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AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

Creating and adjusting layers


From:

AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Creating and adjusting layers

Once we decide we need to create some layers, the place we want to visit is the Layer Properties Manager. This is our one stop shop for creating and managing the layers in our drawing. As you can see I have just launched my AutoCAD 2011, and I am sitting in the default Drawing file. I am going to open the Layer Properties Manager by moving up to the Layers panel and clicking this icon. The first thing we notice is that the Layer Properties Manager is huge. Fortunately, this guy is a palette, so if I were to move my cursor out, it will collapse.
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 23m 33s
    1. Understanding model space
      3m 44s
    2. Accessing AutoCAD's tools
      3m 2s
    3. Leveraging dockable palettes
      3m 1s
    4. Monitoring the Status bar
      1m 28s
    5. Understanding the anatomy of a command
      2m 14s
    6. Customizing AutoCAD's preferences
      3m 13s
    7. Accessing help
      3m 38s
    8. Saving a workspace
      3m 13s
  3. 19m 42s
    1. Opening an AutoCAD drawing
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding mouse functions
      2m 44s
    3. Zooming, panning, and regenning
      4m 24s
    4. Working in a multiple-document environment
      2m 39s
    5. Saving your work
      2m 29s
    6. Saving time with templates
      4m 24s
  4. 14m 35s
    1. Constructing lines
      2m 20s
    2. Locking angles with the Ortho and Polar modes
      4m 49s
    3. Drawing circles
      4m 10s
    4. Activating the Heads-Up Display
      3m 16s
  5. 14m 48s
    1. Defining a unit of measure
      6m 28s
    2. Constructing geometry using architectural measurements
      4m 6s
    3. Working with metric units
      4m 14s
  6. 23m 45s
    1. Understanding the Cartesian coordinate system
      4m 53s
    2. Locking to geometry using object snaps
      7m 42s
    3. Automating object snap selection
      7m 26s
    4. Using temporary tracking to find points in space
      3m 44s
  7. 19m 30s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      4m 56s
    2. Drawing polygons
      3m 4s
    3. Creating an ellipse
      5m 9s
    4. Organizing with hatch patterns
      6m 21s
  8. 29m 46s
    1. Making geometric changes using the property changer
      3m 38s
    2. Moving and copying elements
      4m 28s
    3. Rotating elements
      3m 48s
    4. Trimming and extending geometry
      5m 10s
    5. Creating offsets
      6m 16s
    6. Erasing elements
      2m 46s
    7. Undoing and redoing actions
      3m 40s
  9. 11m 52s
    1. Selecting objects using windows
      3m 46s
    2. Adding and removing from selections
      3m 43s
    3. Using keyboard shortcuts
      4m 23s
  10. 51m 12s
    1. Creating fillets
      3m 52s
    2. Creating chamfers
      3m 51s
    3. Copying objects into a rotated pattern
      4m 20s
    4. Copying objects into a rectangular pattern
      4m 58s
    5. Stretching elements
      4m 4s
    6. Creating mirrored copies
      2m 12s
    7. Scaling elements
      5m 0s
    8. Leveraging grips
      7m 20s
    9. Exploding elements
      5m 47s
    10. Joining elements together
      3m 44s
    11. Editing hatch patterns
      6m 4s
  11. 32m 19s
    1. Understanding layers
      2m 43s
    2. Creating and adjusting layers
      7m 20s
    3. Using layers to organize a drawing
      9m 17s
    4. Changing popular settings using the layer control
      3m 30s
    5. Understanding the BYLAYER property
      3m 37s
    6. Restoring previous layer states
      3m 42s
    7. Using existing geometry to set the current layer
      2m 10s
  12. 37m 43s
    1. Creating single-line text
      3m 11s
    2. Justifying text
      5m 18s
    3. Controlling appearance using text styles
      6m 10s
    4. Annotating with multi-line text
      5m 10s
    5. Editing text
      4m 32s
    6. Creating bulleted and numbered lists
      3m 29s
    7. Incorporating symbols
      5m 28s
    8. Correcting spelling errors
      4m 25s
  13. 28m 37s
    1. Creating general dimensions
      4m 13s
    2. Creating continuous and baseline dimensions
      2m 13s
    3. Controlling appearance using dimension styles
      4m 57s
    4. Modifying dimensions
      6m 6s
    5. Creating multileaders
      2m 53s
    6. Controlling appearance using multileader styles
      3m 23s
    7. Modifying multileaders
      4m 52s
  14. 25m 19s
    1. Inserting blocks
      4m 34s
    2. Creating blocks
      6m 41s
    3. Leveraging blocks
      5m 39s
    4. Redefining blocks
      3m 1s
    5. Building a block library
      5m 24s
  15. 13m 50s
    1. Querying a drawing using rollover tooltips
      2m 9s
    2. Taking measurements using the Distance command
      3m 2s
    3. Modifying properties using the Quick Properties tool
      4m 25s
    4. Automating calculations using the Quick Calculator feature
      4m 14s
  16. 36m 6s
    1. Creating quick plots
      6m 4s
    2. Selecting a pen table
      5m 48s
    3. Choosing line weights
      4m 32s
    4. Creating a layout, pt. 1: Choosing a paper size
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a layout, pt. 2: Inserting a title block
      2m 29s
    6. Creating a layout, pt. 3: Cutting viewports
      6m 9s
    7. Reusing layouts
      4m 3s
    8. Organizing layouts
      4m 19s
  17. 16m 49s
    1. Using the Annotative property to automatically size text
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Annotative property to automatically size dimensions
      4m 34s
    3. Using the Annotative property to automatically size multileaders
      3m 58s
    4. Changing the scale assigned to annotations
      4m 4s
  18. 6m 56s
    1. Saving drawings to other formats
      2m 27s
    2. Plotting to the Design Web format
      2m 15s
    3. Plotting to PDF
      1m 20s
    4. Sending drawings via email
      54s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
6h 48m Beginner Jul 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding model space
  • Working in a multiple-document environment
  • Organizing drawings using layers
  • Creating basic geometry
  • Configuring units for architectural, civil, or metric work
  • Incorporating blocks (symbols) into a working file
  • Maintaining accuracy with coordinates and snaps
  • Creating annotations that automatically size themselves
  • Moving and copying elements
  • Transferring data between drawings
  • Preparing standardized layouts with title blocks
  • Sharing drawings
Subjects:
CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Creating and adjusting layers

