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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
Now that we have seen the full blown Layer Properties Manager, you maybe wondering if there is a faster way to adjust your layer settings. In fact, there is. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to use the Layer Control. The layer control is located right here in the Layers Panel. First things first. notice that the Layer Control gives us the name of the current layer. Right now that's layer part. So anything I create at this point will be drawn on layer part. If I click the flyout I can see a listing of all of the layers in my drawing and if I would like to set a different layer current, I can select the layer name from this menu.
As you can see, layer 0 is now the current layer. I am going to open the Layer Control again and I would like to talk about these icons to the left of the layer names. These are the same icons that we see in the Layers Properties Manager and they reflect the current settings of each layer. Let's say I would like to make a change. Maybe I would like to change the color of the center lines layer. To do that I will click this color swatch and I am going to select red for my layer color and I will click OK. Notice how my geometry changes instantly on screen.
Maybe I would like to make another change. Maybe I would like to turn my center lines layer off. To do that I will open the Layer Control and then I will come down to the end and I will click this light bulb. That turns off the layer and then I will click on the screen to close the menu. Now I would like to keep that layer on. So I am going to open this up again. I will click this light bulb one more time and then I will click on screen to close the menu. It's important to note that the layer control is not a replacement for Layer Properties Manager. The purpose of the layer control is to give us quick access to several of the popular layer settings.
If you wanted to create layers or rename layers or delete layers or assign line types and line weights, you will still have to do that through the Layers Properties Manager. On my screen, I have a drawing that would be considered a mechanical example, and I am almost finished with this part. In fact, all I have to do is add one more hole right over here. To do that I will launch my Circle command and I am going to create my circle from the center of this arc. Now AutoCAD has given a hard time with that. So I am going to Shift+Right-Click, and I will select Center from the menu.
This forces a center object snap. This circle has a Radius of 0.25. Now here is my problem. When I drew that circle layer 0 was current. So this circle is sitting on the wrong layer. The nice thing is I don't have to erase the circle and start over. Instead, I will move this circle to the correct layer using the layer control. I can do that my selecting the circle. I will open the Layer Control and I will select the appropriate layer from the menu. When I am finished I will press Escape. Now that my circle has been corrected, I am going to copy my center lines down.
I will launch the Copy command. I will select these center lines and right-click and I will copy them from the center of this circle to the center of this one. You know, as I look at this drawing I can see that I have a dimension that's also on the wrong layer. Watch this. If we look at the Layer Control we can see the current layer is 0. If I select this dimension AutoCAD will tell me the name of the layer that, that object is sitting on. Sometimes that information can be handy. I am going to open up the Layer Control and I will place this object on the dimensions layer.
When I am finished I will press Escape. Using the Layer Control is the fastest way to change your layer settings. It's also the perfect tool for setting a current layer or moving an entity from one layer to another.
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