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Change Layer Settings and Layer Properties

May 20, 2011

    Everything in a drawing is associated with a layer, in the course of creating a drawing, you can modify what you draw by renaming layer name, modifying the properties of a layer (color and linetype), or placing objects from one layer to another.

      If you create an object on a wrong layer, you can reassign it to another layer. Unless the linetype, color or other properties of the object has been specified explicitly, the object acquires the properties of the new layer.

     You can change layer properties in the layer control on the Layers toolbar or in the Layer Properties Manager. Click the icons to change settings. However, layer names and colors can be changed only in the Layer Properties Manager.


Controlling layer visibility

      A layer can be visible or invisible. Objects on invisible layers are not displayed and do not print. By controlling layer visibility, you can turn off unnecessary information, such as construction lines or notes. By changing layer visibility, you can put the same drawing to multiple uses.

      For example, if you are drawing a floor plan, you can draw the layout of light fixtures on one layer and the location of plumbing lines on another. By selectively turning layers on and off, you can print the electrical engineering drawings and the plumbing drawings from the same drawing file. For even more convenience, you can control the visibility of layers within individual viewports, so that layers that display in one viewport are invisible in other viewports in the same drawing.

     When you turn a layer off, objects drawn on that layer are no longer visible. When you turn the layer back on, the objects on that layer are redisplayed.

To turn layers on or off

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks icon under "On" tab in the layer list.

  3. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar\

Command line LAYER


Freeze or thaw layers

You can also freeze layers to improve the performance of operations such as zooming and panning or producing hidden lines or shaded images. When a layer is frozen, objects drawn on that layer are no longer visible.


To freeze or thaw layers

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks icon under "Freeze in all VP" tab in the layer list.

  3. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar \

Command line LAYER


Locking and unlocking layers

       Locking a layer makes it easy to refer to information contained on the layer, but prevents you from accidentally modifying its objects. When a layer is locked (but visible and thawed), its objects remain visible, but you cannot edit them. If you lock the current layer, you can still add new objects to it. You can also change the linetype and color associated with a locked layer.

Unlocking a layer restores full editing capabilities.

To lock or unlock layers

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks icon under "Lock" tab in the layer list.

  3. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar \

Command line LAYER


Controlling layer printing

Controlling layer printing is another way you can specify which objects print in your drawing.

By controlling layer printing, you can turn off unnecessary information during printing. For example, if you are drawing a floor plan, you can draw the layout of light fixtures on one layer and the location of plumbing lines on another. By selectively turning layers on and off when you print, you can print the electrical engineering drawings and the plumbing drawings from the same drawing file. By changing layer printing, you can put the same drawing to multiple uses.

When you turn off printing for a layer, objects drawn on that layer are still visible, but they do not print. If you turn off a layer's visibility, objects drawn on that layer do not display or print.

Controlling layer printing can be especially helpful if you want layer visibility on, but do not want to print objects on that layer.

To turn layer printing on or off

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks icon under "Plot" tab in the layer list.

  3. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar \

Command line LAYER


Setting the layer color

Each layer in a drawing is assigned a color. ZWCAD uses the BYLAYER color as the default color setting for object creation so that new objects are drawn in the color of the layer on which they are inserted.

To change the layer color

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks icon under "Color" tab in the layer list to open Select Color dialog box, from which, you can specify the desired color.

In the Select Color dialog box, select a color on one of the following tabs:

  • Index Color — Click BYBLOCK, BYLAYER, or one of the 255 index colors. You can also type the color number in the Index box.

  • True Color — Click a basic color, click a color in the color palette, enter the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance (HSL) values, or enter the Red, Green, Blue (RGB) values. There are more than 16 million true colors from which you can choose.

  • Color Books — Select a color book from the list, then click a color. You can select Show Only Color Book Colors Used in Drawing to limit the selection to only those color book colors that are used in the current drawing.

