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Pick a standard, any standard...

31 Aug, 2002 By: Bill Fane


Captain LearnCurve tightened the last nut on the left-hand cylinder head of the V12 engine in his 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III limousine. The head nuts have no factory-specified standard torque-a good fitter just knows when they feel right. Unfortunately, many drawings are created this way. There are no standards, or the standards have not been enforced, or the drafter simply set things up until it felt right, or the drawing came from an outside source whose standards are different from yours. Whatever the case, you've got real problems.

The previous installment of Learning Curve (May 2002) introduced the new Standards command from AutoCAD 2002. As we saw, this command makes it extremely easy to change an existing drawing so that layer, linetype, text style, and dimension style specifications match our desired standards. You can save your settings to a standards file. It's then a simple matter to open a file, associate your standards file with it, and update everything.

Figure 1 The Layer Translator dialog box.

When it comes to layers, the slightly bad news is that the Standards command affects only layer definitions (color, linetype, line weight, and so on). What if layer names are different? You may want your walls on a Walls layer, but the drawing uses Partitions. Worse yet, what if the drawing also puts some of them on a layer called Dividers, and still others on Screens? The really bad news is that you have several dozen drawings to check and change.

The really good news is that the new Laytrans command is now available.

Open an existing drawing that has several layers in it. If you don't have a suitable one handy, use the standard sample drawing willhome.dwg found in the C:\Program Files\...\Sample folder, where \…\ varies depending on whether you are running standard AutoCAD or one of the Desktop variants.

Figure 2 New Layer dialog box, launched from the Layer Translator dialog box.

A quick check in the Layers dialog box shows 45 layers, so this should be a good drawing to play with.

Take A Layer Called Cake…
Start the Laytrans command by picking Tools | CAD Standards | Layer Translator from the menu bar. This brings up the Layer Translator dialog box (figure 1). Notice how the upper left window, labeled Translate From, contains a scroll list of all layers defined in the drawing.

Go to the lower right corner of the Translate To window and click on the New button to bring up the New Layer dialog box shown in figure 2. Fill in the blanks as shown to create a new layer called WALL-BRICK with a continuous linetype, color cyan, and line weight 0.90mm. Select OK.

The Layer Translator dialog box now displays the newly created layer in the Translate To window.

Single-click on the new layer name in the Translate To window, and then single-click on the layer name AR-BRICK WALL in the Translate From window.

Click on the Map button in the middle of the Layer Translator dialog box. The Layer Translation Mappings window at the bottom of the box changes to show the layer mapping, as shown in figure 3. This window shows the old layer name, the new layer name, and the properties of the new layer.

…And Change It To G


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