Working with Layers in AutoCAD

You always draw on a layer. It may be the default layer or a layer you create. Each layer has an associated color, linetype, lineweight, and plot style. You can use layers to organize drawings into groups of objects as well as to identify different objects with varying colors, linetypes, and lineweights.

For example, you can create a layer for centerlines. You assign the properties you want for centerlines (color, linetype, lineweight) to the layer. When you want to draw a centerline, you switch to the centerline layer and begin drawing. You do not need to specify a linetype, lineweight, and color every time you draw a centerline.

You can also assign a plot style to a layer. Plot styles control how your drawings are plotted. For example, you can plot a drawing with all the centerlines at a 50 percent value (or “screened”) by assigning a plot style to that layer. Using layers is a major advantage of creating drawings with AutoCADĀ® instead of with paper and pencil.

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In a layout (paper space), you can specify layer visibility individually for each viewport. If you do not want to display or plot a certain layer, you can turn off that layer or turn off plotting for that layer. The same drawing limits, coordinate system, and zoom factor apply to all layers in a drawing.

If you consistently use a specific layering scheme, you can set up a template drawing with layers and their associated linetypes, lineweights, colors, and plot styles already assigned. Layers are one of many nongraphical objects saved in a drawing.

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