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CAD Layers - tutorial

The Layer command is a very important tool of AutoCAD. It lets you create layers to separate your drawing objects. Layers are used to group, change the visibility and to control objects.
Each layer you create has its own associated properties that are unique to that layer. A list of things you can do using layers:
• Control objects by locking and unlocking layers so they are not accidentally modified.
• Allow layers to be plotted or not.
• Create as many layers as you want.
• Group layers by colors, line types, names, etc... Also, you can create a group filter inside the layer manager that can be saved within the drawings so other sharing users can use it later.
• Isolate layers and objects with the same properties in the drawing space. For example, you want to show only walls and hide all doors.
• Change the visibility of drawing layouts.
• Turn on or off, freeze or thaw layers in model space or in the viewport layouts in paper space.
• Globally change object properties.

Steps to create a layer:

1. Type LAYER in the command line or select cad layers from the layer toolbar.

2. By default AutoCAD will name the layer “layer1”.

3. Double click and rename it.

cad layers

4. In the right column you can assign color, line type to the layer, freeze or thaw it.

5. Select the object in the drawing to which the layer will be assigned.

6. Click on the layer icon bar and select the appropriate layer.

cad layers


Filters are good if you have multiple layers and you want to see certain layers with common properties. For example, you can filter all layers that have the color blue or names including the word “HVAC”.

To create a new filter:

1. Click on the very first button on the top left side above the tree navigation and renamed it.

autocad layers

Within the filter dialogue you can double click below any column. For example, you want to create a filter for all layers with the color blue.

2. Double click below the color column and select the blue color.

group filter

Group filter

You can use the layer group filter to group layers that you define regardless of their properties.

To create a new group filter:

1. Click on the second button on the top left side above the tree navigation.

group filter

2. Drag the layers you want to group from the right side to the group filter on the left.

We only covered a few procedures, but there are many more advantages for using layers.

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