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Organizing information on layers

 

Understanding layers

Layers in CAD.direct 2019 are like the transparent overlays you use in manual drafting. You use layers to organize different types of drawing information. In CAD.direct 2019, each entity in a drawing exists on a layer. When you draw an entity, it is created on the current layer.

 

You can control the visibility of layers in individual viewports. When you turn a layer

off, entities drawn on that layer are no longer visible, and they do not print. Although

a layer may be invisible, you can still select it as the current layer, in which case new

entities are also invisible until you turn the layer back on. Entities on invisible layers

can also affect the display and printing of entities on other layers. For example, entities

on invisible layers can hide other entities when you use the Hide command to remove hidden lines.

 

You can also freeze and thaw layers. Entities drawn on frozen layers do not display, do not print, and do not regenerate. When you freeze a layer, its entities do not affect the display or printing of other entities. For example, entities on frozen layers do not hide other entities when you use the Hide command to remove hidden lines. In addition, you cannot draw on a frozen layer until you thaw it, and you cannot make a frozen layer current.

 

You cannot freeze the current layer. If you attempt to freeze the current layer, a dialog box appears prompting you to specify a different layer. You also cannot freeze or thaw a viewport layer unless you are working in a Layout tab.

 

You can lock or unlock layers. The entities on a locked layer are still visible and will print, but you cannot edit them. Locking a layer prevents you from accidentally modifying entities.

 

Each layer has its own properties, such as color, linetype, lineweight, transparency, print visibility, and more. For drawings that use named print styles, layers can also have their own print style. Entities you draw on a particular layer are displayed in the color, linetype, and lineweight associated with that layer unless you override these settings. You control all of the associated settings for layers using the Layers element in the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer. You can also access layer settings for entities using the Entity Properties toolbar.

 

Some drawings contain large lists of layers, in which case you can search for layers by name, or you can organize layers into subsets using layer filters. Layer states are also useful for drawings that contain many layers. With layer states, you can assign properties to individual layers and save them in a layer state, then apply those settings at any time.

 

Creating and naming layers

You can create an unlimited number of layers in every drawing and use those layers for organizing information. When you create a new layer, it is initially assigned the color white (or black, depending on your system settings) and the linetype CONTINUOUS. By default, a new layer is also visible. After you create and name a layer, you can change its color, linetype, visibility, and other properties.

 

Filtering and finding layers

Some drawings contain large lists of layers. To limit the layers that appear in the list, you can search layers by name (including wildcards) and you can also create layer filters. By default, there are two predefined filters. One displays all layers and the other displays all layers that are used in the drawing.

There are two types of layer filters that you can create:

 

• Properties filter — Includes layers according to properties that you specify.

• Group filter — Includes layers that you include in the group.

 

After you create a layer filter, you can turn all of its layers on or off, thaw or freeze the layers, and lock or unlock the layers. Layer filters can also be inverted, imported, and exported.

 

Filtering layers by property

Layer property filters include layers according to properties that you specify. For example, a property filter can display all layers with a dashed linetype, then you can easily turn those layers on or off.

 

Filters can be nested.

To create a sub-filter of an existing filter, right-click the existing filter and choose New Properties Filter or New Group Filter.

 

To modify a properties filter

1 In CAD.direct 2019 Explorer, select Layers, then do one of the following:

 

• To rename a properties filter, select it and type a new name.

• To delete a properties filter, select it and press Delete.

• To change the definition of a properties filter, double-click it.

 

Filtering layers by group

Layer group filters include any layer that you select for the group. For example, a group filter can display all layers that contain text entities, then you can freeze or thaw those layers as needed.

 

Controlling layer visibility

A layer can be visible or invisible. Entities on invisible layers are not displayed and do not print. By controlling layer visibility, you can turn off unnecessary information, such as construction lines or notes. By changing layer visibility, you can put the same drawing to multiple uses.

 

For example, if you are drawing a floor plan, you can draw the layout of light fixtures on one layer and the location of plumbing lines on another. By selectively turning layers on and off, you can print the electrical engineering drawings and the plumbing drawings from the same drawing file. For even more convenience, you can control the visibility of layers within individual viewports, so that layers that display in one viewport are invisible in other viewports in the same drawing.

 

When you turn a layer off, entities drawn on that layer are no longer visible. When you turn the layer back on, the entities on that layer are redisplayed.

 

Locking and unlocking layers

Locking a layer makes it easy to refer to information contained on the layer, but prevents you from accidentally modifying its entities. When a layer is locked (but visible and thawed), its entities remain visible, but you cannot edit them. If you lock the current layer, you can still add new entities to it. Unlocking a layer restores full editing capabilities.

