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How to Duplicate a Layer in Illustrator

If you’re a beginner using Adobe Illustrator, you may have questions about how to copy and paste the same object or text for designs that require an element to be repeated over and over again. The most practical way to copy an exact object is to duplicate a layer.

Copy & Paste to Duplicate a Layer

Copy & Paste to Duplicate a Layer

1. Open a new file by clicking on “File” > “New“.

2. Provide the needed values and properties to create a New Document. Press “OK“.

3. Start placing elements on your artboard.

Placing elements on your artboard

4. In the Layer Panel, select the layer in which the elements that you want to duplicate is on by clicking on the small round button in the rightmost side of the layer. Clicking on this button will select every element in the layer.

Layer Panel

5. After clicking on the circle button, go to “Edit” > “Copy” or press Command+C / Control+C. Click the circle to select entire element.

“Edit” > “Copy”

6. Go back to the Layer Panel and Create a New Layer.

Create a New Layer

7. In your New Layer, click on the circular button.

Click on the circular button.

8. Press Command+F or go to “Edit” > “Paste in Front“(you can also choose Paste, Past in Back, Paste In Place or Paste On All Artboards).

“Edit” > “Paste in Front”

9. Your layer has now been duplicated. Repeat the above steps to duplicate more layers. Click the circle.

Your layer has now been duplicated
  • Hal Jespersen
    August 6, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    There is a much easier way to do this. In the Layer panel there is a menu option in the upper right hand corner to duplicate the layer.


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