AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011-Skripta-Modeliranje-Dizajn_7, Skripte' predlog Umetnost. Univerzitet u Beogradu
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AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011-Skripta-Modeliranje-Dizajn_7, Skripte' predlog Umetnost. Univerzitet u Beogradu

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AutoCAD 2011 and AutoCAD LT 2011,Skripta,Modeliranje,Dizajn,Starting AutoCAD, The Welcome Screen, Exploring the New Features Workshop, The Customer Involvement Program, Exploring the AutoCAD User Interface, Introducing t...
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8. Hold down the Shift key, and then pick the selected door and swing in the bathroom.

Be careful to not pick a grip. As you pick the objects, their lines become solid again and their grips disappear, letting you know they have been deselected, or removed from the selection set (see Figure 6.27). Be sure to pick the inside wall lines in the kitchen where they don’t coincide with the stove or counter.

F i G u R E 6 . 2 7 The completed selection set after removing the door swing and back wall line

9. Release the Shift key. Open the Layer drop-down list, and select the A-FLOR-FIXT layer. The fixtures are now on the A-FLOR-FIXT layer and are magenta.

10. Press the Esc key to deselect the objects.

The last objects to move onto a new layer are the wall lines. Using conventional selection methods, it won’t be easy to select the wall lines because so many other objects in the drawing are in the way. However, since the only objects remaining on layer 0 are the walls for your cabin, you can use the Select Similar command, which is new to AutoCAD 2011.

Selecting Walls using the Select Similar Command

In the last several exercises you learned how to select objects using both a regu- lar window and a crossing window. While there are several ways to make regular and crossing selections (such as when you used the Fence option to trim lines in Chapter 2, “Learning Basic Commands to Get Started”), these remain as the two

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fundamental ways to select multiple objects at once inside AutoCAD. The Select Similar option introduced in this release expands on that concept and adds a way to select multiple objects that have some similarity way all at once.

To try out this selection method, you’ll select objects whose similarity is that they are lines on layer 0. That is, all lines currently drawn on layer 0 will be selected. Although only lines are drawn on layer 0, if you had both arcs and lines on layer 0, and used the Select Similar command on a line, only the lines would be selected. Again, because lines are the only objects on layer 0, the Select Similar command is perfect for this particular application.

1. Make sure 06A-FPLAY4.dwg is open.

2. Select any line currently drawn on layer 0 which represents a wall within your cabin (Figure 6.28).

3. Be careful not to deselect the line on layer 0, right-click and select the Select Similar option, as shown in Figure 6.28.

F i G u R E 6 . 2 8 Choosing the Select Similar right-click menu option after selecting a single wall line

4. The Select Similar command selects all of the lines on layer 0. Use the Quick Properties panel to select the A-WALL layer (see Figure 6.29).

5. Save the current drawing 06A-FPLAY4.dwg using the Save icon on the Quick Access toolbar.

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F i G u R E 6 . 2 9 Using the Quick Properties panel to select the A-WALL layer after using the Select Similar command to select every line on layer 0.

seleCt Ing oBjeCts In yoUr dr aWIng As you select objects in the cabin drawing to move them onto their pre- scribed layers, you use various selection tools. Mastering these important tools will greatly enhance your performance as an AutoCAD user. As you select objects by picking them and windowing them, you’re building a selec- tion set. You might want to remove objects from that selection set later. Here is a summary of the basic selection tools that you have used so far, with a couple of additions:

Picking This is the basic, bottom-line selection tool. Click the line, cir- cle, or other object to select it. If no command is running, grips appear on the selected object and the object becomes dashed. If a command is run- ning and you’re being prompted with Select objects:, grips don’t appear, but the object is selected and ghosts (changes to a dashed appearance).

In AutoCAD you can select objects and then issue a command, or you can issue the command first and then select the objects as directed. For instance, whether you selected an object and then entered E↵, or entered E↵ and then selected an object, the object would be erased regardless.

Selecting a Window Automatically To start a window, click a loca- tion that is in an empty portion of the screen where there are no objects. To form a regular window, move your cursor to the right. To form a cross- ing window, move your cursor to the left. This feature is called implied windowing, and it works this way if no command is running or if one is running and the prompt says Select objects:.

