Add a layer

Use layers to organize related shapes on a drawing page. A layer is a named category of shapes. By assigning shapes to different layers, you can selectively view, print, color, and lock different categories of shapes, as well as control whether you can snap to or glue to shapes on a layer.

For example, when you're drawing an office layout, the walls, doors, and windows might be assigned to one layer, electrical outlets to another layer, and furniture to a third layer. That way, when you work with shapes in the electrical system, you can lock the other layers so that you don't have to worry about accidentally rearranging the walls or furniture.

Each page in a drawing can have its own set of layers.

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

What do you want to do?

Add a layer

Assign a shape to a layer

Activate one or more layers

Rename a layer

Delete a layer

Show or hide a layer

Add a layer

You can add new layers to organize custom categories of shapes, and then assign shapes to those layers:

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Layers, and select Layer Properties.

  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, click New.

  3. Type a name for the layer, and then click OK.

  4. In the row that corresponds to your new later, select the check boxes in each column for properties that you want the layer to have, if they are not already checked.

    Notes: 

    • When you create a new layer, it is added only to the current page, not to all pages in the file.

    • Similarly, when you create a new page, that new page does not inherit layers from the previous page. You must define any layers that you want the new page to have.

    • When you copy a shape with a layer assignment from one page to another, either within the same drawing or from one drawing to another, the layer is added to the new page. If the page already has a layer with the same name, the shape is added to the existing layer.

Top of Page

Assign a shape to a layer

A shape can be assigned to multiple layers or to no layers. Many shapes are already assigned to layers, so when you drop them on a page, the corresponding layer is automatically added to the page.

  1. Select a shape.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Layers, and select Assign to Layer.

  3. In the Layer dialog box, click the layer to which you want to assign the shape.

Note: To assign a shape to more than one layer, press CTRL and click each layer.

Top of Page

Activate one or more layers

Making a layer active is a fast way to assign shapes to the layer as you add them to the page. If a shape is not already assigned to a layer, the shape is automatically assigned to the active layer when you add it.

For example, if you are ready to add electrical wiring shapes to a drawing of an office layout, you can make the electrical layer active. All the shapes you add from then on are assigned to the electrical layer. When you are ready to add windows, you can designate the wall layer as the active layer.

You can designate more than one active layer. Shapes you add to the page are automatically assigned to all of the active layers.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Layers, and select Layer Properties.

  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, select the check box in the Active column for each layer you want to make active.

    The layer or layers are active for the current page.

Note: You cannot activate a layer that is locked against editing.

Top of Page

Rename a layer

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Layers, and select Layer Properties.

  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, select the layer you want to rename, and then click Rename.

  3. Type a new name, and then click OK twice.

Note: The layer is renamed on the current page. The shapes on the layer are not removed or changed.

Top of Page

Delete a layer

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Layers, and select Layer Properties.

  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, check to see if any shapes are assigned to the layer.

  3. If a layer has shapes on it, do the following to assign the shapes to a different layer:

    1. To close the Layer Properties dialog box, click OK.

    2. Select the shapes you want to reassign.

    3. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Layers, and select Assign to Layer.

    4. In the Layer dialog box, click the layer you want to assign the shapes to.

    5. Click OK.

  4. In the Editing group, click Layers, and then select Layer Properties again.

  5. In the Layer Properties dialog box, select the layer you want to delete, and then click Remove.

Tip: To delete all unused layers, in the Layer Properties dialog box, check Remove unreferenced layers, and then click OK.

Top of Page

Show or hide a layer

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Layers, and select Layer Properties.

  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, clear or select the check box in the Visible column for each layer you want to hide or show.

Top of Page

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×