A Handy Guide to Autocad Layers

This post is about Layer management in Autocad, Layers settings and a break down of the different properties.

Layering is one the strongest features in Autocad and I recommend everyone to learn about Layers, how they work, and how to use them properly.

Layers allows you to control the properties of your geometry from one central location saving you time and effort in managing your drawing.

When I say properties, I mean lineweight, linetype and visibility settings (in addition to color, and the ability to plot).

Examples of Using Layers:

When we create drawings in Autocad, geometry should have different line weights and different linetypes to represent different things, for example:

  • Usually, walls are thickest in a floor plan followed by doors and windows.
  • Reflected ceiling elements are usually represented using dashed lines in a floor plan.
  • Detailed elements that have a lot of lines are assigned a very thin lineweight – such as a Hatch element.

Based on the examples above, you would have layers for:

  • WALLS: with a thick lineweight.
  • RCP: with a dashed line type – and often, a thin linweight as well.
  • HATCH: with a thin lineweight.

General Layer Properties:

Here’s a list of the general layer properties you can assign to each layer:

  1. Color
  2. Name
  3. Lineweight
  4. Linetype
  5. Transparency

Based on the list above, there are visibility controls for the layers such as:

  1. On / Off
  2. Freeze
  3. Lock
  4. Plot / No Plot

Layer Color:

Assigning colors to layers will help you tremendously when working on your drawings.

By the color of the geometry, you will be able to quickly identify the different elements in a project.

Check the 2 examples below:

All Geometry On a Single Layer
All Geometry Properly Layered & Organized

Layer Name:

Beside assigning the layers different colors, you also want to assign a proper name to each layer.

Few tips with naming layers:

  1. Keep the name short: instead of writing “new proposed walls” consider writing: “walls-new”
  2. Add a discipline identifier in the beginning: It’s standard that every discipline adds it’s letter at the beginning of the layer name:

  1. For architectural layers, it would look like this: “A-WALLS
  2. For interior design layers, the name would be: “ID-WALLS
  3. Consider abbreviations: instead of writing equipment, it’s standard to write “ID-EQPT

Layer Settings Recommendation:

I compiled a list of standard layers used by both interior designers & architects with proper settings for each category:

Layers List – Recommended Settings

So when you do all these settings in your drawing, you should have a list of layers that look like this:

Layers List in Autocad

2023 Update

I always wanted to talk about the topic in video format and go over it so finally got to do it – I made two videos essentially. The first one talks about the benefits of Layers while the second one goes over how to create the layers.

What are layers – I go over the benefits of Layers in Autocad
How to create layers – step by step tutorial

Full List Of Autocad Layers For Interior Design

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