Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using layer settings for effective layer control, part of AutoCAD: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] So here we are again in another AutoCAD tip and trick. And you can see that we've got a new drawing open. It's 15_UsingLAYERSETTINGS.dwg You can see it at the top there, and that kind of gives away what we're going to be looking at are layer settings this time. Now, you can download the drawing and use the drawing to follow along with the video if you wish. Now what we're going to look at are our layer settings. Now, there's lots of different layer settings that are available to you in AutoCAD.
So let's have a look at some of those layer settings and how they can help us out when we're working in an AutoCAD drawing. I'm going to zoom in on this top left corner here, and as you can see, we've got the bathroom here, we've got what looks like a lounge, sort of dining room area, here. We've also got a lounge dining room area here, and another small bathroom here. So it sort of looks almost hotel-like. We've got lots of bathrooms, lots of lounge areas, things like that. Now let's have a look at our layers. I'm going to go to the Layer panel here, like so, and there's my Layer panel right there.
Now, my Layer panel is a little bit squished up purely because of the resolution that I record the videos at. Now, if I go into Layer Properties and open up the Layer Properties Manager, I've lots of different layer settings and tools I can use in here. So let's just expand that a little bit and have a look. Now, we've got some layers already frozen. You can recognize that by the snowflake. So some layers are already frozen off. So we've got, for example, A External Courtyard. If I thaw that layer out like that and then close the Layer Properties Manager, does anything change in the drawing? No, it doesn't, because that layer obviously is frozen because it's not being used right now.
So I go back to the Layer Properties here, like so, and that courtyard can be frozen again. Now, lots of different tools are available, as I said, in the Layer Properties Manager. So let's have a look at something that we know is on the drawing, the doors, for example. So there's our A Internal Doors there. Now obviously, the layer is on, 'cause the light bulb is yellow, and they're thawed out because we've got the sun symbol. What happens, though, if I lock the doors layer? If I lock that layer, what happens to those objects on that layer? Let's close the Layer Properties Manager and zoom in on the doors.
Now, you'll notice the doors look a little bit more subdued. They're not as bright red as they were. If I hover over them, can you see there's a little lock symbol there? So if I click on that door now, and I try and erase that door, can you see? I can't, and it deselects it. Now the reason it does that is the layer is locked. I cannot erase, change, modify anything on a locked layer. It's a really, really useful tool. So what I could do there, as well, is I could, for example, just hit Escape a few times, jump back into my Layer Properties, or I can just go here on the Layer pulldown like that, and there's my doors layer there.
I can unlock the padlock there as well, like that, and as soon as I unlock it, can you see? They kind of go bright again. And it also means I can select it now, and if I want to erase it now, that disappears like so. I'll just undo that, 'cause I want that door to stay there, obviously. Now, there's a lot of other tools and settings that you can use within the Layers panel on the Home tab on the ribbon. So we've got things like Layer States. We've also got things like Previous, undoes the last change or set of changes made to layer settings. So if I undo that, can you see? It's locked then again.
That's a really useful little tool and setting within the Layers panel. So what I can do then now is go back up here, and as you can see, the doors layer is locked again. So I'll just unlock it again like so. Now all of these little settings are extremely useful and allow you to work closely with your layer control in your AutoCAD drawing. So we'll just jump to one more setting here in the Layer Properties that I like to use. Now that particular setting is over here, and we've got Transparency.
So if I hatch something, for example, I can make it transparent, and things can kind of be seen behind it, if you see what I mean. That's another really cool one there is transparency, like so. And you can take that up to any value up to 95, so I could make anything transparent. And it's a really nice tool if you've got some solid fills and things going on because you can place things on top and you can see through them. Now, there's lots of other layer settings available to you in AutoCAD, and I could go into many, many of them. Last but not least, though, if we go over here, there's a little Settings option which displays the Layer Settings dialog box.
Now, some of these tools are really, really useful. So you've got New Layer Notification. So that basically tells you if you got any new layers coming into the drawing, perhaps that have been imported with a block or something like that. You can evaluate those new layers added to the drawing. You can evaluate all new layers, like so. And you can also notify when new layers are present. So for example, you can save them and display an alert for plot when new layers are present, as well. Now, the setting for layers not isolated, lock and fade, so there's the fading, I can drag that.
I can change the setting of the fading there if I want to. And display settings here. I can apply a layer filter to the layer toolbar. And I can also indicate the layers in use, like so. So I'll OK that now, and it displays the layers in use. And I really like that setting because it's just here. The layers in use is really useful. Anything that's a pale blue means that that layer is actually in use somewhere. Anything that's a pale gray means that that layer is not being used right now. It's very, very useful.
So you can see which ones are being used and which ones aren't. It's a really nice little filter. So there's all those layers settings available to you in AutoCAD. Go and explore them. There's loads of them. I'm not going to go ad nauseum and go into hundreds of layer settings, because obviously it's up to you to explore and learn how these things work. And I'm sure in lots of the other Lynda courses for AutoCAD I will be explaining other layer tools and other layer settings as well.
Skill Level Intermediate
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