AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training
Illustration by Don Barnett

AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training

with Jeff Bartels

Video: The Layer Properties Manager

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, managing and manipulating the layers in our drawing. Now I recently launched my AutoCAD, I happen to be sitting in the default Drawing1.dwg. This drawing has absolutely no content. What I would like to do is create a simple drawing and I would like to organize my geometry onto some layers. So I'm going to create a layer, I can do by going up to my Layers toolbar and I will click on my Layer Properties Manager icon.
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  1. 3m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Introduction to AutoCAD
      1m 29s
    3. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 23m 16s
    1. Modelspace
      2m 21s
    2. Toolbars
      3m 24s
    3. Pulldowns
      3m 36s
    4. AutoCAD's command line
      1m 46s
    5. Dockable palettes
      3m 23s
    6. The Status bar
      2m 59s
    7. Saving your workspace
      2m 12s
    8. Essential settings
      3m 35s
  3. 19m 8s
    1. Opening an AutoCAD drawing
      3m 1s
    2. Mouse functions
      2m 2s
    3. Zooming, panning, and regen
      5m 11s
    4. The multiple-document environment
      3m 24s
    5. Saving your work
      2m 34s
    6. Using templates
      2m 56s
  4. 16m 37s
    1. The Line command
      3m 17s
    2. ORTHO and POLAR modes
      5m 45s
    3. The Circle command
      3m 27s
    4. The Heads-Up display
      4m 8s
  5. 15m 51s
    1. Defining units of measure
      6m 13s
    2. Drafting with architectural units
      5m 1s
    3. Drafting with metric units
      4m 37s
  6. 20m 52s
    1. Cartesian coordinates
      5m 50s
    2. Object snaps
      10m 27s
    3. Automating object snaps
      4m 35s
  7. 23m 33s
    1. Rectangle
      4m 22s
    2. Ellipse
      6m 0s
    3. Hatch
      8m 34s
    4. Polygon
      4m 37s
  8. 23m 28s
    1. Move and Copy
      6m 45s
    2. Rotate
      5m 6s
    3. Offset
      6m 1s
    4. Erase
      2m 6s
    5. Undo and Redo
      3m 30s
  9. 12m 38s
    1. Windows and crossing windows
      4m 49s
    2. Removing from selections
      3m 44s
    3. Using key-ins
      4m 5s
  10. 1h 4m
    1. Trim and Extend
      6m 55s
    2. Fillet
      5m 3s
    3. Chamfer
      6m 36s
    4. Array
      8m 2s
    5. Mirror
      6m 54s
    6. Stretch
      5m 51s
    7. Scale
      5m 19s
    8. Grips
      7m 37s
    9. Explode
      4m 17s
    10. Polyline edit
      7m 48s
  11. 26m 8s
    1. Layers
      3m 32s
    2. The Layer Properties Manager
      9m 8s
    3. Layer control
      4m 30s
    4. The ByLayer property
      5m 27s
    5. The Layer Previous command
      3m 31s
  12. 43m 16s
    1. Single-line text
      3m 47s
    2. Text justification
      7m 3s
    3. Text styles
      7m 31s
    4. Multi-line text
      6m 30s
    5. Editing
      3m 24s
    6. Bulleted and numbered lists
      4m 7s
    7. Symbols
      6m 19s
    8. Spell-checking
      4m 35s
  13. 29m 0s
    1. Creating dimensions
      8m 36s
    2. Dimension styles
      6m 39s
    3. Callouts
      6m 42s
    4. Tweaking dimensions
      7m 3s
  14. 14m 53s
    1. The Distance command
      4m 17s
    2. The Property Changer
      6m 31s
    3. The Quick Calculator
      4m 5s
  15. 25m 10s
    1. Creating and inserting blocks
      10m 16s
    2. Using blocks
      5m 47s
    3. Modifying blocks
      4m 8s
    4. Building your library
      4m 59s
  16. 48m 45s
    1. Quick plots
      6m 42s
    2. Selecting a pen table
      5m 37s
    3. Layouts pt. 1: Choosing paper
      3m 23s
    4. Layouts pt. 2: Inserting a title block
      3m 13s
    5. Layouts pt. 3: Cutting a viewport
      6m 18s
    6. Layouts pt. 4: Reusing layouts
      4m 16s
    7. Scale factors
      4m 0s
    8. Sizing modelspace text
      7m 17s
    9. Sizing modelspace dimensions
      4m 48s
    10. Sizing linetypes
      3m 11s
  17. 10m 1s
    1. Drawing compatibility
      3m 5s
    2. E-transmitting
      3m 12s
    3. Saving to the Design Web format
      3m 44s
  18. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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Watch the Online Video Course AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training
6h 58m Beginner May 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Opening, viewing, saving, and sharing drawings
  • Customizing the workspace
  • Mastering drawing fundamentals and specialized commands
  • Defining units of measure and controlling accuracy
  • Making primary modifications and major changes to a drawing
  • Organizing layers and reusable content
  • Annotating and dimensioning
  • Plotting with layouts
  • Sizing linetypes, modelspace text, and dimensions for a plot
Subject:
CAD
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

