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Layer Management

(Available in all TurboCAD Variants)

Default UI Menu: Format/Layers

Ribbon UI Menu:



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.

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.

Setting Up Layers

There are two primary ways of creating and editing layers. With regard to layers you can do essentially operations with either.Open the Layer manager by selecting Format / Layers, or by clicking the Layers icon on the toolbar. This dialog is used to create layers, to assign properties to each layer, and to organize layers. It is divided into two frames. The first frame show the tree containing the layer filter, and layer templates. The second frame show the layers. controlled or derive from the item selected in the tree. The top node of the tree controls and shows all layers in the drawing. img 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). Layer 0, the default layer can not be deleted, but you can change its properties. 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 located on the property toolbar. Color: Click on the the color box to open the color dialog, then select a color - 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 Draw Order commands will not function as you expect if objects are on different layers and the layers have different Order values.

Pen Width: Sets the line width. Objects will have the layer width if their width is set to By Layer. Print Style: Specifies the Print Style to be used by objects on that layer Print Style Options. VP Columns in Layers window: In addition to the main columns in the Layers window there are five columns with a VP prefix. VP stands for Viewport, and these columns are use to control how objects will appear within a selected viewport. img

The columns are: VP Visible, VP Color, VP Line Style, Pen Width, Print Style. The VP columns operate in the same way as the main columns, except the settings effect on selected view ports. To use the VP column settings:

  1. Open the Layer Manager.
  2. Go to Paper Space.
  3. Select the Viewports you wish to configure.
  4. Apply the settings in the VP columns of the Layer Manager.

Note: Remember that settings which control object appearance via the Layer Manager (e.g. VP Color) only affect the properties objects which are set to By Layer.

Layer Manager Toolbar

Refresh: Refresh the Layer manager display. New Layer Filter: Creates a new Layer filter. Assign a name to the filter then setup the filter in the Layer Filters dialog. Edit Filter Parameters: Open the layer filter currently selected in the tree in the Layer Filters dialog. Edit Layer Sets: Opens the Layer Set dialog to create and edit layer sets. New Layer Template: Creates a new layer template from the currently selected layers. New Layer: Creates a new layer. The default name will include a prefix by default, but the name can be changed. Delete Layer: Deletes the layer. Activate: Sets the currently selected layer (only one) as the active layer. This will effect any currently active drawing tool or currently selected object. Select By: Selects all objects on the currently selected layers. Edit Properties: Opens that layer page of the Drawing Options. Visible/Invisible All: If any layer is invisible all layers are made visible. If all layers are visible they are all made invisible. Invert Visibility: Turns all visible layers invisible, and all invisible layers visible. Exclusive Visible: Makes only the currently selected layers visible, all other become visible. Lock/Unlock All: If any layer is unlocked all layers are locked. If all layers are locked they are all unlocked. Invert Lock: Exclusive Lock: Makes only the currently selected layers locked, all other become unlocked. Layer 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. Note: Many of the functions available from the Layer toolbar are also available by right clicking and opening the local menu.

Creating a New Layer

  1. Open the Layer manager by selecting Format / Layers, or by clicking the Layers icon on the toolbar. A dialog opens. In the dialog, right click on Layer and select new layer. 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 style.

Deleting a Layer

You may delete any layer except Layers 0. 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 Layers, and select the layer to be deleted.
  2. Click Delete Layer. 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.

Deleting Construction and Constraints Layer:

(Available in Platinum and Professional)

Construction objects are placed on layer "$CONSTRUCTION". You can change construction geometry color and line styles via the layer manager. You can now also delete $Construction layer and $Constraints layer by selecting them in the Layer palette .

img img

Layer Templates

Layer templates allow you to create and save alternate configurations for layers. Layer templates store how layers are setup, but do not store layers thenselves. Layer templates are saved in a *.lrs file which can be stored anywher in you system directory.

Layer Sets

Default UI Menu: Format/Layers

Ribbon UI Menu:


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 individually. The default layer set is "All Layers," which appears in the Format menu.

Creating and Manipulating Layer Sets

  1. In the Layers window (Format / Layers), click Edit Layer Sets.
  2. When the Layer Set dialog opens select New.


  1. Assign a name to the set, or accept the default name. The name appears on the Layer Set list.
  2. On the list of layers, check the visibility of each layer you want to include in the layer set.


  1. To display a layer set, open the Format menu.

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

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 Sorting

You can use the Layer Manager or the Design Director to sort layers into a desired order. To sort the layer click the icon at the top of any column e.g. name. Click that Icon again will reverse the order of layer by that category. When layers are sorted the order of layers will be the same throughout the application. this means that the order of layer shown in drop-down boxes will be the same as that in the Layer Manager or Design Director.


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.

Setting the Active Layer

Set the layer you want to be active by selecting it from the Layer list in the TurboCAD Layers toolbar. You must have a drawing tool selected or an object selected to change the active layer. 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 TurboCAD Layers toolbar.

imgTo 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
  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

Changing the Layer Visibility via Dropdown

You can change the visibility of a layer using the Layer dropdown by clicking on the eye icon adjacent to the layer in the dropdown.

Changing the Layer Color via Dropdown

You can change the color of a layer using the Layer dropdown by clicking on the color icon adjacent to the layer in the dropdown.

Changing the Layer Lock via Dropdown

You can change the lock status of a layer using the Layer dropdown by clicking on the lock icon adjacent to the layer in the dropdown.

Assigning Layer Properties to Objects

  1. Open the Properties window, either for selected objects or for a group of tools.
  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 TurboCAD Properties toolbar.