Working with layers

When you create a new publication from scratch or from a design template, the page(s) you create will initially consist of two layers—one for the page (Layer 1) and one for the associated master page, e.g., Master Layer 1 [A]. The layers can be seen within a hierarchical stack on the Layers tab.

PagePlus tab layers Working with layers

One layer may be enough to accommodate the elements of a particular layout, but you can create additional layers as needed for the page. Layers are useful when you’re working on a complex design where it makes sense to separate one cluster of objects from another. You can work on one layer at a time without worrying about affecting elements on a different layer.

PagePlus tab layers2 Working with layers

If you frequently use the pasteboard, you’ll notice pasteboard objects show under a special Pasteboard layer. This layer automatically disappears when you clear objects off the pasteboard.

A useful feature of the Layers tab is that you can see objects (and grouped objects) under the layer on which they were created. By expanding the layer by clicking PagePlus tab layers collapsed Working with layers, these objects are displayed—with a click, they can be selected on the page.

 PagePlus tab layers3 Working with layers

On each layer, objects such as text frames and pictures are stacked in the order you create them, from front to back, with each new object in front of the others. Layers themselves are stacked in a similar way, and of course you can juggle the order of objects and layers as needed. The uppermost layer is applied over any lower layer on the page.

Once you’ve displayed a page, you can normally edit any object on it—regardless of which layer the object is on—simply by clicking the object.

The above layer stack could represent the following:


PagePlus layers4 Working with layers

In order to create new objects on a particular layer, you’ll need to select the layer.

To select a particular layer:

  • Click a layer name. The layer entry then possesses a dark blue background.

  • A selected layer is considered to be both “active” and selected. When deselected, e.g. when selecting object on that layer, the layer will change to a lighter blue background and be considered “active”.

  • Right-clicking a layer name displays a menu of layer-related actions, as well as Layer properties for that particular layer.

  • Use the Ctrl or Shift key to select non-adjacent or adjacent multiple layers—ideal for merging and moving layers.

The Master Layer entries work slightly differently to other layers. They indicate firstly that a master page and its layers are being used on the page, but also show the actual master page being used (MasterA is represented by the letter A on the layer entry). The master page’s layers are not shown individually, but are combined into one thumbnail for clarity. However, you can display master page layers if required.

To display master page layers:

  • Double-click the master layer entry. The Layers tab now shows the master page’s layers. Note that the master page is now selected in the Pages tab.

For more information about master pages and assigning them to pages, see Understanding master pages.

Adding, removing, and rearranging layers

Once you’ve created a page, it’s easy to add, delete, move, or merge layers as needed. Moving a layer will place its objects in the front or back of those on other layers.

To add a new layer to the current page or master page:

  1. In the Layers tab, click PagePlus tab layers add Working with layers Add Layer.
    – or -
    In the Layers tab, right-click and select
    Add Layer….

  2. You’ll be prompted to give the new layer a name and set its properties. When you’ve made your selections, click OK.

The new layer is inserted above the currently selected layer, and is the foremost layer. If a layer is not selected, the new layer is placed at the top of the stack.

To delete a layer:

  • In the Layers tab, select the layer’s name and click PagePlus tab layers delete Working with layers Delete Selected Layers.
    – or -
    In the Layers tab , select the layer’s name, right-click the layer’s entry and choose

You can also move layers, as well as merge, preview, or view only layers.

To move a layer in the stacking order:

  • Drag the chosen layer to a new position in the layer stack. A green line will indicate where the new layer will be positioned on mouse release.

To merge layers:

  1. Use Shift- or Ctrl-click to select multiple adjacent or non-adjacent layers, respectively. The last selected layer (shown with a dashed outline on the layer entry) is the layer to be merged into.

  2. Click PagePlus tab layers merge Working with layers Merge Layers.
    – or -
    Right-click any of the selected layers and choose Merge Layers.

To preview layers:

  •  In the Layers tab, select the chosen layer and choose PagePlus tab layers preview Working with layers Preview Selected Layer.

