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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.
Now that we have seen the full blown Layer Properties Manager, you may be wondering if there are any shortcuts for making changes to our layers. In fact, there are. In this session we are going to look how to use the Layer Control dropdown in the Layers toolbar. I'm going to open a drawing and I'm going to come up and click my Open icon and in the Select File dialog I'm going to look in Chapter 10 within our Exercise Files directory and I'm going to come down and we are going to open up the Stereo Viewer, drawing number 3. So I will highlight this guy and I'll click Open. Now on screen we have a mechanical example that's say 1970 stereo viewer.
Let's say I have to make some changes to this drawing and none of the changes that I will be making involve the dimensions. So I'm going to turn the Dimensions layer off. Now I could turn them off using the full blown Layer Properties Manager. I mean we could go right here and turn our dimensions off, nothing wrong with that. Let me click Cancel. I'm going to show you another way. We are going to use the Layer Control in our Layers toolbar. If I come up and click the dropdown on my Layer Control, I see what amounts to a miniature Layer Properties Manager.
In this menu I can see a list of all of my layers as well as icons that represent their settings. I would like to turn the Dimensions layer off so I'm going to move over my Dimensions layer, click the little light bulb icon and then I'm going to click in Model space to dismiss the menu. Now I would like to do a little work on this drawing. I'm going to zoom in on my front view so I'm going to roll my wheel to zoom in. I would like to add the missing eyehole to my stereo viewer. I happen to have one, I need to draw the other. Well, let's find out what the radius of this eyehole is.
I'm going to click on this guy and I'm going to hover over the grip. I can see that he has a got a radius of .3. All right let's create a new circle. I'm going to hit Escape to clear the grips. We'll zoom in a little bit closer and I'm going to launch this Circle command. Where would I like to place the center point of my circle? Well, I'm going to have to use an Object Snap. I'm going to come over and grab the intersection Object Snap and I'm going to drop my circle at the intersection right here. Now AutoCad wants a radius, I'm going to type in .3 and hit Enter.
Here's my problem. The circle's the perfect size, but I drafted it on the wrong layer. Notice that Layer 0 happens to be current right now. I want that circle to be on the housing-front layer. Let me show you how we can use the Layer Control to move entities from one layer to another. If I come down and click on this circle and highlight it, I can come up to my Layer Control, we will click the dropdown to open it up and then I can come down and select the layer on which I would like to place this entity. When I click my layer name, the entity goes on to that layer.
When I hit my Escape key to clear the grips, that circle is now on the appropriate layer. Now I believe I had another problem with this drawing, let me back up a little bit, yeah right here. In my top view, this line should be on the centerline layer and unfortunately it's not. Let's fix that line. Now I'm going to come up and click on this line to select it and when I do, watch the Layer Control. I'm going to click the Line, notice the Layer Control is telling me what layer that line happens to be sitting on. That can be a very valuable tool when you are drafting.
Let's put this guy on the correct layer. I'm going to come up and click the Layer Control dropdown. We will select the centrelines layer and when I do that guy is now on the correct layer and I will hit Escape to clear the grips. I can also use the Layer Control to set my current layer. Right now I can see that Layer 0 happens to be current. That means that anything I draft will be drawn on Layer 0. I would like to set another layer current. We could go to the Layer Properties Manager and adjust our little green check, but instead I'm going to set my current layer using the Layer Control.
If I click the dropdown, all I have to do is come down and select the layer of my choice. I will click this one and that's it. That layer is now current. Anything I draft will be on the housing-back layer. Let me show you one interesting anomaly with the Layer Control. If I click the dropdown, remember that this is my layer name and these icons represent settings that I can change. Unfortunately, I cannot change the color setting from here. The color setting that I see is for display purposes only so I can click that all day long and AutoCAD won't let me do the change.
If I want to change the color, I have to go into the Layer Properties Manager. Using the Layer Control gives you fast access to some of your layer functions and can be the quickest way to move an entity from one layer to another.
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