Open the Appearance Panel (Window>Appearance) and leave it open. It will be your friend. Now select one of the items either the knot of the text and look at what is listed in the Appearance panel. Is the Opacity of the object listed as something other than default? If it is just drag the Opacity line to the trash and it will reset to default. You can transfer Layers between files by selecting all items on the Layer by doubleclicking on the open area at the right of the Layer line in the Layers panel. You should get a large filled square. If not something is locked or hidden on the Layer. Copy the Layer and go to the new document. In the Layers Panel of the new document, from the flyout menu, make sure Paste Remembers Layers is checked. Then use Cmd(Ctrl)-F to palst the items in the same location in the new file.
Thanks Larry. yes, they were both on default. It seems like the Diffuse Glow setting on the background is messing everything up.
Is there a way to keep the other layers from being affected by the background?
And thanks for the tips on the layers as well. I'm finding this whole thing fascinating! So many cool things you can do when you know how!
Can you post a copy of the file to look at?
It sounds like you have your diffuse glow applied to the entire layer.
Effects can be applied to layers, groups or individual objects - you're looking to apply it to just your background object.
Look at your layer panel, tip the arrow next to the layer containing your objects, and see which one of the circles is darkened. Click on that darkened circle to modify it. You probably want to remove the effect from your layer and re-apply it to only your background object. You can do that by dragging the darkened circle down to the circle that applies to your background shape.