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Selecting layers

To select a layer on the Canvas, simply click on it. When you do this, you’ll see selection handles appear around that layer. This will also highlight it in the Layer List.

Note: If you can’t see the selection handles, check they’re enabled by heading to View > Canvas > Show Layer Selection.

You can also select a layer in the Layer List by clicking on its name.

Tip: Head to Edit > Select in the menu bar to navigate layers and learn helpful shortcuts.

An image showing the different shortcuts to naviagte layers in the edit > select menu

Selecting multiple layers

To select multiple layers, select your first layer, hold and click on another. You can also hold and click on a layer you’ve already selected to remove it from the selection.

Alternatively, click-and-drag from an empty area on the Canvas to select any layers within your selection area.

Holding while you click-and-drag will only select layers and Artboards that are completely within your selection area.

Holding while you click-and-drag, will pierce through groups in your selection (or remove currently selected layers). It won’t select Artboards.

Holding while you click-and-drag will remove any currently selected layers from your selection and add any unselected layers within your selection area.

An image showing how the option modifier affects click and drag selections

On the left: Shift-drag. On the right: Shift-Option-drag.

You can also select all of the layers within a specific Artboard, by selecting the Artboard itself and choosing Edit > Select > Select All in Artboard from the menu bar.

Selecting overlapping layers

You can hold to select the second layer underneath your pointer instead of the top one.

If you have more than two layers overlapping, you can Control-click, choose Select Layer from the contextual menu and select the layer you want.

Measuring layers against the Canvas and other layers

To measure the distance between different layers on the Canvas, select the first layer, then hold and hover over the layer you want to measure against. To measure against a layer that’s inside a group, you’ll need to hold as well.

If you’re measuring the distance to a text layer, holding will measure to the text’s bounding box. Holding will measure to the text’s baseline (from the bottom) or cap height (from the top). You can change the colors of the measuring guides via the Canvas tab in Preferences.

Last updated on 21 Jun 2022

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