Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton shares an AutoCAD tip that gives you complete control over how your objects will be displayed in every drawing.
"Any AutoCAD object (line, circle, text, hatch) can have its properties (color, linetype) set on the object. A line can be set to the color red, for example. That will ensure that no matter where this line is displayed, it will be red. If you reference the file with the red line, it will be displayed as red in your file. If that line always needs to be red and it cannot possibly ever be a different color, then do this. However, it is rarely the case that an AutoCAD object has to be a particular color forever.
"You are likely to be better served by setting all of your object's properties to ByLayer. That way if you reference the file, or if another person references the file, they can control how it is displayed in their drawing file. They can change the layer properties, or they can apply viewport override in their drawing file. It won't change the source file (your file), but it will allow for custom display options. If you find that you cannot get an object to change color (or linetype), then go to the source file and make sure that object is set to ByLayer."