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Using Layers for Transparency and Clipping in Illustrator CS4

Article Description

Do you think of layers strictly as a selection tool? You're missing out. David Karlins, author of Adobe Illustrator CS4 HOW-TOs: 100 Essential Techniques, points out a number of ways in which layers can be used to edit artwork in Illustrator.
Applying Effects to Layers

Applying Effects to Layers

In addition to applying transparency to a targeted layer, you can apply other effects. The process is very similar to applying transparency:

  1. Target the layer to which an effect will be applied.
  2. Choose an effect from the Effects menu.
  3. In the dialog for the effect, experiment with settings as necessary.
  4. Use the Preview checkbox to see how the effect will look when applied to the entire layer (see Figure 9).
  5. Apply the effect by clicking OK in the effect dialog.

Figure 9 Previewing a drop shadow applied to an entire layer.

To edit an effect that has been applied to a layer, first target the layer. With the layer targeted, all effects applied to that layer will be accessible when you view the Appearance panel (choose Window > Appearance to display the Appearance panel). Click on the effect in the Appearance panel (see Figure 10) to open a dialog that edits the effect.

Figure 10 Click on the effect in the Appearance panel to edit the effect.