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About Layers

Layers are used to separate objects so they can be viewed and edited separately. Each layer can have an associated color, 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, rename, and color-code a layer:

Open the Channel Box, and click the Layer Editor icon .

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

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

A new layer is created, called layer1.

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.

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

Figure 4.47. Select a descriptive name for the layer.

Choose Normal.

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

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.

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

Click Save.


  • By default, new objects created reside on the default layer, not the newly created layer. To place each new object on the current layer, choose Use Current Layer from the Layer Options menu (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.

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

To move an object to a different layer:

Select the objects you want to move (Figure 4.50).

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

With the right mouse button, click on the layer to which you want to move the objects. Then choose Add Selected Objects from the menu (Figure 4.51).

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

To delete a layer:

In the Layer Editor select the layer(s) you want to delete.

Select Layer > Delete Selected Layer(s). The layer is removed from the Layer Editor.


  • If a layer containing objects is deleted, those objects are assigned to the default layer.

  • To delete unused layers, select Layer > Select Unused Layers and then select Layer > Delete Selected Layer(s).

To toggle a layer’s visibility:

  • In the Layer Editor, click the square furthest left of the layer name.

    If the layer is currently visible, it will become invisible; if the layer is invisible, it will become visible.

To add an annotation to an object:

Select the object you would like to annotate.

From the Create menu select Annotation... .

The Annotate Node dialog box appears.

Type your annotation in the Enter Annotation field, then press OK.

An annotation appears with a line pointing to the annotated object.

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