Show, hide, solo, or lock layers and groups

In the Layers list, you can disable layers and groups to make them invisible in the Canvas without removing them from your composition. For example, if a large image layer obstructs other layers you want to adjust in the Canvas, you can temporarily disable the offending layer. Similarly, you can disable effects objects—filters, behaviors, masks, and so on—to temporarily remove their effect on layers and groups.

If you disable a group, you also hide all layers and groups nested in it. Hidden layers and groups are not included when your project is exported.

In the Layers list, you can also solo or lock groups or layers to prevent accidental modification.

Enable or disable objects

When you disable an image layer or group, it becomes invisible in the Canvas. When you disable an effects object (such as a behavior or filter), its effect is disabled.

Do one of the following:

  • Deselect the activation checkbox to the left of an object in the Layers list.

    Layers list showing activation checkbox
  • Select an object, then choose Object > Active (or press Control-T).

  • Control-click an object, then choose Active from the shortcut menu.

When disabled, objects are dimmed in the Layers list. Disabled layers are hidden in the Canvas; disabled effects objects no longer modify the group or layer they’re applied to.

Note: If you disable layers in a group, the enclosing group’s checkbox displays a dash instead of a checkmark, indicating that some layers are not visible.

Solo a layer or group

You can “solo” a layer or group to hide all other layers and groups in the project. This technique can be useful to isolate a single layer or group in the Canvas to animate or manipulate it without interfering with other objects in your composition.

  1. In the Layers list, select layers or groups to solo.

  2. Choose Object > Solo (or press Control-S).

    Note: You can also Control-click an object in the Layers list, then choose Solo from the shortcut menu.

    All other layers or groups are deactivated, and only the soloed object is visible in the Canvas. When the selected item is soloed, the solo menu item displays a checkmark.

Lock an object

Locked objects cannot be modified or moved, and their parameters cannot be altered or animated. However, animation and behaviors previously applied to a layer or group still play. Locking a group also locks all layers and groups nested in it.

Note: You cannot lock objects that contain published parameters (for use in Final Cut Pro X). Such objects display a dimmed lock control. For more information about publishing parameters, see Add parameter controls overview.

Do one of the following:

  • Click the lock icon to the right of the object in the Layers list.

    Layers list showing lock icon and Canvas showing locked object
  • In the Layers list, select a layer, group, or effects object, then choose Object > Lock (or press Control-L).

In the Canvas, the bounding box of a disabled layer (or a disabled group of layers) turns white to indicate the item is locked.