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Customize AutoCAD's Layer Properties Manager
Tip# 4241 By Tawfik Shehata On 13-Jan-2014
Rated By 2 users
Categories : Layer Manager
Software type : AutoCAD 2014
Rename File To : No Files to download.
Streamline the layer properties manager by customizing some of its columns.

Tipster Tawfik Shehata shares some tricks for managing the AutoCAD layer manager palette.

“The layer properties manager is something that you can’t live without in AutoCAD. Unfortunately, it can also be something you can’t live with because of how much screen real estate and system performance this busy palette can consume. Below are some suggestions for how to make this big palette less demanding by customizing some of its columns:

  • Start by determining how often you use each column and whether some of them are irrelevant to your workflow.
  • Right-click on any of the column headers and untick the columns you never use.
  • Rearrange the remaining columns by moving the least-used ones to the right-side end of the palette so you don’t have to scroll as far horizontally to access your more frequently used columns. To do that, click on the column header and drag it to the new location.

"Here are some examples:

  • If you don’t use viewport overrides, then hide all the VP columns.
  • If you plot only using color-dependent plot styles (CTB), then you can hide the plot style column.
  • If you define object lineweights only by plot styles (CTB or STB), then you can hide the lineweight and VP lineweight columns or shift them to the right-side end of the palette.
  • Consider the same concept with other columns like linetype, transparency, plot, and description.

"If your layer properties are strictly set by standards, then you can hide all the columns except for the off, freeze, VP freeze, and lock. If you don’t use the property filters and group filters, then use the << button to hide the filters tree view and save more room in the palette. On the other hand, keep in mind that using these filters offers more control over your layers.

"Although setting the layer properties manager palette to autohide can also fix the screen real estate issue, I don’t recommend it (even if you like autohide) because it will encourage you to leave it turned on. Even if you use two monitors, don’t leave this palette on when you are not using it, especially if you have a large number of layers. Otherwise, it can result in a frustrating delay when you switch between viewports, layout and model tabs, and other opened drawings."

Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton: The properties palette and the layer manager palette are likely the two most-used palettes in AutoCAD. It can be a real hassle opening and closing the layer manager every time you want to access it, and it can take up your entire screen. Some users leave it open all the time; others do not. It does seem to put a strain on your computer when it is open, especially in AutoCAD verticals like Civil 3D. If you turn off any columns, you can always turn them back on again.


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User comments
Comment by Alexander,Dave
Posted on 2014-01-13 19:07:03
Using the layer properties manager is fine but basic and not very productive. Better would be to create tool buttons with a graphic symbol identifying an object (entity) that you want to draw on a specific layer. Think in terms of wanting to locate (draw) a duct on a floor plan. You pick the tool button and it switches to the "duct" layer. You draw your duct. Now you want to locate a diffuser. You pick the diffuser tool button and it switches to the "diffuser" layer. The trick is to change your thinking from using "AutoCAD" commands" to draw "system components", to using graphics that represent the components you want by automatically using the appropriate AutoCAD commands.