Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Controlling layer visibility, part of Cert Prep: AutoCAD Certified Professional (2015).
- We're now going to have a look at controlling our layer visibility within our drawing, and as you can see, I've got the simple drawing that we've used in the previous two videos. I've just saved it now as 7_Organizing_LAYERVISIBILITY_Complete. If you want to follow along, obviously, use the 7_Organizing_LAYERVISIBILITY.dwg. Now, what we're going to look at now is controlling our layer visibility, i.e., do we turn layers on or off? Do we freeze or thaw our layers? Now what you've got to remember is when you turn a layer off, when the drawing is regenerated, the layer is still considered, so the drawing will, in essence, still be the same size, and if it's a big, complicated drawing, obviously, it will take longer to regenerate when it opens.
If you freeze an AutoCAD layer, that layer is not considered for regeneration, therefore, the drawing will open quicker. So if you've got a big, complicated drawing, what you can do is switch off all the layers that you don't need by way of freezing them. Don't use the On-Off tool, but actually freeze the layer instead. So let's have a look at how all of that works. So for example, I might just want to work on the outline here, the Object layer, and also this Hidden detail layer here. Now, what I want to do there is I want to freeze or switch off the dimensions and the centreline.
So let's look at the centreline first, so if I click on that centreline there and hover over it, it tells me it's on the layer Centrelines. So what I can do is I can go to my Layer Properties Manager, or just my Layer pull down menu, and I can actually freeze that layer or switch it off. So let's have a look at switching a layer off first, and what we'll do is we'll utilize the Layer Manager for this, first of all. Now I don't actually have to have the object selected to switch off the layer, but I do need to go to the Home tab on the ribbon, go to the Layers panel here, and click on Layer Properties.
So this will now open up the LAYER PROPERTIES MANAGER, so if I just drag that down to the center of the screen like that so that we can see what we're doing. So there's my Centrelines layer. Now be aware, freezing and switching off the current layer is doable is AutoCAD but my suggestion is I always put the layer up to 0. If I'm changing any of the layer settings, I always make 0, the default layer, the current layering. See the green tick next to it? All you've got to do is double click on layer Name, that will make it Current, or you can just double click on this, like, little sheet of paper here as well.
So there's our Centrelines layer. If I click once on that, it highlights in the LAYER PROPERTIES MANAGER, and what I'm going to do, I'm going to click on the little light bulb here, just to switch that particular layer off. So you'll see the light bulb goes blue. If I now close the LAYER PROPERTIES MANAGER, you can see that the Centreline has disappeared. If I now go up to the Layers panel again after closing the Layer Properties Manager, and click on the little fly out menu, the Layer pull down menu, you can see that the light bulb is Off there for the Centrelines layer, so that means that layer has now been turned Off.
Now I can also freeze layers using the Layer Properties Manager. So if I go back here now to the Layers panel, and click on Layer Properties, you'll see here that we've got a little sun symbol, so what I could do is I could actually freeze that layer by clicking on the sun symbol as well, and you'll notice now, it's switched off and it's frozen. So you can switch the layer off and freeze it at the same time. So if I just bring this down a little bit like this. Let's just bring this down a little bit here.
Look at those top dimensions there, and what I'll do now is, that's the Dims layer, so if I go here and I freeze the Dims layer, can you see they disappeared? If I click on the snowflake to bring the sun back, they come back again. It's the same with on and off. They turn off, they turn on again. That's how you control your layers in your drawing. Now the good thing is I don't have to keep going to the LAYER PROPERTIES MANAGER to do this, so I'm just going to close that. What I can do is use the Layer pull down menu here, so I click on the pull down menu and there's all my little symbols there.
And what I can also do (mumbles) is I can Lock a layer to stop people switching the layer on or off, or freezing or thawing it. So what I'll do here now, there's the Dims, you can see them there. I'm going to Freeze the Dims layer just by clicking on the sun symbol in the pull down menu, and lo and behold, it's frozen off like so. So now, what I've got on the screen is purely the outline, the Object layer, and the Hidden detail layer to work on, gives me a lot more clarity in my AutoCAD drawing and allows me to work more effectively. So that's how you can basically control your layer visibility in your AutoCAD drawings.
You can switch layers on and off, you can freeze or thaw layers, and you can lock layers to stop people switching them on and off or freezing and thawing them. Again, practice, practice, practice makes perfect, so make sure you practice those settings for your professional certification exam.
- Creating and publishing AutoCAD files
- Drawing shapes and lines
- Creating isometric drawings
- Transforming objects
- Creating and using arrays
- Organizing objects and layers
- Reusing content with blocks
- Adding text, dimensions, multileaders, and scales
- Creating layouts
- Setting printing and plotting options
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Is this certification available for AutoCAD for Mac users?
A: AutoCAD certification is on the Windows environment only. Currently Autodesk does not have plans for an AutoCAD for Mac certification.
Q: This course was updated on 02/01/2016. What changed?
A: We added four new videos to the "Certification: What Is It?" chapter. These tutorials cover Certiport, the online certification service that now offers a variety of Autodesk certifications.