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About Layers

Layers are used to separate objects so they can be viewed and edited separately. Each layer can have a color associated with it, which makes objects on that layer easily recognizable. A layer can be hidden, shown, templated, or referenced. Objects can be moved from layer to layer as needed, and new layers can be created at any time.

To create a layer, rename it, and color-code it:

1.
Open the Channel Box, and click the Layer Editor icon (Windows), or press and hold the mouse in the east region of the Channel Box and select Layer Bar (Mac).

2.
From the Layers menu in the Layer Editor select Create Layer (Figure 4.45), or click the Create Layer icon (Windows only).

Figure 4.45. You can create additional layers in the Layers menu.


A new layer is created called layer1.

3.
Double-click on layer1 to open the Edit Layer dialog box (Figure 4.46).

Figure 4.46. The Edit Layer dialog box holds the Name, Display Type, and Color options.


4.
Type a descriptive name for the layer in the Name field (Figure 4.47).

Figure 4.47. Select a descriptive name for the layer.


On the Mac, press OK to close the window. On Windows, keep the window open.

5.
Choose Normal (Windows), or hold down the mouse over the arrow in the layer bar to the left of the layer name, and choose Standard from the pop-up menu (Mac).

The Display Type pop-up menu allows you to have the objects on the layer be viewed normal (or standard), as a template, or as a reference.

6.
Select a color swatch (Figure 4.48).

Figure 4.48. Select a color swatch for the objects on the layer. The wireframes of any objects on the layer will become the color of the selected swatch.


On Windows, you select a color swatch inside the layer dialog box. On the Mac, double-click on a swatch to the left of the layer name.

The wireframe of each object on the layer will display in the selected color.

7.
Click Save.

Tips

  • By default, new objects created are still on the default layer, not the newly created layer. To have each new object be placed on the current layer, choose Use Current Layer from the Layer Options menu (Windows only) (Figure 4.49).

    Figure 4.49. To have each new object be placed on the current layer, choose Use Current Layer from the Layer Options menu.

  • You can make each new layer the current layer by choosing Make New Layers Current from the Layer Options menu (Windows only).

  • You can delete a layer by right mouse button-clicking on the layer and selecting Delete from the menu.


To move an object to a different layer:

1.
Select the objects you want to move to a new layer (Figure 4.50).

Figure 4.50. Select the objects you want to move to a new layer.


2.
Right mouse button–click on the layer to which you want to move the objects, and choose Add Selected Objects from the menu (Figure 4.51).

Figure 4.51. Choose Add Selected Objects to move objects to a different layer.


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