Friday, June 20, 2008

Layer Properties Manager in 2009

Hello fellow CAD users!
I have a few minutes free on this Friday afternoon, so I thought I'd take the time to talk to you all. I want to tell you about a couple cool new things that the Layers Property Manager does in AutoCAD 2009. In my last post, I mentioned that the Layers Property Manager now will behave just like the other palettes, once you turn it on you can dock it on the side, or anchor it so it pops out only when you hover over it. However, that is not the only improvement.

Another new thing you'll notice is that when you change something in Layer Properties, it is immediately applied to your drawing. You don't have to worry about accidently hitting escape and undoing all your layer changes!

Honestly, one of my pet peeves has always been that when you maximize the columns, you can never read what the column heading is. They fixed that in 2009. If you right-click on any column header in Layer Properties, and choose "Maximize all columns"from the flyout, you will be able to read all the headings. It's wonderful! However, if you don't want to read the headings, choose "Optimize all columns", and they'll only be as wide as the longest word in the column.

If you're not using Layer Filters, there's now a double chevron (arrow) that will let you hide and unhide them. I love that too.
As in 2008, you can still right-click and uncheck any columns that you don't use, to hide them, and rearrange their order by dragging them. Happily, that didn't go away.

In this picture, I've expanded the Layer filters. Do you notice that vertical line after the layer names? Now in 2009, by right-clicking on any column heading, if you choose "freeze column" you can make every column to the left of where you clicked stay locked on the left side, so you can still see them when you slide over to view the columns on the right. Another new feature I really like!

By the way, If you use layer filters a lot, you'll notice now if you expand the Layers panel you can access the layer filters (and named layer states) from there, instead of opening the Layer Properties Manager.
I labeled it in my previous post, but that picture did end up to be pretty busy, so I bet most people didn't even bother trying to figure it out.

Last of all, I want to tell you that if you hate this new function of the Layers Manager being able to stay open, and fly out when you need it, you can change it back to the old way. On your command line, type in LAYERDLGMODE and change it from a 1 to a 0 (zero). I have a picture of it here, so you can be assured that it works! You'll still have all the other new features I've described, except you can't anchor or dock the Layer Manager and leave it open.
Some people just like things the way they are, and don't like it when someone fixes something that's not broken. I completely sympathize. It's for those people that I added this last tip!
Ta-ta for now, I hope to write again soon!

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