AutoCAD Layer Tips and Tricks

11 Jan, 2015

Do you know the fastest way to create new layers? Can you use a crossing window in the Layer dialog box? What if you don’t want "U" to undo everything you did when you were in the Layer dialog box? With this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen, you’ll learn the answers to these questions and put yourself on the road to a faster Layer experience in AutoCAD!

Video Transcript

Hello there. This is Lynn Allen. Welcome to another AutoCAD tip, courtesy of Cadalyst Magazine. Happy New Year! Thank you so much for joining me.

Today I'm going to share with you a tip that has to do with layers. The Layer command is third most frequently used command in AutoCAD. So any tips that have to do with layers should save you a lot of time. That's what I'm hoping for. So I'm going to go into the Layer dialog box. We are going to talk about some things that seem pretty darn basic, but are really going to come in handy.

So let's say I want to make new layers. I'm sure by now you've learned that whatever layer you have highlighted, for example I have the Plant Shrubs layer highlighted, and I select New to create a new layer, which of course you can also do with a Alt N for those of you who like to type. When I click on that new layer in the dialog box, it's going to make a duplicate of that layer with a different name. So it's kind of important to make sure as you create new layers that you have a layer highlighted that is the closest to the new layer as you can possibly get.

So that's one way to get new layers, and you also saw that you can do Alt N. But then I have to go back, and I have to change the name of the layers to be what I want them to be. And I'm very lazy, so I'm going to share a tip that I think you are going to find very handy. You can actually just type in layer names separated by commas. For example, I can type in a 1 and a comma and a 2 and a comma and a 3 and a comma. Can you see that it's creating layers one by one there with the name that I chose? The only thing I had to do was delineate them, or separate them, with commas. That's faster. That's going to save you some time.

I thought I'd also share with you -- this is kind of random -- did you know that you can do crossing windows inside the Layer dialog box? Just select a variety of layers. We're all great at crossing windows -- we are all professionals at that. So I thought I'd just share that little tidbit with you.

Now I'm going to go out of the Layer dialog box. I'm going to do an Undo. You will see that every single thing that I just did in the Layer dialog box has been undone. That's because of a setting in the Undo command. I just want to make sure you know about that because maybe that's not the way you want to roll.

If you go into the Undo command, you'll see there's an option on there that says Layer = Yes. That means when you do an Undo, it undoes everything that you did the last time you were in the Layer dialog box. So let's hit C for control, and let's go to L for layer. And I'm going to say No.

Let's go back in the Layer dialog box. Let's make a couple new layers. I'm going to make a layer 4 and 5 and 6. I'm going to leave this dialog box. I'm going to go out of there. Now if I do an Undo, it's only going undo the last thing I did in the Layers dialog box. If I come back into the Layer dialog box, you can see that I still have layers 4 and 5, but I do not have layer 6. Interesting, huh?

Decide how you want the Undo command to work. That's totally up to you. I know some people who don't like it to undo everything they just did in the Layer dialog box. They just want it to undo the last thing that they did while they were in the Layer dialog box. It's up to you.

So there's some tips for you that have to do with layers. I hope that you enjoyed them, and I'll see you back here in two more weeks. Have a great 2015!

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