The Layer Properties Manager

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, managing and manipulating the layers in our drawing. Now I recently launched my AutoCAD, I happen to be sitting in the default Drawing1.dwg. This drawing has absolutely no content. What I would like to do is create a simple drawing and I would like to organize my geometry onto some layers. So I'm going to create a layer, I can do by going up to my Layers toolbar and I will click on my Layer Properties Manager icon.

When I click that, AutoCAD brings up my Layer Properties Manager. Now if we look at the dialog, I can see up at the top AutoCAD is saying our current layer is Layer 0. That means that anything that I draft right now will be drawn on Layer 0. I can also identify the current layer by this little green check. Now if I move down in this lower layer, I can see all of the layers that are in my drawing. Right now I only have Layer 0. Layer 0 is kind of a special layer. Every drawing will start with a Layer 0 and we will always have to have a Layer 0 in our drawing.

We cannot rename Layer 0 and we cannot delete Layer 0. Notice next to my layer name, I have several settings that are associated with that layer. Now these settings are organized in columns just like in Microsoft Excel. Unfortunately, sometimes our column headings aren't wide enough for us to see what the setting does. If I would like to adjust the width of a column heading, all I have to do is move my cursor up between the columns. When my icon changes, I can click and hold and I can drag such that I make these columns wide enough that I can read the heading.

Now every one of the settings in this list can be adjusted just by clicking on it. Now we're not going to go through all of the settings. We're going to go through the ones that are most important to us right now. We'll look at some of the others in future sessions. Right now this very first setting our light bulb this is our On/Off setting. This controls the display of the layer. If I click this guy, I will turn the layer off. Now since this is the only layer in my drawing, if I was to click this now AutoCAD says, "Hey are you sure you want to do that? You are turning the current layer off." Well, you know what, I want to keep the current layer on, so I'm going to click Yes.

Let's look at this setting, this is our Color setting, this controls the color of our layer. If I click on this Color field, AutoCAD will bring up my color picker. From here I can select from any one of the 255 colors available in AutoCAD. I'm going to come down and click OK. We'll close the color picker. I have got a Linetype selection. If I click here, I can set the linetype for my layer. We will get into this guy in just a little bit. Moving down I have got the Lineweight area. If I click on this selection, I can choose a plottable line thickness or lineweight for my drawing.

We will talk about this guy more when we get into plotting, but this is where we can adjust our plottable lineweight. Let me close the dialog. If I would like to create a new layer, I can come up to this icon. This is my New Layer icon and I'll click. When I do AutoCAD will create a new layer for me, it even names it. I'm going to change the name. Layer 1 is not very descriptive, I'm going to use the name Object. So we will just type in object and I will hit Enter. I'm going to change the color of this layer too. I'm going to come over and click my Color selector and when my color picker comes up, I'm going to move over it and I'm going to select the yellow swatch.

I'll click on the yellow swatch and I'll click OK. I have just created a new layer and I have assigned its color to be yellow. Let's set that layer current and we will draft something on it. If I want to set the layer current, I'm going to make sure the layer is highlighted and then I'm going to come up and click the green check. When I do, that layer is now current. Anything I draft will be on that layer. Let me come down and click OK. We can also see the current layer at the top of our screen and I'm going to draw a square using the Rectangle command.

