Illustrator to InDesign - keep layers intact

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Illustrator to InDesign - keep layers intact

The Layers Panel in Illustrator and InDesign is a potent tool when it comes to organising and editing your content. Both applications work in much the same way allowing you to select, duplicate, lock and generally organise your content in a logical fashion.

Depending on your workflow you might use Layers to separate out different design iterations or take a more structured approach to segregate text from images, proofing colour bars, header content, or even navigation elements for device mock-ups.

layer structure when copying between creative cloud applications

Whatever your reasoning it’s not unusual to end up with several key Layers within any one document. But what happens to your layer structure when you need to copy content from one document another? Well, the default behaviour in both applications is to condense the content into a single layer...! Err, what now?

Fortunately this is easy to fix in both application. Simply go to the Panel Menu icon in the Layers Panel and from the dropdown menu select “Paste Remembers Layers”.
(Screenshots below with Illustrator left and InDesign right)

paste remembers layers in indesign and illustrator

That’s all it takes to keep the layers separate and the setting can be swapped back and forth as you’re working depending on the task in hand.