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How to use Layers in AutoCAD

Updated on June 27, 2011

Video: Layers Part I

There are several things in AutoCAD that can save you lots of time while making your drawing easier and more productive. One of these tools is AutoCAD Layers. In this AutoCAD tutorial I will walk you through the basics of using layers and will provide some video tutorials to demonstrate.

Before we get started, I should explain the concept behind layers. Basically, a layer is a set of objects that are classified together. This allows us to create a layer called, for example, walls and have this layer’s properties unique to the layer walls. One way to think of layers is as if you are drawing on a transparent sheet and for each item you are using a different sheet. Now with each object on a separate layer we can turn certain layers off and it has the same effect as removing that layers transparent sheet. I think from this example you can see how they become invaluable in large drawings.

Ok, enough theory, lets learn how to use these bad boys. The layers command is started by typing LAYER into the AutoCAD Command line. This will bring up the layers properties manager like in the image below.

Video: Layers Part II

Once you have this window you can do many things with the layers. To create a new layer just click on the new layer button and give the layer a name. Now you can change all the options such as lineweight, color and linetype. This allows you to set your layers apart from the others with visual options.

Two other nifty features of AutoCAD Layers are being able to choose whether the layer prints (great for when you want something in drawing but not on printout i.e. border) and being able to attach materials to the layer for later rendering. This is done in AutoCAD 2007 and above with the MATERIALATTACH command as shown below.

After you have typed the MATERIALATTACH command you can drag and drop materials from your drawing onto layers in your drawing (you must add materials into your drawing first). Timesaver: You can create layers once and save them into a template drawing so they are there for next time.

Layers in AutoCAD are a huge timesaver, productivity booster and all round good guy. I hope you get the hang of them quickly and use them regularly as you will find your AutoCAD experience much kinder.

If you liked this HUB head over to my CAD Training blog for many more tutorials just like this one.

Don't forget to leave a comment below and let me know you liked it.


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    • profile image

      syed sajid 23 months ago

      how many layers we can create in autocad 2013

    • profile image

      Ankit Soni 3 years ago

      Thanks for these useful tutorials...

    • profile image

      ARCHYROMY 3 years ago

      thanks for this very interesting tutorials. God bless

    • profile image

      Jigme Paul 4 years ago

      thanksss 4 for sharing...

      see u nx time again!

    • profile image

      tauisf ahmad 4 years ago

      i like very much

    • profile image

      Rashid khan 5 years ago

      Please give me details wblock and elock in Auto cad.

      Thanks and regards

      Rashid khan

    • profile image

      Natty Bongo 5 years ago

      Thanks very much in first, your tutorials has been very useful for me to learn more about layer and success is going to come out my exam 2morrow

    • profile image

      pablo 5 years ago

      this is a good presentation thank you

    • profile image

      Jose Mayagoitia 5 years ago

      Tank you is has been very usefull especialy for a 64 year old IE

    • profile image

      moshood 5 years ago

      will i'm enjoy it and i wil like to follow your clas

    • profile image

      abu concept 5 years ago

      u ar 2 gbaski

    • profile image

      kapil padhiyar 5 years ago

      very nice ...................

    • profile image

      sowjanya 5 years ago

      I need complete details about auto cad layer that how to use it and their advantages?

      thank you,

      regards sowjanya

    • profile image

      ats 6 years ago

      this is superb!

    • profile image

      mithun 7 years ago

      nice info

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      Matt 7 years ago

      Great tut, materialattach is a not an intuative command & you saved me much stress trying to connect layers and materials - Thanks.

      It would be very kind of you, but do you know if creating a material can be scripted?

      eg -creatematerial

      would help with creating many materials from jpgs in a folder. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      bilal 7 years ago


    • profile image

      Karen 8 years ago

      How can I select all the items in a layer?