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Adobe Illustrator CS3 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques by Bruce K. Hopkins, David Karlins

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Chapter Six. Working with Layers

Layers are both an organizing and an editing tool in Illustrator. Layers help organize your work by segregating sets of paths into layers that can be hidden, locked, or displayed for editing. Organizing complex projects into layers makes life infinitely less stressful because you can isolate some paths while hiding or locking others.

Layers serve as an editing tool in several ways. But most important, you can use layers to move elements of a project in front of or behind other layers.

Can’t you do that by changing stacking order of paths within a layer? Yes, you can, and it’s helpful to think about layers as a kind of macro or more overall, efficient way to move whole sets of paths in front of or behind other ...

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