Layer Management

Vectors and Bitmaps can be assigned to different layers.

All the objects assigned to a layer can then be simultaneously selected, labeled, colored, temporarily hidden or even locked (to prevent accidental editing) using the Layer Management tools. Even for relatively simple designs, organizing the elements of your artwork onto layers can make managing your project much easier.

Managing Layers

You can access the tools needed to manage layers from two locations: the Layer Control on the View Tool Bar, and the Layer List on the Layers tab.

The Layer Control on the View Toolbar

A Quick Access Layer Control is conveniently located above the Views in the View Toolbar. This tool provides a pop-up Layer List, from which you can quickly change the selection of the active layer, add a new layer, or modify the properties of any existing layer. When you have finished, click anywhere outside of the Layer List window and it will cause it to close.

The Layers Tab

To get a complete overview of the current layer structure of your artwork while you are working, or to carry out more extensive organization of the layers, you can also use the Layers tab. The Layer List is identical in both the Layer Control and the Layers tab, but the latter can control layer ordering and be left visible, pinned or even undocked, while you continue to work on the artwork itself

List Item Command and Icons

Each layer in the list has five elements:

Status Icon

[object Object]
Status Icon

The leftmost icon indicates whether the layer is currently visible or hidden. Click on this icon to toggle the visibility of the layer.

The presence of a padlock shows that the layer is locked and cannot be accidentally edited.
Right-click the layer in the list and select the Unlock command to alter this.

Layer Colour

[object Object]
Layer Colour

The color swatch can be used to color all the vectors on a layer. Click on the swatch icon Layer Color Icon and select a pre-set color from the color selector dialog, or choose to create an entirely custom color.

Layer Content

[object Object]
Layer Content

The layer content icon will be grayed-out as an additional indicator that the layer is not currently visible. Layer Empty Content Icon a blank white sheet indicates that the layer does not currently contain any objects or vector geometry. If you import files from 3rd party CAD drawing packages via DXF or DWG format it is common for the file to include empty layers. This icon allows you to identify these empty layers and delete them.

Layer Name

To change the name of a layer, you can double click on this part of the layer item in the list to trigger in-situ editing. This works in the same way as file renaming in Windows Explorer. Alternatively you can right-click or use the layer's Pop-Up Menu icon to select the Rename command.

Pop-up Menu

[object Object]
Pop-up Menu

Click the pop-up menu icon Pop-up Menu Icon for access to Activate, Lock, Insert, Delete and Merge layers as well as further ways to choose which layers to show and hide.

Select All on a Layer

Double-clicking on a layer in the Layers List will select all the objects on that layer. Alternatively you can choose the Select Layer Vectors command from the layer's pop-up menu.

Layer Ordering Arrows

Adjacent to the Layers List heading label are two arrow buttons. These move the selected layer up or down in the Layers List. This can be important to set the drawing order of objects that might otherwise obscure one another (specifically Bitmaps and 2D Component Previews). Objects on the top layers in the list are always drawn before objects in the lower layers and will, therefore, be 'underneath' them in the 2D View. You can use the Layer Ordering Arrows to resolve this issue.

Add New Layer

New Layers can be added using the Add New Layer button. Alternatively a new layer can be created directly from the 2D View by right-clicking an object and selecting either the Copy to Layer ► New Layer... or Move to Layer ► New Layer...

Layer Name

It is always preferable to take the opportunity at this stage to give your new layer a meaningful name relating to its content or purpose. Later on this name will make it easier for you to manage your layers as your design becomes more complicated

Drawing Color

All the vectors on this layer will be colored according to this setting. This can be a very useful way of distinguishing between the vectors that are on different layers, directly in the 2D View.

New Layer is Visible

With this option checked, ✓ the new layer will automatically be visible as soon as it is created.

New Layer is Active

With this option checked, ✓ the new layer will automatically become the active layer and any subsequent vector creation or manipulation will occur on this new layer.

Insert New Layer

An even quicker way to add new layers is via the Insert Layer command from a layer's right-click Pop-Up Menu. This command will create a new layer above the selected layer which will be visible, unlocked and colored black. After creation the new layer item's name is ready to be immediately edited by typing a new name in.

Moving Objects to Layers

Objects on any layer can be moved onto another layer by right-clicking the object in the 2D View and selecting Move to Layer from the pop-up menu. It is also possible to place a copy of selected object to another layer by selecting Copy to Layer from the pop-up menu.