Frequent tipster Danny Korem explains how to export AutoCAD layer properties to a spreadsheet.
"With this method, you can create an Excel spreadsheet out of your Layer Properties Manager to distribute to the design team. With CAD standards, prototyping plays a very significant role, and establishing layers according to the project standard might be the most important part. Whenever layer names are not totally explicit, the description column becomes your hero. You might opt to look for external project documentation as well; here's how to extract it and edit it later.
"While in the DWG file, open the Layer Properties Manager. Right-click on a line and choose the Select All option (if you do so from a file that has attachments, don't opt for Select All; instead, make your selection by holding down the Shift/Ctrl buttons and picking each layer you need). Once the selection has been made, press Ctrl+C — you won't be able to copy otherwise, because this is not an option offered out of the box. Open Excel and paste the data into a spreadsheet. Here are some notes to remember:
- Create the header by inserting a line above the matrix.
- You may remove irrelevant columns (or fold the spreadsheet and hide them), add columns, and manipulate as you need to.
- Usually it's best to make the description column the first one, so you can find the layer and its usage.
- You may want to divide the list to short subdivisions divided by context in the case of a large number of layers.
- I'll add a column stating the objects that would be accepted in a specific layer (e.g., polyline, block, mtext, etc.).
- This might be the best part: You can select the spreadsheet and use Paste Special to insert it back into the CAD environment, then add an object in the specific layer to the left of each row in the table. If the object is 'right,' all one has to do is click on it, right-click to opt for Add Selected, and get best (standard) results."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: In AutoCAD, layers are king: They rule the way your drawing will be displayed, and they control the content. Establishing a standard layering system is vital for producing consistent drawings throughout your company. It also makes it easier to work with your coworkers' files. Exporting your layering system to a spreadsheet is a great way to describe it to your CAD users. New hires will find it invaluable when learning your system. It also helps when reviewing your CAD standards.