Create and Name Layers

You can create and name a new layer for each conceptual grouping (such as walls or dimensions) and assign common properties to each layer.

By organizing objects into layers, you can control the visibility and object properties of a large number of objects separately for each layer and make changes quickly.

NoteThe number of layers that you can create in a drawing and the number of objects that you can create on each layer are practically unlimited.

Choose Layer Names Carefully

A layer name can include up to 255 characters (double-byte or alphanumeric): letters, numbers, spaces, and several special characters. Layer names cannot include the following characters:

< > / \ “ : ; ? * | = ‘

In many cases, the layer names you choose are dictated by corporate, industry, or client standards.

The Layer Properties Manager sorts layers alphabetically by name. If you organize your own layer scheme, choose layer names carefully. Use common prefixes to name layers with related drawing components, you can use wild-card characters in layer name filters when you need to find those layers quickly.

NoteIf you consistently use a specific layering scheme, you can set up a drawing template with layers, linetypes, and colors already assigned. For more information about creating templates, see Use a Template File to Start a Drawing.

Copy Layers from Another Drawing

You can use DesignCenter to copy layers from any drawing to another by dragging. For example, you might have a drawing that contains all the standard layers needed for a project. You can create a new drawing and use DesignCenter to drag the predefined layers to the new drawing, which saves you time and ensures consistency between drawings.

You can also drag layers or copy layers by double-clicking or by clicking Insert on the shortcut menu.

NoteYou need to resolve duplicate layer names before you drag layers from DesignCenter.

Select a Layer to Draw On

As you draw, newly created objects are placed on the current layer. The current layer may be the default layer (0) or a layer you create and name yourself. You switch from one layer to another by making a different layer current; any subsequent objects you create are associated with the new current layer and use its color, linetype, and other properties. You cannot make a layer the current layer if it is frozen or if it is an xref-dependent layer.

Remove Layers

You can remove unused layers from your drawing with PURGE or by deleting the layer from the Layer Properties Manager. You can delete only unreferenced layers. Referenced layers include layers 0 and DEFPOINTS, layers containing objects (including objects in block definitions), the current layer, and xref-dependent layers.

WarningBe careful about deleting layers if you are working on a drawing in a shared project or one based on a set of layering standards.