August 26, 2008

Layer Standard and Layer Key Style

The automatic layering feature of AutoCAD® Architecture has two components. Most will be familiar with the Layer Key Style, which allows you to specify on what layer a particular AEC item will be placed. The other component is the Layer Standard. While not strictly necessary (a Layer Key Style can be set to Non Standard), having a Layer Standard offers some advantages over not having one.

If the layer names you use do not have any consistent format (random lengths, not broken into subsections with consistent meaning), then a Layer Standard is not for you. If your layer names do use a consistent formatting, then you probably could create a Layer Standard that "enforces" those formatting rules. It will not prevent you from making non-standard layers, but it will make it easier to create standard layers by allowing you to pre-specify values for each field in your standard. You can also associate a description for each pre-specified value, and the descriptions of the various fields will be combined into the Description that appears in the Layer Properties Manager dialog (in the far right column). Having a field-based Layer Standard will also allow you to make use of the Layer Key Overrides feature, in which you can specify an override for one or more of the fields to create a layer name that is modified from the one specified in the Layer Key Style. This can be done globally or be set up on a tool palette tool, to be used only when that tool is used.

The interface for editing Layer Standards has not changed much over the years, and the Brain Dump Matt Dillon wrote for ADT 2 is still a great resource for becoming familiar with the ins and outs of Layer Standards. Unfortunately, the Brain Dump links listed in Chris Yanchar's Between the Walls blog no longer appear to work. I will try to put together a tutorial on Layer Standards and publish it in a future article. Until then, you can take a look at one or more of the Layer Standards that ship with the program and see how they are set up. These are based on the national or international standards prevalent in various area of the world, and it may be wise to adopt the one that applies in the area where you work, rather than to invent your own.

To edit a Layer Standard, open a file that contains one, open the Layer Properties Manager dialog and choose the Layer Standards button on the tool bar at the top of the dialog (first one on the left).


Steve Palma said...

David, I have all the Brain Dumps if you would like I can email them to you.

Let me know.

David Koch said...

I also have all of the Brain Dumps, but thanks for the offer.