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Changing Multiple Layer Settings in Just a Few Steps

April 22, 2010

By Wesley Fenix,a CAD software user from Philippines


In ZWCAD 2010 I rediscovered a familiar friend, the Layer States Manager. I have found that it helps out a lot when I need to deal with many different layer settings.


Normally, we use layers in our drawings to control the properties and visibility of related objects, such as the color of all doors, the visibility of all windows, or the lineweight of all dimensions. We can even lock certain layers to keep objects on these layers from being selected or modified accidentally.

Imagine making these adjustments for many layers; it would be time-consuming and required great patience if you were to change the states of layers one by one with the Layer Properties Manager dialog box. But with the Layer States Manager, you can store customized layer settings in advance, and then apply them whenever you need.

Example Usage

I have a drawing with layers named Walls, Text, Dimensions, Furniture, Frames, Windows, Doors, and Plants. Objects are located on each layer according to the layers’ names, such as text on layer Text.

I need to create plots of the drawing customized for these situations:

1. Plot without any text or dimensions.

2. Plot without frames, text, or dimensions.

3. Plot without furniture or plants.

Should I turn layers off and on, one by one, for each type of plot? No! Instead, I let Layer State help me: I simply save the state of layers first, and then I return to them for each plotting situation. 

Here is how to customize layer states:


1. Open the Layer State Manager dialog box with the layerstate command.

2. Click the New button to create new layer states, and then name them S1, S2 and S3.

3. In the list box, select S1, and then click Edit button.

4. Turn off the Dimensions and Text layers, and then click OK to save the setting (state).

5. Repeat for state S2 (turn off layers Frames, Text, and Dimensions off) and S3 (turn off layers Furniture and Plants).

6. Exit the dialog box.

To plot the drawing without text and dimension objects, follow these steps:

1. Reopen the Layer State Manager.

2. Select S1 from the list box, and then click Restore to set S1 as current layer state.

3. Exit the dialog box, and then run the Plot command print all objects on the paper, except for the text and dimension objects.

The Text layer and the Dimensions layer are off whenever layer state S1 is restored.


Bonus Tip: You can export your layer states to a .LAS file, which means your customized layer settings can be applied to other drawings and on other computers.





As you can see, Layer States Manager makes it very easy to perform multiple layer settings by few operations.


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