The Layer dialog box conforms to the Windows interface standard. juctice that the bar at the top of the Lacar , .arnc list box offers several buttons ror the various layer properties. lust as YIIU can adjust the Windows Explorcr.y ou can adjust the “width of each column in the be clicking and nhe either side of the colurnn head bu t tons. You can also sort the layer list based on a property simply by clicking on th property name at the top of the list. And, just as with ther windows list boxes, you can Shift+click names to select a block of layer names, or Ctrl+click individual names to select multiples that do not appear together. These features will become helpful as your list of layers enlarges.
Controlling Layers through the layer Command
You have seen how the Layer Properties Manager dialog box makes it easy to view and edit layer information, and how layer colors can be easily selected from an onscreen toolbar. But layers can also be controlled through the command prompt
1. First, pres;; the Esc key to make sure any current command is canceled.
2. At the command prompt, enter -Layer.J. Make sure you include the minus sign in front of the word Layer. T11t!follo”,j”‘3 prompt appears:You’ll learn about many of the options in this prompt as you work through this chapter. .
3. Enter N.J to select the New option.
4. At the New iayer name(s): prompt, enter Wa1l2.J.The? appears again.
5. Enter C.J.
6. At the Enter cola” name or number (1-255): prompt,enterYellow.J.Or you can enter 2.J, the numeric equivalent to the color yellow in AutoCAq
7. Press .J to exit the Layer command.
Each method of controlling layers has its own advantages. Layer Properties Manager dialog box offers more information about your layers at a glance. On the other hand, the Layer command offers a quick way to control and create layers if you’re in a hurry. Also, if ynu intend to write custom macros, you will want to know how to use the Layer command as opposed to the Layer Properties Managerdialog box, because dialog boxes cannot be controlled through custom toolbar buttons or scripts.
Assigning Layers ,to Object
When you create an object, that object is assigned to the current layer. Until now, only one layer has existed-Layer O-which contains all the objects you’ve drawn s’o far. Now that you’ve created some new layers, you can reassign objects to them using the Properties tool on the Object Properties toolbar.
1. Select the four lines that represent the bathroom walls. If you have problems singling out the wall to the left, use a window to select the wall line .
2. With the cursor in the drawing area, right-click the mouse, then select Properties at the bottom of the popup menu. The Properties dialog box appears.
This dialog box lets you modify the propertie~ of an object or set of objects (see Understanding Object Properties for more on the properties of objects).
3. Click the Categorized tab at the top of the dialog box. The list changes to show the properties according to property categories.
4. . Click the Layer option from the listing in the Properties dialog box. Notice that an arrow appears in the layer name to the right of the Layer option.
5. Click the downward-pointing arrow to the far right of the Layer option. A list of all the available layers appears.
6. Select the Wall layer from the list. Notice that the wall lines you selected change to a green color. This tells you that that the objects have been assigned to the Wall layer. Remember that you assigned a green color to the Wall layer.
7. Dismiss the Properties dialog box by clicking the X button in the upper-left comer of the dialog box.
The bathroom walls are now on the new layer, Wall, and the walls are changed to green. Layers are more easily distinguished from one another when colors are used to set them apart
Understanding Object Properties
It helps to think of the components of AutoCAD as having properties. For example, a line, has geometric properties. such as the length, and coordinates that define its enopoints. An arc has a radius, a ‘center, and beginning and ending coordinates. And even though a layer is not an object you can qrasp and manipulate, it can have properties such as color, line types, and line weight.
Bydefault. objects take on the color, line type, and weight of the layer to which they are assigned, but you can a/50 assign these properties directly to individualobi=cts These qeneral properties can be manipulated throuqh both the Properties dialog box and the Properties toolbar.
While many of the options In the Properties dialog box may seem crvot« to you, don’t worry about them at this point. As you work WithAutoCAD, these properties will become more familiar to you. You’ll find that you rea!lywon’t be too concerned Withthe qeornetric properties, since you’ll be manipulating those through the s’andarc editing tools in the Modify toolbar. The other properties will be explained in the rest of this chapter and in other chapters.
Next, you will practice the commands you learned in this section and try out some new ones by creating some new layers and changing the layer assignments of the rest of the objects in your bathroom.
In step 3 above, you used the Properties dialog bGXthat offered several options for modifying the block. The Properties dialog box displays different options depending on the objects you have selected. With only one object selected, AutoCAD presents options that apply specifically to that object. With several objects selected, you’ll see a more limited set of options because AutoCAD can change only those properties that are common to all the objects selected.