INDESIGN INSIGHT

Adobe InDesign Paste Remembers Layers

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TDG

22 December 2016

As designers, we all know that organization is half the battle to a successful project.  We take the time to make multiple layers in our documents such as background, photography, typography guides and so forth.

As we continue through our project we find ourselves at times copying and pasting elements from one page to another or simply wanting cut and paste on the same page.  However, when we do so, by default, InDesign will put our new pasted item on the layer we are currently working on.  For example, we are working on our layout and we cut an image from the images layer.  We then proceed to start modifying typography on our text layer then we decide to ‘paste’ our image to the new destination.  Instead of our image going on our ‘photography’ layer it goes on the current layer we were working on which in this example is the text layer.

This isn’t too much of a concern if just done once or twice, however, if you are working on a larger project with several pages and you choose to do a proof of your type by not having your images layer print, you are in for a surprise when all of the photographs you copied and pasted at one time are now printing because they are no longer on your photographs layer that you have set as a non-print layer.

Adobe InDesign Paste Remembers Layers

InDesign Layers Panel

Choose the fly-out menu on the top right of the panel and make sure to check ‘Paste Remembers Layers’.

How can we address this to ensure it doesn’t happen again?  The answer is quite simple.  We utilize the feature of InDesign known as ‘Paste Remembers Layers’.  By utilizing this feature, any time we copy and paste or cut and paste an element of our layout, the paste will be put on the layer it originated from.  Keeping our file clean and neat.  Pretty simple right?

In the event we are creating a new document and copying and pasting elements from an existing document, without ‘Paste Remembers Layers’ enabled, InDesign will put all the elements on the default ‘Layer 1’ that each new InDesign file begins with.  With ‘Paste Remembers Layers’ enabled, even if that layer does not exist, InDesign will create a new layer automatically to correlate to the layer from the original InDesign document.

To enable ‘Paste Remembers Layers’ go to your Layers Panel and click on the hamburger icon on the top right of the panel.  From the drop down menu be sure that ‘Paste Remembers Layers’ has a check mark.  Now moving forward, each time you cut and paste elements in your design they will be assigned to their appropriate layer.

“With ‘Paste Remembers Layers’ enabled, even if that layer does not exist, InDesign will create a new layer automatically to correlate to the layer from the original InDesign document.”

Additional Insights

Another great way to utilize ‘Paste Remembers Layers’ is to get your layers set up from the start of each new project without having to create them from scratch.  Here is a simple process you can utilize to achieve this.

  1. Once all your layers you normally use are created, put a single item such as a square on each layer.  I just create one and copy and paste them onto each layer.  Important:  Be sure ‘Paste Remembers Layers’ has a check mark.
  2. Just to keep things neat and tidy, align all of your items to the center of the document
  3. With all of the items now selected, create a CC Library item or a standard Library item out of all of the squares.
  4. Now each time you make a new document, simply drag and drop this new object from your CC Library or your standard Library onto your page and all of your layers are generated.
  5. Delete all of the squares since you do not really need them and you are all set to begin your creative work with your layers intact.

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