virtual levels in a drawing


Designer Deluxe Pro Basic Pro Platinum

Layers are virtual levels in a drawing, analogous to acetate
tabs (overlays) in traditional drafting. Layers enable you to
sort objects in your drawing by type, by creation order, or by
any criteria that suits the way you work. You can also use
layers to protect certain objects from being edited or deleted.
Layers can be distinguished from one another by color, line
style, and/or line width. Objects can be created with the
default tool properties, or can have the properties of the layer
on which they are located.

NOTE: Layers are not related to how objects are stacked in relation to their order of creation. If you change an object's layer, it does not affect its position in the object stack.
See Stacking Objects.

TIP: Another way to quickly control color and visibility for an object or group of objects, is to use the Design Director.
For single objects, see Design Director: Graphics.
For a group of objects, see Design Director: Categories.

TIP: You can use the TC Explorer Palette to view layers of any open drawing, and to drag layers to and from drawings.
See Layers.

Setting Up Layers

Open the Layers page of the Drawing Setup by selecting
Options / Layers, or by clicking the Layers icon on the
Drawing Setup toolbar.


This page is used to create layers and layer sets, and to assign properties to each layer.


Layer 0 is the default layer, and all objects are placed here
unless otherwise specified, or unless another layer is created
and made active. Layer $CONSTRUCTION is created when
construction geometry is created (see Construction Geometry).
Neither of these default layers can be deleted, but you can
change their properties.

TIP: The Design Director can also be used to set up layers.
See Design Director: Layers.

Layer Set: See Layer Sets.
Columns in Layers window: Use the horizontal scroll bar
to see all columns. You can sort the list by clicking on any
column heading; the list will be sorted according to the
selected parameter.
  • Visibility (eye icon): Check to make objects on the
    layer visible.
  • Read-only (lock icon): Check to make the layer
    read-only, so that objects cannot be edited or deleted.
    You can add objects to a read-only layer via the Layer
    drop-down list on the Property toolbar.
  • Color: Select the layer color from the drop-down list
    and double-click (or click OK) to set it. The default
    color is black. Objects will have the layer color if their
    color is set to By Layer.
  • Style: Select the line style from the drop-down list and
    double-click to set it. Objects will have the layer style
    if their style is set to By Layer.
  • Order: Determines the order in which layers are
    drawn. Order can be used to place certain categories of
    objects in front of others; objects drawn on higher
    layers will be "over" those on lower layers. The order
    numbers are initially set to zero. Layers that have the
    same order number are sorted alphanumerically. The
    highest layer number is 32767.

WARNING: The Format / Bring to Front and Send to Back commands will not function as you expect if objects are on different layers and the layers have different Order values.

  • Width: Sets the line width. Objects will have the layer
    width if their width is set to By Layer.
  • Print Style: The color and line style used for printing.
    See Print Style Manager.

New: Creates a new layer. The default name will include a
prefix by default, but the name can be changed.
Delete: See Deleting a Layer.
Set prefix: By default, the layers are named "Layer 1, Layer
2," etc. You can change or remove the prefix. The @ symbol
is a placeholder for the automatic layer number.
All visible: Makes all layers visible or invisible.
All Read Only: Makes all layers read-only (locked) or
editable (unlocked).
All by Set: Applies the layout of the current layer set to all
layers. See Layer Sets.

Creating a New Layer

  1. Select Options / Layers, click New, then assign a
    name for the layer in the Layer column (or accept the
    default name).
  2. Adjust the various layer settings, such as color and line

Deleting a Layer

You may delete any layer except Layers 0 and
$CONSTRUCTION. Layers can be deleted even if they
contain objects.
If the layer to be deleted is set as the default for a tool (in the
General page of a tool's Properties window), you will
receive a warning message before the layer is deleted.
  1. Select Options / Layers, and select the layer to be
  2. Click Delete. If the layer contains objects, the objects
    will be deleted. This action can be undone, in case you
    delete objects inadvertently.
In some cases, objects on deleted layers will be moved to
Layer 0, rather than be deleted. If an object exists on Layer 1
in both Paper Space and Model Space, and Layer 1 is deleted
from Model Space, in Paper Space the object will be moved
to Layer 0. This is due to different Undo buffers for Model
and Paper Spaces.

Manipulating Layers and Properties

By default, new objects are created on Layer 0, unless a layer
is specified in the Properties window of a specific tool. You
can change the layer of objects after they are created, or you
can change the default layer of a group of tools.

TIP: The Design Director can also be used to manipulate layers.
See Design Director: Layers.

TIP: You can use the TC Explorer Palette to view layers of any open drawing, and to drag layers to and from drawings.
See Layers.

Setting the Active Layer

Set the layer you want to be active by selecting it from the
Layer list in the Property toolbar.


You can also use the Design Director to set the active layer.
See Design Director: Layers.

Setting the Layer of Selected Objects or a Group of Tools

To quickly change the layer of selected objects:
  1. Select the objects.
  2. Select the layer from the Layers list box in the Property toolbar.


To set layers via the Properties window:
  1. Select the objects and open the Properties window. To
    set the layer for all objects created with a certain group
    of tools, right-click on one of the tool icons and open
    the Properties window (see Object Properties).
  2. On the General page, select the layer from the
    drop-down list.


If the layer is set for selected objects, the objects will move
to that layer. Future objects, however, will still be created on
the tool's default layer. If the layer is set for a group of tools,
all objects created with any one of the tools will
automatically be placed on the selected layer. For example,
setting the layer for the Line tool also affects the Rectangle
and Polygon tools.

NOTE: You can also select the objects and change the layer on the Selection Info Palette.
See Selection Info Palette.

Assigning Layer Properties to Objects

  1. Open the Properties window, either for selected
    objects or for a group of tools. See Object Properties.
  2. Open the Pen page.
  3. The properties that can be set to By Layer are color,
    line style, and width. Set any or all of these properties
    as needed.


NOTE: By Layer is also available for properties on the Property toolbar.

Layers of Groups and Blocks

If you create a group composed of objects on the same layer
of the drawing, the group will reside on that layer. For
objects on different layers, the group will be on Layer 0. If
you subsequently explode the group, its constituent objects
will return to its original layer.

Objects should be moved to Layer 0 before being used to
create a block. The block itself, when inserted in the
drawing, can be reassigned to the proper layer. Any objects
within the block that have a By Layer property will take on
the assigned layers attributes.

When a block is exploded, all objects originally assigned to
Layer 0 will stay on the layer the block was on. Any objects
with other layer assignments will retain those layers.

Layer Sets

A layer set is a group of layers which can be displayed as a
group. This is useful for displaying certain aspects of a
drawing without changing visibility settings of each layer

TIP: The Design Director can also be used to set up layer sets.
See Design Director: Layers.

Creating and Manipulating Layer Sets

1. In the Layers window (Options / Layers), click Create Set.


2. Assign a name to the set, or accept the default name.


The name appears on the Layer Set list.

3. On the list of layers, check the visibility (first column)
of each layer you want included in the layer set.


4. To display a layer set, select View / Layer Set. All layer sets appear on the submenu.


NOTE: While a layer set is displayed, the properties of each layer are not editable.

To delete a layer set, select it from the Layer Set list and click Delete Set.


To change the layers that appear in a layer set, select it from
the Layer Set list and change the visibility settings.

Drawing Aids
TurboCAD Tools

Contributors to this page: jrsollman .
Page last modified on Friday 14 of September, 2012 08:57:17 PDT by jrsollman.