The Layer Manager

the layer manager in AutoCAD is a pallet and it’s the main format for creating and maintaining your drawings layers here you can change the state of a layer create new layers delete layers and change the properties of a layer to get to it the easiest way is to type la on your command line and press enter this will open up the layers property manager palette once open it works just like any other palette and you can dock it or move it around however you want to do any changes you make in the layer manager are completed in real time that means as soon as you change the layer property or state your drawing is instantly updated and this allows you to keep the layer manager open at all times move it over let’s shrink it down you can see the drawing that I have here and I have three main drawing layers in it though there are six layers all together in my file as I make changes to the layers in the layer manager my drawing will instantly be updated so for the wall if I change the color just by clicking here and clicking a new color okay all my walls are not red that’s why you want to draw everything to a by layer state because then the layer will control everything and it makes it so easy I don’t have to select any of those objects but I can change it to a red line
that’s hidden
in just a few steps
there you go now you can see here that there are a lot of things that you can work with in the layer manager these are the names of all the layers when I pick the box that says name
it will aggregate that list either from A to Z or Z to a
now this column here is the status it tells me which one is current I can double click anywhere on one of these in the status or names column to activate that layer or to make it current the one with a check by it makes it current if I pick it one time I’m selecting it I can hold down the control key
and pick different ones if I click it again that will unselect it so now when I do something here it will do that to all of these layers so I can make all of these layers have a continuous linetype my drawing is updated I can turn them all green and now all of those objects are green of course I can undo that with my undo command so you have status you have name you have if it’s on or off so I can click here I can turn off a layer have these selected so it turned all of them off
but if I pick in one spot now it’ll just affect only that one I can freeze the lair I can lock it you can see it sort of fades it back and when you move over that object
it kind of puts that little padlock looking icon
I can’t even select the object so much I mean I can but I can’t delete it it won’t let me I can’t change it I can’t do anything to it so when you get in line work that you needed to have a set and locked in then we’ll lock it down and you can sort any of these columns by their specific type or function just by clicking on it in ascending or
descending order I can sort by color could sort by line type line weight etc so the color is pretty straightforward as well I just pick in the box here or anywhere on there and it brings up my select color window there are a lot of colors here
there are 255 specific or standard colors that I can pick from most of them that you’re going to use are right here colors 1 through 9 7 is the color white and that goes back and forth between white and black that depends on your background color on your screen right now my screen color is black so it makes it white now if my background was white they would be black so that’s just a relative color but when you print to this color it will always be black that’s the color ink that would be used in this case you have color 250 which is a faded color it’s just a little bit less than a hundred percent of black and now an even more all the way down to an almost not even there so if you want to draw something that’s kind of not there you would use 255 so these are the most common colors that you’re going to use right here now
you can pick any one of these other colors to make it current and they have a specific number it’s like this is number 79 this form of yellow or shade of yellow is number 50 so I can type in any of the numbers in this box if I want it to be the standard red I can just type in the number 1 click OK
it’s still red line types are a little bit different I just click on it whatever is loaded into my file I can use
just select it click okay and it changes that line type to that line type click on it to open this up if I don’t have the line that I want here I can click load and here are all the standard AutoCAD line types you have a bit of a preview and description for that line type and then the name right here this is the source file you can customize line types we’re not going to get into that now and I recommend that you stick with the standard line types as much as possible otherwise any time you send a file to somebody you also have to send them that customized line type file otherwise their lines won’t work so you can have dots you can have dashes you can a fan of lines some of them even have a little bit of text into them this will say gas
so we’ll say HW for hot water etc the majority of the lines you’re going to use are going to be continuous hidden dashed phantom etc
now online weight controls the thickness of the line in millimeters when you go and print your drawing you can set it to default which is just a thin standard or you can set it down to the thinnest line which measures it zero millimeters or the thickest setting which is two point one one millimeters so these get pretty thick
the majority of the time you’re going to be around 0.15 millimeters up to about 1 millimeter really thick lines will be 2 millimeters
now there’s a setting called
transparency in AutoCAD it works just like the color line type line wait but it makes an object transparent or translucent that means you can see through it so you just click it here you have different numbers and increments of 10 all the way up to 90% these are percentage or degrees of transparency so a setting of zero means it is zero transparency that has no transparency whatsoever it’s completely solid the 90 means 90 percent of that object is transparent so you can only see 10 percent of it so the higher the number the less of it you’re going to see and that you can control by layer
you can see I said that the 90 and well they are very hard to see
extremely so it’s there I’m not sure you can see it on the recording but it is so let’s cut that back to 50 they’re not it’s a little bit more prevalent it’s nice when you want to you know go something back it meaning that you want the line there but you want to you know not put emphasis on it so you fade it back and that’s one way you can do that with the transparency you know you can have something that doesn’t print out it’s called no plot and that’s what this setting here does like this case right here
it won’t plot now it will because I clicked it click it again it won’t plot we use that with viewports quite a bit and a viewport is sort of a window from your paper space to your model space so it brings it in you don’t want to see that line work that shows your shape that’s your window but you need to know where it is while you’re working in AutoCAD that way it will define it but not commit you to the line work this last section here will be a new viewport freeze and that means if you select this whenever someone creates a new viewport which we’ll talk about another section the viewport will have that layer frozen so if you’re working on something specific on a small area of your drawings for the whole project that you don’t want other people to necessarily include this is great for revision work so let’s say you’ve done your project you’ve submitted it in and now you’re coming back with a change and you don’t want it to show up in your other drawings by accident so you put it on a new layer and you say new viewport freeze so any time someone makes a new viewport or it comes in it’s not going to be turned on it’ll be off so those line work won’t show up and this last column is a description here you can put in a description in this case this is a wall you just click in here and you can say you know just type in whatever you want contains all building walls there you go that helps because it can get kind of complicated every once in a while on what a layer really is so this can help you better define and leave notes for people on what you’ve done here
you can click here and make a new layer click here to freeze all of them in the viewport to delete them or to make one current

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Viewports – Part 1