Indesign CS6: Working with Layers Panel… arrange objects to respective layers

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Though, Layers in Indesign is one of the great way to enhance or optimize the way we create a layout or design… but there are very few, who really use the Layer feature of Indesign. With the help you using Layers in Indesin, object placement can be easily identified and place with much accuracy… making working in Indesign easier than before…

So to use and speed up the layout designing learn the basics of Layers… and I am sure with a little practice you will be well capable on ‘How to use the layers in Indesign’

  1. First of all to learn the basic concept you have to open a file in Indesign which have some elements..
    Layer Panel in Indesign
    Layer Panel in Indesign

    Though, in the above picture I have already opened the Layer Panel but to open it you have to go to Window>Layers or alternatively use F7 keyboard shortcut.

  2. By default, as you may see in the above picture there will be only a single layer, called Layer 1. As all the elements, that are curretnly on the page are on layer 1.
  3. Now let me assume you want to crate a layer to which you want to place all the background images or fills like the green patch, I have, below the word ‘May I help you’.
  4. Into the Layer Panel, at the bottom right corner look for a new layer icon just beside the delete layer icon and click on it.
    Layer Panel New Layer option
    Layer Panel New Layer option

    Soon, you will notice that a new layer created with a Layer 2, just above the Layer 1.

  5. Drag Layer 2 using the mouse button, below Layer 1 and double click it using mouse.
  6. This will come up with a window to provide a name for it as in the above image I have chosen Background layer.
  7. Now click over any object on the page, as for now, since all the objects are in Layer 1, you may notice that, once you select any object the Layer 1 remains selected.
  8. Now let me want to move the Green Patch to the background layer, I will select it, and as I have told the layer 1 will be automatically selected, I will click my mouse on the little square just besides the pen like icon on the layer 1. And keeping the mouse button pressed  I will drag the small square box to Background Layer … and will drop it on the Background Layer.
  9. Now you will notice that this time Background Layer  is selected for the green Patch… and once you select another object selection automatically shifts to the Layer 1.
  10. Using the same way you can create as many as layers or objects to any layer you want making sure none of the object will clash with background image or colour.

In the above steps you have learned how to create a new layer or move objects to another layer… but do you know even using a single layer you can edit or manage what object you want to show or hide, or should behind which object… Find this also in the steps given below:

  1. From the above image Layer Panel in Indesign find the small arrow icon and click to expand it….
    Layer Expansion in Indesign
    Layer Expansion in Indesign


  2. This will give you the view each and every object you have on the page… once you click over any object from the view, it will automatically select that object on the page… if you want to move any object, you may simply drag and drop layer object where you want to place…
  3. If there is a particular item you want to locate and edit use the following method. Find the object in the layer panel list, and right click > Select and Fit Item. This will centerally place the object being selected and enlarge it to fit to window…..


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