Once we decide we need to create some layers, the place we want to visit is the Layer Properties Manager. This is our one stop shop for creating and managing the layers in our drawing. As you can see I have just launched my AutoCAD 2011, and I am sitting in the default Drawing file. I am going to open the Layer Properties Manager by moving up to the Layers panel and clicking this icon. The first thing we notice is that the Layer Properties Manager is huge. Fortunately, this guy is a palette, so if I were to move my cursor out, it will collapse.

Since we are going to be focusing on the manager for a little while, I am going to move my cursor back to open this up and I will click the Auto-hide button to turn that feature off. This way the palette will stay open until such time as I move up and click this X to close it. First of all, take a look at the top of the palette. This is where AutoCAD tells us the name of the current layer. Any geometry that I create will be drawn on the Current layer. in this case, it's layered zero (0). Over here to there right, I can see a listing of all of the layers in my drawing as well as their settings, since this is the default drawing I only have one layer, just layer zero (0).

In fact, layer zero is kind of a special layer, every AutoCAD drawing starts with layer zero and you can not rename or delete this layer. Every AutoCAD drawing has to have a layer zero. Let's take a look at the layer settings. These guys are arranged in columns, just like Microsoft Excel and sometimes the columns are wide enough to read the headings. To widen these up, you can click and hold in between the columns and you can drag these out to make them whatever width you like. Better yet, if you right-click on a column heading, you can come down and select Maximize all columns such that you can read all of the header information.

Now this does make the columns take up more space, so you may have to come down here and click and hold down this slider and drag it to the left or right such that you can see all of your settings. To change your layer setting, all you have to do is click on it. For instance, I am going to click this first icon. This light bulb turns the layer on and off. If I click this, AutoCAD brings up a warning. It says, hey, you are turning the Current layer off, do want to do that? In this case, yes, I do. So I will click to accept this option, and if I had any geometry on this layer, that geometry would no longer be visible on screen.

I am going to click the light bulb to turn this layer back on, and let's take a look at this setting. Color, this controls the color of my layer. If I click this Color swatch, it brings up AutoCAD's color selector where I can choose from any one of 255 standard color choices. I am going to leave this set to the default of white and I will click OK. Let's take a look at this setting, Linetype. This controls the appearance of my geometry. Is it going to look like a solid continuous line or is it going to be broken up into various sizes to dashes? I am going to click to make an adjustment and AutoCAD brings up the select Linetype dialog box, from here I can select from any of the Linetypes that are loaded in to the current drawing.