 

Controlling layer printing

Controlling layer printing is another way you can specify which entities print in your drawing.

 

By controlling layer printing, you can turn off unnecessary information during printing. For example, if you are drawing a floor plan, you can draw the layout of light fixtures on one layer and the location of plumbing lines on another. By selectively turning layers on and off when you print, you can print the electrical engineering drawings and the plumbing drawings from the same drawing file. By changing layer printing, you can put the same drawing to multiple uses.

 

When you turn off printing for a layer, entities drawn on that layer are still visible, but they do not print. If you turn off a layer’s visibility, entities drawn on that layer do not display or print. Controlling layer printing can be especially helpful if you want layer visibility on, but do not want to print entities on that layer.

 

Setting the layer color

Each layer in a drawing is assigned a color. CAD.direct 2019 uses the BYLAYER color as the default color setting for entity creation so that new entities are drawn in the color of the layer on which they are inserted (set in the Drawing Settings dialog box).

 

Using the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer, you can set or change the color assigned to a layer. With the direct-editing feature, you can click on the color you want to change, and then select a new color from the dialog box that appears. Changing a layer’s color automatically changes the color of all entities on that layer with the BYLAYER color.

 

Setting the layer linetype

Each layer uses a default linetype (a repeating pattern of dashes, dots, or blank spaces). Linetype determines the appearance of entities both on the screen and when printed.

 

It’s a good idea to assign the BYLAYER linetype to any entities that you draw on that layer. CAD.direct 2019 uses the BYLAYER linetype as the default linetype setting for Entity Creation (in the Drawing Settings dialog box).

 

Using the CAD.direct 2019 Explorer, you can set or change the linetype assigned to a layer. With the direct-editing feature, you can click on the linetype you want to change, and then select a new linetype from the dialog box that appears. Changing the linetype assigned to a layer changes the linetype of all entities drawn on that layer with the BYLAYER linetype.

 

Only those linetypes already set in the drawing can be assigned to layers.

 

Setting the layer lineweight

Each layer uses a default lineweight. Lineweights determine the thickness of entities both on the screen and when printed.

 

All new layers are assigned the DEFAULT lineweight, which is .25 millimeters or .01 inches. If you want a different lineweight assigned to a layer, you can easily change it using CAD.direct 2019 Explorer. For example, you may want different line-weights on each layer of your drawing to show separate elements, such as walls, dimensions, structural steel, and electrical plans. Changing the lineweight assigned to a layer changes the lineweight of all entities drawn on that layer with the BYLAYER lineweight.

 

When you create new entities, it’s a good idea to assign the BYLAYER lineweight to any entities that you draw on that layer, unless you want to override the layer lineweight. CAD.direct 2019 uses the BYLAYER lineweight as the default lineweight setting when you create entities (in the Drawing Settings dialog box).

 

Setting the layer transparency

Each layer uses a transparency value from 0 to 90, where zero is no transparency (regular visibility) and 90 is the most transparency (almost invisible). By default, each layer is assigned zero transparency. If you want a different transparency assigned to a layer, you can easily change it using CAD.direct 2019 Explorer.

 

Setting the layer print style

If your drawing uses named print style tables, you can specify a print style for each ayer. Named print style tables contain print styles that you set up to control what entities ook like when they print, without actually changing the entities in the drawing.

 

If your drawing uses color-dependent print style tables, you cannot specify a print tyle for a layer. These types of print style tables automatically determine printing equirements by the color assigned to a layer or an entity. For details about converting  drawing that uses color-dependent print style table to use named print style tables.

 

In drawings that use named print style tables, the default print style is Normal for all new layers. If desired, you can assign a print style using CAD.direct 2019

Explorer. Chang-ing the print style assigned to a layer changes the print style of all entities drawn on that layer with the BYLAYER print style.

 

When you create new entities, it’s a good idea to assign the BYLAYER print style to any entities that you draw on that layer, unless you want to override the layer print style. CAD.direct 2019 uses the BYLAYER print style as the default print style setting when you create entities (in the Drawing Settings dialog box).

 

Working with layer states

Layer states are collections of individual layers and their properties. You can restore layer states at any time, which makes it easy to switch between layer configurations according to your tasks.

 

Layer states can also be imported and exported. For example, to quickly create all the layers you need in a new drawing, create and export a layer state from an existing drawing that has the layers you need, and then import the layer state to the new drawing.

 

Layer states are saved in the drawing, including drawing templates and exported or imported drawings.

For each layer included in a layer state, you can set the following properties:

 

• Color

• Linetype

• On/Off

• Lock/Unlock

• Freeze/Thaw

• Lineweight

• Transparency

• Print

• New Viewports

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