So I'm going to come over to the Draw toolbar and we'll click the Rectangle icon. We'll pick a point on screen and I'm going to draw this using dimensions, so we will right-click and we will select Dimensions from the menu. And my length for rectangles, I'm going to use 5. Enter. My width will be 5, Enter, and then let me click to set my opposite corner. I'm just going to click in space right here. Notice I have just created a square on my screen and that square is yellow. Why is it yellow? Because it's on a yellow layer. Let's make a change to our layer.

If I want to change my object layer, I'm going to come up to my Layer Properties Manager and click. When the dialog comes up I'm going to change the color. I am going to click the Color selector and this time I'm going to come down and I'm going to click the red swatch. We will click this guy and click OK. I have just changed my layer color to red. I'm going to make another change. Let's change the name. I'm going to double-click on the Name field and I'm going to type-in Part. This will be my Part Layer and I will hit Enter. Let's click the OK button.

Notice my square now looks red. That's because the layer is now red. Let's assume that the square we are looking at is a block of wood and maybe I have got a hole drilled through this block from top to bottom and we are looking at it from a front view. Well, from a drafting perspective, that hole drilled through the block would be represented using hidden lines. Let's create a layer for our hidden lines. I'm going to come up and click my Layer Properties Manager. Notice my Part Layer happens to be highlighted. When I click the New icon, notice the new layer that AutoCAD creates has the same settings as the layer that was highlighted.

I can use this to my advantage if I'm creating multiple layers and I want them all to have the same setting. So let's give this guy a name. I'm going to call it Hidden Lines. I will hit Enter. Let's come down. We will change the color. I'm going to click the Color selector and this time we are going to grab the magenta color swatch. I will click OK. Now since this layer is going to represent hidden lines, it is going to need a hidden line linetype, so I'm going to go to my Linetype selector and click and from here I can select any linetype that happens to be loaded in my drawing.

Now since we started with the blank drawing, the only linetype we have is Continuous. So I'm going to come down and click my Load button and let's load a linetype into the drawing. When I click Load, AutoCAD brings up my Load or Reload Linetypes dialog. If I click and hold my little scrollbar here, I can scroll down and view all of the linetypes available with our installation of AutoCAD. So fortunately, they are alphabetical. I'm going to come down to the hidden lines, I actually have three choices. The only difference between these guys is the size of the dashes. I'm going to grab the standard HIDDEN line and click OK.

I have just loaded that linetype into my drawing. From here, I can now select it and click OK to apply it to my layer. Let's make this layer current and we will create the hole through our block. I'm going to click my little Set Current icon that makes the hidden line layer current and we'll click OK. Now let's assume that the hole that's drilled from top to bottom through our block has a diameter of 3. Using those dimensions, we will create that hole. I'm going to launch my Line command and I'm going to draw line from the midpoint of the top of the block to the midpoint of the bottom.

Now I don't have a running Object Snap set for midpoint, so we are going to have to grab it from the toolbar. So I'm going to click Midpoint and then I will come over and click my line, then I'm going to come over and click Midpoint and I'm going to click the lower line. When I'm all done, I will hit Escape. Now I'm going to create the hole by just offsetting this line either way. Remember the hole is being drilled from top to bottom, so from a front view, it's just going to be represented as two vertical lines. Now that I know where the center of the whole is, I can merely offset this line to the left and to the right to find the edges.

I'm going to launch my Offset command. I will come over and click the icon. What's my distance? I'm going to type in 1.5, since I know the diameter is 3, I will have to offset this 1.5 either way. I will hit Enter. Let me select this object and we will offset it to this side, I will click this object and we will offset it to this side. When I'm all done, I'm going to hit my Escape key and then lastly we'll erase this line. Let me click Erase. We will grab this line and hit Enter.

I have just created a simple drawing of a 3-dimensional block that happens to have a hole drilled through it from top to bottom. I also placed my entities on logical layers, so I have control when I plot or when I work on this drawing. Now that I have finished my drawing, I am going to save this to my hard drive. So I'm going to come to my File pulldown, I'm going to select Save As and I'm going to go to my Exercise Files folder. We'll come down to Chapter 10, that's where we are working, let me open this guy up and I'm going to call this drawing 02_properties finished and I'll click Save.

Whenever you are adding geometry to a drawing ask yourself, is this something that needs to be a different 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 your Layer Properties Manager and create a new layer.

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