Right now I only have the one lint type continuous. I am going to come down and select Load, and from this menu I can choose from any of the line types that come pre-installed with AutoCAD 2011. As an example, I will select a Linetype and click OK to load it into my drawing. At this point if I wanted to, I can select the Linetype and click OK to assign it to a layer. But I am going to leave layer zero (0 ) set to the default if continuous, so I will just click OK. Finally, let's take a look at Lineweight.

I am going to click this to make it change. this brings up the Lineweight dialog box. From here I can select a line thickness that I want the geometry on this layer to have when my drawing is plotted. Now we will talk more about Lineweights when we get in to our chapter o plotting. For right now I am going to leave this set to the default, and I will click OK. Let's create a new layer. To do that I will click the new layer icon then I will give my layer a name, I am going to call this part, and I will press Enter. I will come down and click the Color swatch, and I am going to make this layer yellow, and I will click OK.

Finally, I will set this layer Current. To do that I will ensure the layer is selected and then I will click this green check. Notice we can see the current layer reflected here. I am going to click the X to close the manager, and as a side note, notice that we can also see the current layer name here. I am going to create some geometry and notice how the circle is taking on the appearance of the layer settings. This circle appears yellow, because the layer that it's sitting on is yellow. In fact, anything that I create in this layer will assume the properties of the layer. Let's make a change.

I a going to click the icon to bring back the Layer Properties Manager, and let's say I would like to change the name of this layer. To do that I will click the layer to select it, and then I will click again to get access to the name, and may be this layer was supposed to be called object, I will press Enter to accept that, and then I will click the Color swatch and let's make this magenta and I will click OK and then I will close the manager. Notice how my geometry had taken on the new layer settings. I am going to create another new layer. I will click the New layer icon.

And I would like to create a layer for my hidden lines. So I will call this layer hidden lines and I will press Enter. Now unfortunately the layer name is being truncated, because the column width isn't wide enough, so I am going to click in between these columns and I will drag this over a little bit and then I will change the color of this layer. I will make it Cyan and I will click OK. Then I will come down and click on the Linetype setting, I will select Load. As long as I am here, notice that several of the Linetypes at the top of those list start with ACAD_ISO.

If you are working with imperial measurements, stay away from these Linetypes, because these guys are pre-scaled for metric use. I am going to come down to the hidden lines area, notice I have three choices. The difference between these guys is the size of the dashes. I will select the standard hidden line (HIDDEN) type, and click OK. This loads it in to the current drawing. I will then select it and click OK to assign it to my layer. Finally, I will set this layer Current by clicking the green check, I will close the manager and I will create some more geometry, this time I will create a rectangle.

Once again, since my rectangle was created on the hidden lines layer, it's taking on those properties. Let's set layer at zero (0) Current, here is a shortcut, a really quick way we can set a layer current is by simply double clicking on the layer name. I will close the manager and now everything that I create is being drawn on layer zero (0). I would like to do one more thing, I am going to launch the Erase command and I will select this geometry and right-click. Essentially, I have just erased everything on the object layer.

Let's bring back the manager and take a look at the icons in the Status column. Notice the icon next to the object layer is grayed out, that tells me that there is nothing on this layer, and at this point I could ask myself if I really need this layer. If not, I can select this and click this red x to delete it. Whenever you are adding geometry to your drawing, ask yourself, does this geometry need to be a particular Linetype or Lineweight? Is this something I may want to turn off when I print my drawing? If your answer is yes, you will want to visit the Layer Properties Manager and create a new layer.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training.


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Q: Despite following the tutorials, I am having trouble in AutoCAD Architecture 2011. I cannot copy basic line drawings of simple architecture from one file to another. I tile two AutoCAD documents open simultaneously and click on a geometry, let go, click again and hold and try to drag to the second document, but to no avail. What could be causing the problem?
A: There are a few possible solutions. At the command line, type "PICKFIRST" and press Enter. Make sure this variable is set to 1. If the value is set to 0 instead of 1, this would result in the problem described. Having PICKFIRST set to 1 (normally the default setting for "vanilla" AutoCAD) allows you to select an object first, and then launch an editing command (like Move or Rotate or Erase). Thus, you can work in both directions. Launch the Editing command first and then select objects, or visa versa. 
If PICKFIRST is not the issue, the problem might be something native to AutoCAD for Architecture, as there are some differences between that version and plain AutoCAD. Don't forget, you can also move geometry from one drawing to another by using Copy/Paste. Simply select your geometry and right-click, select copy, then click in your other drawing, right-click, and select Paste. Note that the Copy/Paste options are also available on the Home tab of the Ribbon. Copy/Paste should work regardless of your PICKFIRST setting.
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