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How to Group or merge layers in Illustrator

Understanding how to group objects and merge layers in Illustrator will help you organise your work much better and speed up your workflow.

It is possible to group different objects and shapes in Illustrator, even when on different layers. However, you can not group different layers together. To organise layers better, you have the option to merge them together.

How to Merge layers in Illustrator

Merging layers is easy. Just go to layers under Window>Layers or F7 shortcut key. Select the top layer, hold down shift and click the second layer such that both are selected.

Choose more optionson the top right corner and choose merge selected. Your layerts will be merged.

Step 1: Go to the Window>Layers.

Step 2: Select the 2 layers you wnat to merge by clicking on them while holding down Shift Key.

merge layers in illustrator

Step 3: Choose the menu on the top right panel

merge layers

Step 4: Choose Merge selected from the drop down

merge layers

How to Group Objects in Illustrator

In Adobe Illustrator, it is impossible to group layers into one. However, you can group elements in different layers to form one group. When you select elements in different layers, you will notice the highlights are in different colors to show different layers of objects.

Group in Illustrator

Step 1: To group elements in different layers, just select the selection tool and click on elements in a layer. Hold down shift and select the elements in the other layer. 

Step 2: Click shortcut keys Control + G or Command + G on a MAC. Alternatively, you can go to Object>Group on the top illustrator menu.

Group in Illustrator

Ungrouping Objects in Illustrator

If you want to ungroup the group that you have just created, just go to selection tool or shortcut V. Select the grouped elements. Click shortcut Shift>Control>G.

The elements will be ungrouped. Aleternatively, you can go to Object>UnGroup on the top menu with the group selected.


You now know how to merge layers, group and ungroup elements. Although they sound similar, it is clear that they are quite different procedures, especially if you intend to edit the artwork in the future. If you need any assistance just visit our gigs on the homepage.

Related: Embed An Image In Illustrator

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. <strong>How can you Group elements in Illustrator</strong>?

    1. Select the object you want to group2. Hold down Shift, then select the other elements3. Go to Object>Group or Control+G shortcut on PC nad Command+G on MAC.4. Elements are Grouped

  2. <strong>How can you merge layers in Illustrator</strong>?

    1. Go to the window, then Group to open the layers panel2. Select the layer you want to merge3. Hold down the control and click on the other layer4. Choose Merge selected from the Layers Panel

  3. Can you merge and group layers in Illustrator?

    It is possible to merge layers in Illustrator. However, grouping different layers is not possible. You can only group different objects in the layers.