially if you intend to edit the artwork in the future.

For more illustrator and graphic design tutorials, check out our other posts. If you want me to handle your next graphic design project, just contact me on Fiverr.

Related Content:

  1. How to Group in Illustrator

    1. Select the object you want to group
    2. Hold down Shift, then select the other elements
    3. Go to Object>Group or Control+G shortcut on PC nad Command+G on MAC.
    4. Elements are Grouped

  2. How to merge layers in Illustrator

    1. Go to the window, then Group to open the layers panel
    2. Select the layer you want to merge
    3. Hold down the control and click on the other layer
    4. Choose Merge selected from the Layers Panel

denis maina kamau

Written by: Denis Maina

I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.

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