AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating and managing layers


From:

AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Creating and managing layers

The Windows version of AutoCAD uses two layer Management tools. We have the layers palette which is used for layer creation and organization, and we have a flyout called the layer Control that gives us quick access to our layer Display Settings. The Mac version of AutoCAD consolidates both of these tools into a single layers palette, creating a one-stop shop for all of our layer needs. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to use the new layers palette to create and manage layers. Now, my layers palette is docked to the right side of the screen.

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Watch the Online Video Course AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
2h 45m Beginner Oct 29, 2010

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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac with Jeff Bartels covers the fundamental differences between the 2011 Mac OS X version of AutoCAD and the venerable PC edition, allowing designers to leverage existing AutoCAD skills and easily transition to the new environment. This course runs through both a typical 2D and 3D design workflow, covering its workspace, tools, customization options, and strategies users can apply working in a mixed Windows and Mac environment. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting preferences
  • Customizing the interface
  • Opening and managing drawings
  • Constructing a 2D drawing
  • Creating and inserting block references
  • Building a library using the Content Manager
  • Making references to external files and images
  • Plotting drawings
  • Creating a model in 3D space
Subject:
CAD
Software:
AutoCAD AutoCAD for Mac
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Creating and managing layers

The Windows version of AutoCAD uses two layer Management tools. We have the layers palette which is used for layer creation and organization, and we have a flyout called the layer Control that gives us quick access to our layer Display Settings. The Mac version of AutoCAD consolidates both of these tools into a single layers palette, creating a one-stop shop for all of our layer needs. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to use the new layers palette to create and manage layers. Now, my layers palette is docked to the right side of the screen.

If for some reason, yours is not visible, you can turn it on by visiting the Window menu and then select layers. Note that you can also toggle the display of the palette by using the keyboard shortcut Command+4.Let's take a look at this flyout first. This tool is essentially a modernized version of the layer Control we have in Windows and it works the exact same way. For instance, if I select a layer, that layer becomes current. This menu can also be used to adjust the layer settings like On/Off, Lock/Unlock, Freeze/Thaw and layer Color.

Just beneath the layer Control are several familiar tools. They also function just like they do in the Windows version. Let's try a couple of these. I'm going to click the Layer Off button and then I'll click on one of these doors to turn that layer off. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Let's zoom in a little closer. Now that I've made that change, I can see that I also need to close up the ends of these walls. No problem; I'll click the Make Current button, and then I'll select one of the walls to set that layer current.

I will then launch the Line Command and I'll draw a line from the endpoint here to the endpoint here and I'll press Escape. I will then press my Spacebar to re- launch the Line Command, same keyboard shortcut that we use in Windows, and I'll draw a line from the endpoint here to the endpoint here, and I'll press Escape. When I'm finished, I'll click the layer Previous button a couple times to set the layer state back to where it was when we started. As I continue to look at this drawing, I can see that I have another problem. Notice that this door geometry was created on the wrong layer.

Let's fix this using the layer Control. I'm going to click, hold and drag to create a selection window around this geometry, and then I'll open the Control and I'll place this geometry on the doors-interior layer. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. All right, let's create a layer. To do that, I'll click the arrow next to Show layer List. This expands the layer palette giving me access to all of the layer maintenance tools. In fact this part of the palette is similar to the traditional layers palette.

As you can see, the layers are organized into columns just like in the Windows version. If you cannot see all of the column information, you can always grab this slider and drag it left and right. Likewise, if you place your cursor between two columns, you can click, hold and drag to adjust their width. Looking at the columns from left to right, I have settings for On/Off, layer Color, layer Name, Freeze/Thaw, Lock/Unlock and Plot/No Plot. You've probably noticed that some settings are missing like Linetype and Lineweight.

Well, they are here except those columns are turned off. Watch this. I'm going to click the Display Settings icon and down here I can see a listing of all of the columns that we typically see in the layers palette. The ones with checks are the ones that are currently visible. For right now, I'm going to select Linetype, and at this point, you might want to turn on several more columns. But I'm going to ask that you resist that urge at least until after you watch the next video where we talk about the new Properties Inspector.

After watching that lesson, you'll know the secret why all of the columns aren't being displayed in this palette. Okay, now that I have done a significant tease for the next video, let's create our new layer. To do that, I'll click the Add button, I'll call my layer kit-cabinets, and I'll press Return. Let's change the layer Color; I'll do that by clicking the color swatch and I'll select Cyan. I would also like to change the Linetype.

So I will click in the new Linetype column and I'll select HIDDEN. Now, Hidden was already loaded in this drawing. If it wasn't, I can always come down and click Manage, and then Load and I could load a new Linetype from an external file just like we do on Windows. Let's close these dialog boxes and I'm going to set the kitchen-cabinets layer current. Now, there's a couple of ways we can do this. I can double-click on the layer name or I can right-click on the layer name and select Set Current.

Now, let's pan the drawing over, and we'll zoom in on the Kitchen area and let's create some line work to represent cabinets over the range. Let's say my cabinet depth is 12 inches. I'm going to launch the Polyline Command and I'll start my Polyline at this endpoint. I will then lock my Ortho; I'm going to do it by clicking the icon down here in the Status Bar. I'll pull to the right and I'll type 12 inches and I'll press Return.

I will then create my line segment to Shift+right-click to bring up my object snap overrides, same shortcut we use in Windows. I'll select Perpendicular, and I'll select the end of the counter, and I'll finish my cabinets by drawing a line to this end point, and to exit the command I'll press Escape. Finally, I'd like to talk about layer selection. If you'd like to make changes to multiple layers, hold down your Command key for each additional layer you select. For instance, if I wanted to change the color of my plumbing fixtures, I could select the kitchen-plumbing layer, let's drag this slider down, and then I'll hold the Command key and I'll click the plumbing fixtures layer to select both of them.

I will then click the color swatch, let's change the layer color to green and that change is applied to both layers. To deselect these layers, I can right-click and I'll select Clear All. As long as we're talking about keyboard shortcuts used for selecting multiple layers, let's talk about the Shift key. Shift will select all layers between the two that you select. As an example, I'll select the kitchen- appliances layer and then I'll come down and hold my Shift key and select the porch layer.

Notice that AutoCAD selected both of the layers as well as every layer between them. Once again, I'll deselect these by right-clicking and I'll select Clear All. If you'd like even more control when selecting layers, use this Search box to filter the layer list. Let's say I'd like to see all of the layers associated with the kitchen. I'll click in the Search field and I'll type kit. Notice that AutoCAD shows me all of the layers that contain these characters. When I'm finished making any necessary adjustments, I'll click the X to remove the filter.

Finally, I'll click the arrow to hide the layer list. As you can see, the Mac version of AutoCAD gives us a streamlined approach to layer Management. It offers a full collection of layer Controls that are packed into a tightly organized palette in the interface.

There are currently no FAQs about AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac.

 
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