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Organizing the Drawing with Layers

You can organize a drawing by sketching using transparent Layers. You draw entities of a complete drawing onto different Layers. The Layers, imposed on top of one another, form the entire drawing. Layers can also contain functional elements such as InfiniteLines.

Layers are useful in separating entities, such as parts or subassemblies, or structural components, such as pipe sizes or building materials. They also serve to separate entities such as InfiniteLines, centerlines, outlines, dimension lines, or items to be placed in a group, such as foliage in an architectural drawing.

Layer 0: The Standard Layer

When you create a new drawing, you automatically generate Layer 0, the standard Layer. The LineColor white on a black background (or black on a white background) and the LineStyle Continuous are set automatically for this Layer.

You cannot delete or rename Layer 0.

Layer Properties

Each Layer has LineColor, LineStyle, and LineWeight properties. Anything you sketch on the Layer adopts the Layer's properties unless you explicitly set a LineColor, LineStyle, or LineWeight other than those of the active Layer.

There are other Layer properties that let you switch between different states. These are show/hide, freeze/thaw, and lock/unlock.

The Layers and their properties are saved with the drawing.

Layer properties include:

  • Status: One Layer in each drawing is the active Layer, indicated in the Status column of the Layers Manager dialog box. New entities are placed on this Layer.
  • Name: Each Layer has a name containing letters, numbers, or special characters such as underscores and dollar signs.
  • Visibility (Show or Hide): An advantage of Layers is that they aid in visualizing the part or drawing. Improve the clarity of a drawing by choosing Layers and hiding drawing entities.The button symbol indicates whether the Layer is shown or hidden. You can turn each Layer on or off independently.
  • Frozen or Thawed: You can control the visibility and the influence of entities within the Layer. A frozen Layer is invisible and protected and thus impossible to change. A frozen Layer is not included when you rebuild a drawing. When working with complex drawings, freezing unneeded Layers can increase performance. When you thaw a Layer, it becomes visible and you can make changes to it. You cannot freeze the active Layer.
  • Locked or Unlocked: You can protect Layers so the entities on the Layer cannot be changed. The locked state prevents unintentional modification. If a Layer is protected, you cannot change, add, or delete entities from the Layer. Change the status to unlocked if you want to work with entities on the Layer. You can sketch new entities on locked Layers, but you cannot modify them.
  • LineColor: You can set a color for each Layer or use the default (white). If you change the Layer color in the Layers Manager dialog box, all drawing entities of the Layer that have assigned the color ByLayer assume the new color. Because you can sketch on the active Layer only, new entities are in the standard color of the active Layer unless you specify a new color using the LineColor command.
  • LineStyle: A standard LineStyle is assigned to a line, Continuous by default. The chosen LineStyle is shown in the Layers Manager dialog box by Layer. All entities are sketched in the LineStyle of the Layer unless you choose another LineStyle.
  • LineWeight: You can set the LineWeight for entities on the Layer.
  • Transparency: You can set the transparency for entities on the Layer.
  • PrintStyle: You can assign individual PrintStyles to Layers.
  • Print: You can turn Layers on or off for printing.
  • Description: You can type a Layer description.

Related Topics

Managing Layers

Layer Tools

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