Layer Properties

AutoCAD uses something called layers they’re used to group information in a drawing by function and to also enforce line type color and other standards like that layers are the equivalent of the overlays used in old-time paper-based drafting layers are our primary
organizational tool in order to control the visual display of our objects by creating layers you can associate similar types of objects by assigning them to the same layer for example you can put construction lines on a layer you can put text on their own layer or dimensions or the title block
information on their own layer you can then control the following whether the objects on a layer are visible in any viewport in any instance you can control whether and how objects are printed you can control what color is assigned to the objects on the layer you could control what default line types and line weights are assigned to all of the objects on that layer you can also define or control objects on a layer and how they can be modified or even if they can be modified you can control whether objects are displayed with different layer properties and individual layout viewports every drawing includes a layer named 0 layer 0 cannot be deleted or renamed it has two purposes one is to ensure that every drawing includes at least one layer and second it provides a special layer that relates to
controlling colors and blocks it is recommended by me and other CAD users that you create several new layers with which to organize your drawing with rather than create your entire drawing on layer 0 if we open up the
architectural example file for chapter 9 we’ll see here in this file that it has several different layers in it each layer contains specific data on it on the Home tab in your ribbon there is a layers panel there are a lot of buttons here
that’s because layers have a lot of different settings the more settings that something has in AutoCAD the more important is to good examples of that are layers and dimensions these are two very important critical points to make sure you understand how to properly use and apply them in your drawings because they will control everything especially the layers so we have here in this pulldown the current layer that means whatever I draw will be on this layer if you look in your properties palette it will tell you the current layer
you can change your current layer by clicking here in the properties panel on the arrow it will pull down a list that you can scroll through if long enough showing you what layers are available now in this one we have layer 0 which is found in all drawings def points which is also an autocad-based and generated layer that has to work with dimensions we’ll talk about it a little bit later now these layers here doors viewport wall windows these were all created by me when I made the file all the doors are on the door layer a viewport layer which we’ll talk about later on has all the viewports on it that’s something we’ll use in paper space when we go to demonstrate and show on display how we use the layers now there’s also a wall layer and a windows layer this is a very short list to be quite honest most drawings well there is no most drawings many drawings will have so many
different layers and it could astound you where I’m currently employed at full time our template file has over 2500 layers in it it’s absurd the amount of layers so that’s why you have to understand how to use layers when to use them and when not to all of these buttons on here will do something that you’re going to want to need to know how to do we’re going to go over the majority of them some of them you’ll hardly ever touch while others you’ll use constantly this pulldown for the layers works very similarly to the one in the properties panel wall is a current layer to switch to a different layer pick it and you can see here in the properties palette that we have it gives you your current layer so when I draw a line it’s going to be that color switch current layers to the wall layer it’s going to be this dark brownish maroon color
so you control the visual display of your objects through layers now I can control these objects by themselves but I’m using the by layer functionality we’ll talk more about it later but I can override this and make it read if I want to but if I change the layer settings to a different color like blue this will stay red but everything else on that layer will turn blue use by layer all the time
there are rare exceptions when it’s appropriate and are acceptable to use the layer settings but stay away from it let’s go through some of these buttons this is the layer properties button you click it to open up the layer properties manager
now the layer properties manager is a palette
so you can dock it you
can stretch it
you can hide it you can do anything you want to it that you can do to a regular pallet
you can dock it in up high
you can move it down low
you can pick anywhere on the east and kind of move the columns around
you can stretch it out
and you can see here that there is a lot of information about your layers if you’re getting overwhelmed and
frightened by all the buttons it’s okay we’re going to go through all of these things throughout the next series of sections but to close the palette you just click on the X
this button here will make a objects layer current so if I select this door up here this isn’t current but it’s telling you that’s what layer it’s on if I click here this will make this objects layer current so that’s a great tool to remember to use if you want to switch between different objects layers you can just select the object and click on the make current button that’s one way to switch and it’s one way hey I need to draw a door so I can come up to this list and try to scroll through it but if it’s really long then finding the door layer may be difficult I can pick the door and just say make it current and now I can draw a new door and it’ll be on the right layer
this is called the lair match or match lair
I select it and now I pick all the objects that I want to change so let’s say I want all of these walls here to change I select them press Enter and now I pick an object that has the properties that I want them to match so that’s a great tool if you’re drawing on the wrong layer or you need to switch something for some reason for any reason you can do that very quickly these layers here called isolate this will hide all of these layers so it hides everything else except for the layers that I selected it isolates them it basically turns other layers off if I pick the UH nice elate it puts
everything back to the way it was it doesn’t delete them it just hides them so I can’t select them so that’s a great way to isolate your walls you know make some changes right let’s see it’s delete that
or if we were to do some other things we could unload everything and that brings it back so we can edit on a specific type of object like just the walls or just the doors or just the windows without having the other items get in your way in keeping them safe now you can freeze layers or turn layers off we’ll discuss a little bit later the difference but what it will do is it makes them invisible turns them off they’re still there you can’t select them or anything but you can go to your layer manager type in LA
and you can see here they’re frozen if I pick this they’ll come back
turning layers off kinda does the same thing now they’ll be affected
differently in viewports and you can do different things away they’re loaded and we’ll talk more about that later on but for now you can turn them back on and you have your fries or you’re off these are different layer States you can put your layers in a specific way certain colors a certain ones off certain ones frozen and you can save that in a state so you can easily replace that or reinstate that layer system the way you had it set up before so if you want to work with just the walls you can say walls you know you can give it a layer state where it turns everything off but the walls but maybe you want walls and doors you can do that some of these other buttons here will turn all the layers on will thaw all the layers this will lock on or unlock a layer if you lock a layer then that means anything that’s on that layer any walls roads windows doors ceilings whatever it is I mean you can’t edit the objects that are on that layer you can add new objects to it but you can’t take them off so if you’re making an
architectural drawing like in this case and you want to make sure the walls stay say don’t accidentally mess them up lock that layer
this will change the current layer changes the current layer of a selected object to the current one
see it changed this layer that we selected this object and it changed it to the current layer
that’s another way to change your objects layer types and then we have a copy objects to a new layer so you can copy your object and it will put it on a nother layer than what it’s on the layer walk this will show you what you have in types of layers if you pick it this is what it is and as you select the objects it just shows you what’s on those layers doesn’t do anything to the drawing but it kind of tells you hey well what’s this door layer well what does that have on it well of course it’s the doors the VP freeze will freeze that layer in all viewports except the one you’re currently working in well that’s nice when you’re using paper space and you make other views and viewports and you’re creating some new line work and you don’t want that line work to show up in the other views click it here and it will turn them off or actually will freeze them turn them off so that they won’t be displayed except for the one you’re working in the merge will just select layers put them onto one target layer it’ll remove all the other layers from the drawing so it cleans it up and this is one thing that you can use if you get drawings that are very old from someone else who didn’t have very good standards you know on their layer management styles it’ll put them all in one place and then you can sort it out it might make things a bit easier if you have a layer that’s not being used you can delete the layer here now when you have locked layers it will fade them and that will tell you that they’re locked so you can adjust that here you can make them not faded at all or go all the way up to 90% or they’re very faint or you can just turn the feature completely off that’s up to you
I typically will turn that off because I don’t lock a lot of layers very often anyway but when I do I still want to be able to see them so that’s a lot of the layer commands that you have right here in the tab on the ribbon a lot of these down here you’re not going to use very often these are the majority of the layers you’re going to use as you have to navigate through your drawing and create different line work and objects turning layers off and on freezing them filing them isolating your layers as part of the drafting process in AutoCAD

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