Layer options

To control how objects on each layer act and look, at the bottom of the Layers panel, click the Layer Options Cc294766.580a6978-9a74-422a-b48e-61739a9087b7(en-us,Expression.30).png icon, and then select an option from the Layer Options menu.


  • Layer Color   You can change the layer's color by clicking Layer Color in the Layer Options submenu. This option does not affect any objects on the layer, but it determines the highlight color you see when you select an object on the layer. For example, if you have a layer with many red objects, you probably want to change the layer's color to blue or green so that the selection highlights are more distinguishable.

  • Layer Render Quality   You can change the display quality for an individual layer by selecting Path, Wireframe, or Preview from the Layer Render Style submenu. Choosing one of these options overrides the display quality setting in the View menu. If you select Default, the layer uses the same display quality as is currently chosen in the View menu. For more information about display quality settings, see Set display quality.

  • Layer Frozen   When you select the Layer Frozen option, Microsoft Expression Design temporarily rasterizes the layer's vector objects (displays them as bitmapped images) at your document resolution. Freezing a layer does not affect final printing or exporting but often significantly reduces the time to display a complex layer on screen. If you find that you want to speed up screen redraw, try to freeze the layers that you won't have to edit for a while. Freezing a layer does take additional memory but you can control the maximum memory that Expression Design will use for each layer. On the Edit menu, point to Options, and then click Memory and Undo. In the Memory and Undo panel, adjust the Frozen layer memory limit.


    Effects may not display correctly on frozen layers because blending mode effects rely on interaction among layers. Specifically, objects will appear correctly blended with other objects on the same layer, but not with objects on other layers. Objects on frozen layers are locked, so you cannot select them.