What's Up with My Layers Panel

The very first question I got from a student about Illustrator CS3 was about Isolation Mode, which can be used to isolate a group or sublayer to make it easier to edit in a complex design. If you haven’t tried it, do the following to give it a shot. Select a group with your Selection tool (V) that is partially hidden by other groups. Click the “Isolate Selected Group” button located between the Brush and Style sections in the Control panel. This puts the group into Isolation, which locks and ghosts all objects outside the group. It also temporarily brings this group to the front, making it easy to edit any of the group’s objects using the Group Selection tool or the Direct Selection tool (A).

It’s a great feature, which led to my student’s question. He asked, “While trying out Isolation Mode, my Layers panel only displays the Isolated Group. Is this a bug?” After a second of pondering the answer I said, “Not at all. Because Isolation Mode temporarily displays the isolated objects in front, showing anything in the Layers panel but the isolated group would be confusing.” To exit Isolation Mode, double-click outside the isolated objects, and the Layers panel with return to normal.

Tip provided by Jeff Witchel, Certified Adobe® Training Provider.