Shapes on the same layer
As mentioned above, there are now two ways to manipulate the z-stack positions of shapes, elements, or groups of elements within the same layer. You may already know the first, but let’s quickly review.
To simply reposition shapes directly from the back to the front or vice versa, first, select the elements that you want to move. Now, it’s simply a matter of clicking the appropriate button (either “to front” or “to back”) in the Arrange tab to put things where you want them.
A finer touch
If you need a bit more precision in the placement of your draw.io diagram elements, you can step shapes forward and backward one step at a time to whatever layer of the z-stack you wish. And it couldn’t be easier.
Start by selecting one shape, connector, or group (you can’t select multiple shapes unless they’re grouped). Now, in the Arrange tab, click “Bring Forward” or “Send Backward” until everything’s where you need it (or you can just right-click on the shape/s to see all your options).
So, when to use what?
As long as the size of your diagrams and the complexity of your shapes are manageable, you can make use of only one layer, rearranging things with the “To Front/To Back” method. Once things get more complex, though, that’s when to make the move to working with more layers.
Speaking of which…
Once you’ve reached the stage of needing multiple layers, you can also move the shapes from a lower layer onto the top of higher layer shapes. To do this bit of magic, use the layers dialog. first select the layer containing the elements you want to live on another layer. Now click the “Move selection to” icon (right next to the trash can in the Layers dialog), and then it’s just a matter of choosing the destination layer. (You’ll notice that when you reposition shapes from one layer to another, those elements are positioned in front of that layer’s existing shapes).
If you want to know more about using layers in general, have a look at our layers Youtube playist https://drawio.link/layers!
And here’s another video showing you just how quick and easy it is to do all of the things we’ve just talked about: