12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2018 10:13 AM by IDEAS-Training
      • 1. Re: InDesign Sublayers
        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

        InDesign does not have sublayers.

        • 2. Re: InDesign Sublayers
          keithconover Level 1

          InDesign used to have sublayers. Adobe took them out (which I think really sucks; if you're doing a complex form with many, many items, sublayers really help keep things organized, like in Illustrator). There is no longer a Create Sublayer icon, and you can't drag and drop to create sublayers. But there is still a workaround to create sublayers if you really, really need them (I do).


          1. Select items (not just layers) by clicking in right-hand column of Layers Panel.

          2. Drag items into root of Layers Panel

          3. (top menu) Object > Group

          4. Drag new layer to where you want it in the Layers Panel and it becomes a sublayer

          1 person found this helpful
          • 3. Re: InDesign Sublayers
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Select items (not just layers)

            The items listed inside of a layer are actually page items for whatever page you happen to have selected in the Pages panel. So all you are doing is selecting those page items via the layers panel, moving them to the bottom layer and forming a new grouped page item. If you were to navigate to another page they would no longer show in the layers panel. Moving everything to the bottom layer effectively empties the layers above and in that case you might as well work with a single layer.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 4. Re: InDesign Sublayers
              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              InDesign used to have sublayers. Adobe took them out

              Which version?  Not in CS1 or later.

              • 5. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Rob is correct. No version of InDesign has had sublayers.


                With CS5, there was the addition of objects within a layer.

                • 6. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                  Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  You may be confusing Illustrator (which does have sub-layers) with InDesign (which does not).

                  • 7. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                    keithconover Level 1

                    I believe CS5 had sublayers, at least if you look for online tutorials about using sublayers in InDesign CS5.


                    Perhaps I misstated things. Try this.


                    "In InDesign, you can have Grouped objects, which act very much like sublayers do in Illustrator, and will work for organizing many objects into Groups which work very much like Illustrator sublayers, though they're not nearly as easy to manage."


                    P.S. I have a bunch of multipage forms that I had long ago done in Illustrator, with the different "pages" being layers I made visible or invisible as needed to print off PDFs for a particular page. After a lapse of many years, I now want to update them and decided to do them in InDesign, now that I have a lot more experience with InDesign, and see it as a better solution for multipage forms. However, this one I'm working on right now has maybe a hundred or two separate design elements, so I'm willing to do some kludges to get those elements in sublayers, excuse me, Groups of Objects, to keep things organized.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 8. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                      Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      In Illustrator, you can have Layers, Sub-layers, Groups and Objects.


                      In InDesign, you can have Layers, Groups and Objects. I grant that you can make groups work much like sublayers.


                      However, Illustrator has a feature called targeting, which InDesign doesn't have. It allows you to apply effects and transparency to sub-layers and layers.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 9. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                        keithconover Level 1

                        I am copying lots of design elements from Illustrator to InDesign. They come across as one big Group, thus, my procedure above involves moving them out of this large Group to be ungrouped under Layer 1. I also found it useful to rename the Groups from "Group" to something that actually makes sense and is distinct from the other Groups.

                        • 10. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I believe CS5 had sublayers

                          No, this is from the CS5 manual—the Layers panel is the same as the current version:


                          Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 10.37.41 AM.png


                          CS5 added the page item feature to Layers panel. Groups are page items and if you are working on a single page document you could use them to organize that page's items. But, you could not use them to organize page items across multiple pages—you would have to recreate the group for each page. A group is a page object, a layer is a document object


                          Here I've grouped some objects on page 1 and renamed the group, but as soon as I navigate to page two, the named group is gone because it is a page item on page 1 and not a layer.


                          Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 10.49.05 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-01 at 10.49.11 AM.png

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 11. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                            Laubender Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            If that wasn't clear from the start:


                            Just wanted to add that the objects in the Layers panel are shown per spread and not per page.

                            So page items from the pasteboard are also showing up. And that also nested items—pasted inside frames—can be seen from the Layers panel.


                            Sometimes the Layers panel is not showing the whole picture, but a very confusing one.

                            From my German InDesign:


                            Ebenen => Layers

                            Ebene 1 => Layer 1

                            Grafikrahme => Graphic Frame

                            Rechteck => Rectangle


                            1. A graphic frame where another graphic frame holding an image is pasted inside.




                            2. After removing the image from its frame.




                            I think InDesign should show it like that to make the situation more clear:




                            Maybe this was never implemented to show images at one glance when placed on the spread?



                            • 12. Re: InDesign Sublayers
                              IDEAS-Training Adobe Community Professional

                              Check out DTP Tools Layer Groups:

                              DTP Tools - Layer Groups for Adobe InDesign