  1. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar \

Command line LAYER

NOTE You can also assign a specific color to an object, which overrides the layer's color setting. When you create a new object, use the Format > Color command to change the current color. For an existing object, select the object, right click for the shortcut menu, and choose Properties. You can then change the object's color in the Properties dialog box.


Setting a layer's linetype

     Each layer uses a default linetype (a repeating pattern of dashes, dots, or blank spaces). Linetype determines the appearance of objects both on the screen and when printed.

     It's a good idea to assign the BYLAYER linetype to any objects that you draw on that layer.

     ZWCAD uses the BYLAYER linetype as the default linetype setting for Object Creation.

NOTE Only those linetypes already set in the drawing can be assigned to layers.


To change the linetype assigned to one or more layers

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks the Linetype name in the layer list to open Linetype dialog box, from which, you can specify the desired Linetype.

  3. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar \

Command line LAYER

NOTE You can also assign a specific linetype to an object, which overrides the layer's linetype setting. When you create a new object, use the Format > Linetype command to change the current linetype. For an existing object, select the object, right click for the shortcut menu, and choose Properties. You can then modify the object's linetype in the Properties dialog box.


Setting a layer's lineweight

     Each layer uses a default lineweight. Lineweights determine the thickness of objects both on the screen and when printed.

     All new layers are assigned the DEFAULT lineweight, which is .25 millimeters or .01 inches.

     If you want a different lineweight assigned to a layer, you can easily change it using Layer Properties Manager. For example, you may want different lineweights on each layer of your drawing to show separate elements, such as walls, dimensions, structural steel, and electrical plans. Changing the lineweight assigned to a layer changes the lineweight of all objects drawn on that layer with the BYLAYER lineweight.

     When you create new objects, it's a good idea to assign the BYLAYER lineweight to any objects that you draw on that layer, unless you want to override the layer lineweight. ZWCAD uses the BYLAYER lineweight as the default lineweight setting when you create objects.


To change the lineweight assigned to one or more layers

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks the Lineweight name in the layer list to open Lineweight dialog box, from which, you can specify the desired Lineweight.

  3. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar \

Command line LAYER

NOTE You can also assign a specific lineweight to an object, which overrides the layer's lineweight setting. When you create a new object, use the Format > Lineweight to change the current lineweight. For an existing object, select the object, right click for the shortcut menu, and choose Properties. You can then modify the object's lineweight in the Properties tab.


Setting a layer's print style

    If your drawing uses named print style tables, you can specify a print style for each layer.

    Named print style tables contain print styles that you set up to control what objects look like when they print, without actually changing the objects in the drawing.

     If your drawing uses color-dependent print style tables, you cannot specify a print style for a layer. These types of print style tables automatically determine printing requirements by the color assigned to a layer or an object.

     In drawings that use named print style tables, the default print style is Normal for all new layers. If desired, you can assign a print style using Layer Properties Manager. Changing the print style assigned to a layer changes the print style of all objects drawn on that layer with the BYLAYER print style.

     When you create new objects, it's a good idea to assign the BYLAYER print style to any objects that you draw on that layer, unless you want to override the layer print style. ZWCAD uses the BYLAYER print style as the default print style setting when you create objects.


To change the print style assigned to one or more layers (only in a drawing that uses named print style tables)

  1. Choose Format > Layer.

  2. Clicks the name of Plot Style in the layer list to open Plot Style Table dialog box, from which, you can specify the desired plot style.

  3. Clicks OK button.

Properties toolbar \

Command line LAYER


Commands Reference

CHANGE: Changes the properties of existing objects

CHPROP: Changes the color, layer, linetype, linetype scale factor, lineweight, thickness, and plot style of an object

LAYER: Manages layers and layer properties

PROPERTIES: Controls properties of existing objects

PURGE: Removes unused named items, such as block definitions and layers, from the drawing

RENAME: Changes the names of objects

System Variables Reference

CLAYER: Sets the current layer 

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