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Chapter 7. Laying Out Office Spaces > Organizing Shapes in Office Layouts by Us...

Organizing Shapes in Office Layouts by Using Layers

For some drawing types in Visio, shapes are preassigned to layers —categories that help you organize and manage related shapes. Visio can show, hide, lock, print, snap, glue, and color and change the transparency of shapes based on their layer assignment. Layers give you a great deal of flexibility over what you want to display and how you want categories of shapes to behave or look. For example, a space plan with everything but the electrical equipment and structural shapes, such as walls, doors, and windows, hidden would be very helpful in determining the best cable routes for the office. You can accomplish this by hiding anything that's not on the electrical or structural layers, or setting particular layers as non-printing layers. It's also common to lock the structural shapes, such as walls, doors, and windows, in a layout after they're in place so that you don't inadvertently move them while adding furniture to the office layout. You can temporarily hide all the annotation shapes, such as callouts and dimension lines, to make it easier to see and move furniture shapes. Layers open up all these options to you.

Layers are also used when more than one person revises or reviews a diagram. For example, in an office layout, the building shell can be locked and then handed off to an electrician, who adds wiring on one layer, and then to a plumber, who adds pipes on another layer. That way, each person can add to the diagram without disturbing another person's work. A shape can be assigned to a single layer, to several layers, or to no layer at all. For example, if you use the drawing tools to create a shape, that shape is not assigned to a layer. You can, however, choose to assign the shape to an existing layer or create a new layer. Fortunately, the shapes included with the Office Layout template are already assigned to predefined layers that are built into the template and added to your diagram—a feature that can save you a lot of time if you're work extensively with layers.


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