How to Use Advantage of Layered Files in Adobe InDesign

How to Use Advantage of PSD and Ai Layered Files in Adobe InDesign

In this post I will give you some tips on how to use the advantage of layers and Object Layer Options command in InDesign. In particular, I will cover Photoshop's .psd files and Illustrator's .ai file format.

What can do Object Layer Options command

This command is available from Object > Object Layer Options menu. You need an object selected in order to use this command. Object that I am talking about in this case is either placed PSD or AI file with layers. You can show or hide layers independently of a native application. In addition, you can use the advantage of Photoshop's Layer Comps what is mostly useful when you have a couple of different versions of the same composition. For the matter of fact, you do not need to create any composition or to have different versions. Layer Comp can be created for any purpose, including to save your time and to have many or all assets in one single file. That's up to you.

Use Object Layer Options with PSD or AI layered file

As already mentioned above, you must select the object in InDesign using the Selection Tool. The object should be layered PSD or AI file which is placed in InDesign document. Go to Object > Object Layer Options.
select object and go to object menu
In order to use Object > Object Layer Options (2) dialog to manage layer's or Layer Comps visibility in your InDesign document, object or placed PSD/AI file must be selected (1).


In case you have all layers and groups visible (eyeball on the left side of layer /layer group name is visible) you can hide all layers and groups and start clicking on square on the left side of layer/layers group name to show some of them. Quick way to hide all other layers and make visible only clicked is to use shortcut: Alt/Opt + click on eyeball. In the very same way you can make again visible all layers. Ensure that Preview on the right side of the Object Layer Options dialog is checked so you can see the actual result on your screen.
show layer
From Object Layer Options dialog you can manage which layers/layer groups from PSD or AI file are visible in your InDesign document. Ensure that Preview option is checked to see actual result on your screen.


Note: you have same functionality when placing files from File > Place, just remember to check Show Import Options. Advantage of Object Layer Options is that you can change your mind, but also to use already placed file to save clicks to place same file over and over again.

Use Object Layer Options with Layer Comps

If you are not familiar with Layer Comps in Photoshop please visit this link and watch the video tutorial. Now let's go back to InDesign with PSD file which have Layer Comps created in Photoshop. The process is exactly the same: select object in InDesign then go to Object > Object Layer Options. This time you can use: Layer Comp drop-down list instead of manual management of layers visibility as explained above.
choose layer comp
Layer Comps created in Photoshop can save you tons of time. Layer Comp contains information which layers to be visible and which layers to be hidden.

Keep Layer Visibility Overrides

This option is available at the bottom of Object Layer Options dialog. You can decide whether to use Photoshop or Illustrator layer visibility when updating linked file or to maintain visibility as when file is originally placed.

Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe InDesign CC 2015

Reference:
Photoshop Help / Layer comps
InDesign Help / Placing graphics



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