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AutoCAD 2013 & AutoCAD LT 2013 Bible

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Know when unwanted layers creep into your drawing with layer notification

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Layers are a big issue when it comes to maintaining drawing standards. Where you work, you may have lots of rules about which layers your drawings can have.

Xrefs can be a problem for drawing standards, because when you attach an xref, its layers come along for the ride. This is especially an issue [...]

Batch check multiple AutoCAD drawings against a standards file

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In a previous post, “Use a Standards file to bring an AutoCAD drawing into line,” I explained how to check a drawing for certain standards, such as layers. This process is important for maintaining drawing standards where you work.

But suppose you want to check standards for many drawings at once? You can, using [...]

Create layer overrides to create plot variations

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Recently, a reader asked how to plot a drawing in black & white except for text. I had a few thoughts — plot styles and layer states, for example — but one idea was layer overrides.

Let’s say that you want to create some plot variations of your drawing. One way to do this [...]

Use a Standards file to bring an AutoCAD drawing into line

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All AutoCAD professionals have to deal with standards. But when a drawing is worked on by multiple people and revised over months or even years, standards can deteriorate quickly. AutoCAD’s CAD Standards tools let you check drawings against your standards. You can check the following in a drawing:

Layers Text styles Dimension styles Linetypes [...]

Maintain standards by returning objects to ByLayer settings

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You’ve certainly heard the principle that you should use layers to give objects properties. When you create a layer, you give that layer a

Color Linetype Lineweight Transparancy Plotstyle

Also, for 3D drawings, you can apply a material to a layer with the MATERIALATTACH layer.

But it is all too easy to make an [...]

Get your layers in line with the layer translator

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Whether you receive drawings from others or just need to fix up some sloppy work created in-house, you sometimes need to change layer names and properties for objects in your drawings so that they match your layer standards.

A great way to do this is to use the LAYTRANS command, that is, the layer [...]

Make an object’s layer the current layer

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Let’s say you need to change the current layer, but aren’t sure which layer you want. But you know that you want the same layer as an existing object you’ve already drawn. That’s a pretty common scenario, right?

Enter Make Object’s Layer Current, also known as LAYMCUR.

This command has been around for a [...]

Use layers from existing drawings so you don’t have to recreate them

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It’s always wiser to reuse work you’ve done than to recreate it from scratch. You spend spend time creating layers and you shouldn’t have to do it again.

Use the DesignCenter to access layers

An easy way to get layers from another drawing is to use the DesignCenter. Follow these steps:

Press Ctrl+2 to [...]

Keep your own styles, layers & blocks at the top of the list

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You’re always creating styles — text, dimension, etc. — layers, and blocks. But when you open the Layer Properties Manager or any other list with these items, they are alphabetized. Especially if you’re sharing drawings with others who add their own styles, layers, and blocks, what can you do to make it easier to [...]

Tips for working with layers

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Everyone works with layers. Most of the time, you set up your layers in a template and that’s that. But when you need to make changes, a few tips can help make the process easier. Here are some of mine:

Create a similar layer: When you create a new layer, often you want its [...]