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CAD tip CAD tip # 5131:

Question CAD 
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Q - question

How to place dimensions or hatches automatically to preset layers?

A - answer If you want to draw your dimensions, hatches, points or text always to fixed predefined layers, you can use several methods how to do this in plain AutoCAD (some vertical AutoCAD versions and add-ons offer this function automatically):
  1. you can customize (no programming) your AutoCAD toolbars so that the dimension functions will always start with a layer switch command:
    _-LAYER;_Make;myDims;;_QDIM
  2. place dim commands or hatch patterns onto a user Palette (Ctrl+3) and in the properties of these items (rt-click, Properties) set the given value for the Layer property; if you start commands from palettes, this is the best option for you
  3. use a .LSP program to redefine (_UNDEFINE) the _DIMxxxx commands so that they will always start with a layer switch command (_-LAYER)
  4. attach a reactor to the dimensioning commands which will automatically switch to a specified layer (and then switch the layer back)
  5. you can also change layer ex-post - use QSELECT or the Properties window to select all dimensions and then change their Layer property to the target layer
Probably the most effective way are the palettes (2) and reactors (4). As an example of such reactor you can use the free utility AutoLay (see www.cadstudio.cz/download) or FLay (see www.cadstudio.cz/download), which places all drawn dimensions, hatches and texts to fixed predefined layers. Just load the LISP utility into AutoCAD (APPLOAD) and switch it on with the AutoLay (or FLay) command.

E.g. for FLay, you just prepare a simple text file FLay.tab with layer names for the individual object types (this file is loaded by the FLay utility). That's all, you can use standard commands. An example (hatches, red texts):

* Texts 1
TEXT MTEXT DTEXT
* Hatch
HATCH BHATCH
ACAD
100% *  CAD 
21.7.2006    39188x   FAQ  
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applies to: AutoCAD ·

See also:
Tip 8351:Add dynamic text frame to any text.
Tip 7503:Autodesk 3ds Max keyboard shortcuts.
Tip 7169:PreSave reactor - automatic operations on drawing save.
Tip 6515:AutoPDF - Automatic publishing of PDF file on every save of the DWG drawing
Tip 6433:Force layer for selected commands (objects).


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