Working with Layers and Layer Groups

Question

How do I work efficiently with Layers in RealCAD, LANDWorksCAD or ArborCAD?

Answer

Using Layers and Layer Groups

Layers in CAD are way of carefully segregating entities in your drawing or model.

By placing different categories of entities onto different layers you can control what is displayed and what is selected.

Layers are all numbered form 0 thru 999 (although there are actually more than this in the system) and each of these layers may also be named by the user.

Layer naming is done in the following ‘Layer Selection’ dialogue box. Simply select the desire Layer Number and then type the desired layer name and click ‘Save name’

You can change the Layer name at any time by selecting and typing in a new name, so long as you then click ‘Save name’

RealCAD Layer Selection

Whichever layer is selected when you choose OK will become the ‘active’ layer. The active layer is the layer that any new entities you draw are placed on.

Layer Window

One often overlooked control feature for layers is the Layer Window. To show the layer window select ‘Window > Layer Window’ from the pulldown menu.

This window displays the currently active layer (green dot) the Selectable layers (S column, blue square) and Displayed layers (D column, red square).

It allows you to name a layer by selecting ‘New Layer’ at the top of the Window. You can also rename a layer by selecting the name from the list in the window.

RealCAD Layer Palette

To see what layer NUMBER is being used you need to select the layer and look at the following menu

RealCAD Change Layer

Layer Groups

A powerful and time saving tool in the software is Layer Groups. This is a process of grouping multiple selected layers and giving them a Group Name. Once you have a named group of layers you can switch that group of layers on or off or make that group selectable or not. Here’s how:

Select the Display Masks icon (looks like a light switch) then select the Layer Display Mask icon

RealCAD Switch Layers On or Off Toolbar

This will bring up the following Dialogue box.

RealCAD Display Masks Command

To make a Named Layer Group 

Select the desired individual layers you wish to include in the group from the BOTTOM list of layers, then type in a Name (in the example above ‘test2’) and select Update to save. Repeat for each Named Layer Group you wish to create.

To use a named Layer Group

To use the tool effectively switch all the layers on or off in the ‘Current Layer Mask’ upper section of the dialogue box and then select the desired Layer Name from the Drop Down List (eg test2) then select Turn Group Layers On or ‘Turn Group Layers Off’ as desired.

The reason there are two sections to the dialogue is that this allows you to select the group of layers and add or remove single layers too.