How To Copy An Object In Illustrator

If you are running short on time while working on a project, being able to copy objects will speed up the process. Illustrator allows users to copy objects and elements among its numerous tools. So, how does copying work in Illustrator?

Being able to copy an object can boost your productivity and allow you to create different patterns and designs. There are three ways to copy an object in Illustrator: using the Option/Alt key and drag, duplicating the object’s layer, and dragging the object to a different Illustrator document.

Although the first method is the easiest to follow, it is essential to know how all three methods work to give you more command over your work if you are a frequent Illustrator user. This article will detail the guidelines for each method. 

Copying an Object Using the Option/Alt key and Drag

To learn how to copy an object using this first method, follow these steps:

1. Open your Illustrator project and click on the object you want to duplicate.

2. While holding the “option” key, move the object throughout the canvas by clicking on it. This will duplicate your object.

3. Press “shift” and “option” while dragging your object to ensure that the original object and its duplicates align in a straight line.

Even though this is the quickest method, knowing other ways to make copies of an object can be useful if this fails to work. 

The following video explains all the ways to make copies of an object in Illustrator:

Copying an Object by Duplicating the Object Layer

This method uses layers within Illustrator to make copies. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Draw the object you want to duplicate and view the “layers” panel in Illustrator by going to “windows.”

2. Drag the object to the “create new layer” button, which appears as a ‘+’ sign in the layers window.

3. Alternatively, you may open the hidden menu and choose “duplicate (layer name).” You can alter the layer name to your preference, e.g., “layer 2, circle, or square.”

4. Next, the duplicated layer is listed as a copy within the layers panel.

If multiple objects are present within the layer you choose to copy; they will get duplicated using this method. 

Copying Objects by Moving Them to Different Documents

Sometimes, instead of making copies within a single Illustrator window, you may want to drag your objects to another window. Follow these steps for this method:

1. Create a new file in Illustrator and create your desired object.

2. Then, click on the object and move it from this document to the other Illustrator document.

3. Releasing the mouse will show the object copied to the new document.

Final Takeaway

Making copies of objects is an essential tool that speeds up your work and allows you to be more creative when making new designs. Illustrator gives you three ways to duplicate an object. However, using the “option/Alt key and drag” is the easiest to follow.