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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
Most times when we need to rename a layer, we visit the Layer Properties Manager. Now, this tool works well so long as we're renaming one layer at a time. What do you do though if you'd like to rename a group of layers or all of the layers in a drawing? In this lesson I'm going to show you a quick way to change the names of multiple layers at the same time. On my screen I have a drawing that represents a vacant lot. Let's say that we are a land planner and this drawing was provided to us by the owner of the property. Let's also say that our design requires us to have some more existing property information on the north and east sides of this lot.
So we hire a surveyor to go out and get that information. I am going to open a drawing. I will look inside the Exercise Files folder, inside the chapter_06 directory, and I will grab this drawing called exSurveyor. This is the drawing that we got back from the surveyor. Now, let me mention that I have already converted the layer properties of this drawing to match my office standards and I would like to incorporate this geometry into my existing conditions drawing. So let's jump over to the View tab and then I will click the Tile Vertically button so we can get a nice side by side view of these files.
Now, when I move this geometry over, I don't want to lose track of which linework was provided by the client and which linework was provided by the surveyor. So I would like to add a prefix to all of the layer names in the surveyor drawing. To do that, I'm going to launch the Rename command. I will type rename and I will press Enter. Now, before I use this, take a quick look at the list of things you can rename using this tool. I am going to make sure that Layers is selected and AutoCAD will show me a listing of all of the layers in this drawing.
I will then move down to the Old Name field. The Rename Tool works a lot like the Find and Replace command. For Old Name I'm going to type an asterisk and I'll press Tab to accept that value. The asterisk symbol is a wildcard that means everything. So as you can see, AutoCAD has selected all of the layers. I will then click in the Rename To field and I'll type SRV-*. This says apply the SRV - prefix to all layers.
I'll click Rename To and then I'll click OK. If I open the Layer Properties Manager, we can see that all of the layers have been successfully renamed. Next I'm going to back up slightly and then I will select this geometry. I will right-click. I'll come down to Clipboard and I'll select Copy. I will then click to put the focus on this drawing. I'll right-click, I will come down to Clipboard, and I'll select Paste to Original Coordinates, and then I'll double click my scroll wheel to do a zoom extents.
As you can see, the geometry has been incorporated into my drawing. And if I visit the Layer Properties Manager, I can easily identify the layers containing geometry provided by the surveyor. As you can see using the Rename tool we can go beyond the one at a time method of renaming layers. Rename gives us the power to apply name changes globally while being as simple to use as Find and Replace.
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