Filtering Layers in AutoCAD

Sometimes you may want only certain layers to be listed. For instance, if you are working in a drawing that contains various layers of electrical information, you can limit the layer names displayed in the Layer Properties Manager to those electrical layers. Listing only specific layers makes it easier to select or clear all layers with specific names or properties.

filtering_layers

You can filter layers based on

  • Names, colors, linetypes, lineweights, and plot styles
  • Visibility
  • Freeze or thaw status
  • Locked or unlocked status
  • Plot or don’t plot status
  • Whether the layer contains objects or does not contain objects
  • Dependency on externally referenced (xref) drawings

To filter layers based on layer properties

  1. From the Format menu, choose Layer.
  2. In the Layer Properties Manager under Named Layer Filters, choose the […] button.
  3. In the Named Layer Filters dialog box, select or enter layer property settings.
  4. Enter a name in Filter Name to save the filter.
  5. Choose Close.
  6. In the Layer Properties Manager, choose the filter from the Named Layer Filters list.

Command line LAYER
Shortcut menu Right-click the list in the Layer Properties Manager and choose Layer Filters.
For layer names, colors, linetypes, lineweights, and plot styles, you can enter a specific name or you can use a combination of wild-card symbols, numbers, or characters to filter similarly named objects all at once. See the table “Valid wild-card characters.”
You can filter layers by using wild-card searches. For example, if you want to display only layers that start with the word mech, you can enter mech* in the Named Layer Filters list, and then press ENTER.

You can also filter layers inversely, which is useful for viewing layers containing all but one property. For example, if all the site plan information for a drawing is contained in multiple layers that include the word site as a part of the layer names, you can easily display all information except site plan information by filtering for *SITE* in the Layer Name option and selecting Invert Filter in the Layer Properties Manager. You can also right-click the layer list and choose Invert Layer Filter.

The Named Layer Filters list displays default filters and any named filters that you create and save in the current drawing. Three default filters are displayed in the Named Layer Filters list:

  • Show All Layers: Displays all the layers in the current drawing.
  • Show All Used Layers: Displays all the layers on which objects in the current drawing are drawn.
  • Show All Xref Dependent Layers: Displays all the layers being referenced from another drawing.

Once you have saved a filter, it is displayed in the Named Layer Filters list in the Layer Properties Manager. Saved filters are stored in the drawing file. The new filter name is displayed in the Named Layer Filters list in the Layer Properties Manager or when you choose Named Filters from the shortcut menu. You can use the filter anytime you are working in the drawing it was created in.

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