PagePlus also provides a simple view of your layers without nested objects being displayed.

To view only layers:

  • in the Layers tab, select PagePlus tab layers viewonlylayers Working with layers View Only Layers.

Layer names and properties

The Layers tab lets you rename layers and set a variety of properties for one or more layers.

To rename the layer:

  1. In the Layers tab, click on the layer’s name.

  2. At the insertion point, type a new name then either press Enter or click away from the tab.

    – or -

Click PagePlus tab layers options Working with layers Layer properties, then edit the Name field.

To set layer properties:

  1. Display the Layers tab.

Select desired settings for the selected layer.

  • Click the  PagePlus tab layers visible Working with layers Visible icon to hide the layer and any objects on it; click again to reveal the layer.

  • Click the PagePlus tab layers printable Working with layers Printable icon to exclude the layer in page printouts; click again to include it. At print time, uncheck the Print all layers option in the Print dialog (Layers menu option) to exclude non-printable layers.

  • Click the PagePlus tab layers locked Working with layers Locked icon to prevent objects on the layer from being selected/edited; click again to allow editing.

  • You cannot select objects on a layer that is locked or not visible.

Double-click a layer or click PagePlus tab layers options Working with layers Layer properties to change selection handle color and extend settings to layers with the same name. See Layers tab.

To toggle all layer properties:

  • Choose All Layers Visible, All Layers Printable, or All Layers Locked from the View menu.

The global property Paste to Source Layer lets you take advantage of consistent layer naming when pasting from the Clipboard. With the option enabled, PagePlus will paste only to a layer with the same name as that from which objects were copied, i.e. the name of the target layer must match that of the source layer. For example, suppose you’ve copied an object from the “Body Text” layer on one page. You can go to another page and simply issue the Paste command to deposit a copy onto that page’s “Body Text” layer, saving yourself the preliminary step of activating the correct layer. Again, a bit of forethought when naming your layers will allow you to reap the benefits!

To enable source-layer-only pasting:

  • In the Layers tab, go to the PagePlus tab misc tabmenubtn Working with layers Tab Menu button and select Paste to Source Layer from the drop-down menu.

Copying layers and objects

When you add a new page or master page to the publication, you can specify whether to copy the layers, objects, and/or the master page from a particular source page. See Adding, removing, and rearranging pages.

Managing objects on layers

Objects can be managed in the Layers tab with various options for selecting, moving, and naming them.

Once you’ve displayed a page or master page, you can normally select and then edit any object on it—regardless of which layer the object is on—simply by clicking the object. Alternatively, you can limit object selection and editing to objects on a specific layer.

To edit only objects on the selected layer:

  •  In the Layers tab, select the chosen layer and click PagePlus tab layers editalllayers Working with layers Edit All Layers.

PagePlus also gives you the option of selecting an object from the tab as opposed to from the page itself.

To select an object on a particular layer:

  • In the Layers tab, click the  PagePlus tab layers collapsed Working with layers Expand on the chosen layer entry to reveal all associated objects. You’ll see objects named automatically, e.g. “Line”, “Picture”, “Quick Rectangle”, etc., each with their own preview (hover over for a magnified view). The frontmost object in your drawing alwa
    ys appears at the top of the layer’s listed objects (the order reflects the Z-order).

To select all objects on a particular layer:

  • In the Layers tab, right-click the chosen layer and choose Select Objects.

To move an object to a specific layer:

  • Drag the object to a new position in the layer stack.
    – or -
    Select the object and choose Send to Layer from the Arrange menu (or the right-click Arrange submenu), then select the destination layer from the submenu.

Objects are given default names when they are created (e.g., Text Frame, Picture), but can be renamed to make them more easy identify them from other layer objects. If a group is present it can also be assigned a more meaningful name.

To change an object’s or group’s name:

  1. In the Layers tab, expand the layer entry to which an object or group belongs.

  2. Select the object/group, then click on its name.

  3. At the insertion point, type a new name then either press Enter or click away from the tab.

Working with layers