(Continued)

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If the geometry of your drawing makes forming a crossing or regular selec- tion window difficult because of the need to move from right to left (cross- ing) or from left to right (regular), you can force one or the other by entering C↵ or W↵, respectively, but only if a command is running.

Removing objects from a Selection Set At some point, you’ll find it more efficient to select more objects than you want and then remove the unwanted ones. You can do this in three ways:

To remove a couple of objects, hold down the Shift key and pick the  objects.

To remove objects from the selection set, hold down the Shift key and  use one of the selection window types.

If a command is running, enter  R↵, and then use the Selection tools (Picking, Windows, and so on) without the Shift key to remove objects from the selection set.

If you are in a command and need to add objects back to the selection set after removing some, enter A↵. This puts you back into selection mode, and you can continue adding objects to the set.

turning off and Freezing Layers You can make layers invisible either by turning them off or by freezing them. When a layer is turned off or frozen, the objects on that layer are invisible. These two proce- dures operate in almost the same way and perform about the same function, with one significant difference: objects on frozen layers cannot be selected with the All option, while objects on layers that are off can be selected. For example, if you enter EA↵↵ to erase all objects, all the visible and invisible objects on the layers turned off are deleted, while the objects on frozen layers remain in the drawing but are still invisible. Here is a good rule to follow: If you want a layer to be invisible for only a short time, turn it off; if you prefer that it be invisible semipermanently, freeze it.

For the task at hand, you’ll turn off all layers except for the A-WALL and A-DOOR layers to reveal a more simplified look at your floor plan. Afterward, you’ll learn how to restore the visibility of all layers in your drawing at once.

1. Make sure 06A-FPLAY4.dwg is open.

2. Click the Layer Properties button on the Layers panel to open the Layer Properties Manager dialog box, or expand the palette if it is still collapsed on your screen.

3. Click the Settings button in the upper-right corner of the Layer Properties Manager palette.

seleCt Ing oBjeCts In yoUr dr aWIng (Continued)

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4. The Layer Settings dialog opens. In the Dialog Settings group near the bottom, enable the Indicate Layers In Use option (see Figure 6.30), and click OK.

F i G u R E 6 . 3 0 Enabling the Indicate Layers In Use option from the Layer Settings dialog box

5. Notice that layer 0 is still first in the list and that the other layers have been reorganized alphabetically (see the top of Figure 6.31).

Also, notice the icons in the Status column: a green check mark signifies that the A-WALL layer is current; the light blue layer icons signify that those layers (0, A-DECK, A-DECK-STRS, A-DOOR, and A-FLOR-FIXT) now have objects on them; and the light gray layer icons tell you that those layers (A-ROOF and A-WALL-HEAD) don’t have any objects on them.

N O T E Because the a-WaLL layer is current and has a green check mark in the Status column, you can’t tell whether it has any objects on it. You have to make a different layer current and then check whether the Walls icon is blue or gray.

the status of layers will appear in the Status column in the Layer properties Manager only if that feature was enabled in the Layer Settings dialog box (see step 4).

O

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F i G u R E 6 . 3 1 The layers, now listed alphabetically (top); and turning off the selected layers (bottom)

6. Click the A-DECK layer to highlight it. Then hold down the Shift key and click the A-DECK-STRS layer.

Both the A-DECK and A-DECK-STRS layers should be highlighted within the Layer Properties Manager.

7. Move the arrow cursor over to the On column, which has a lit light bulb as a symbol for each layer row.

8. Click one of the light bulbs of the selected layers (see the bottom of Figure 6.31).

The lit light bulb symbols all change to unlit bulbs for the A-DECK and A-DECK-STRS layers.

9. Collapse or close the Layer Properties Manager or simply move it out of the way. Both the deck (A-DECK) and the stairs leading up to the deck (A-DECK-STRS) are invisible (see Figure 6.32).

10. From the Home tab ➢ Layers panel select the Layer Off tool, and then click any object on the A-FLOR-FIXT (magenta) layer.

By selecting an object on the A-FLOR-FIXT layer, you graphically turned that layer off, making the objects on it invisible (see left Figure 6.33). Press Esc to end the Off command.

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F i G u R E 6 . 3 2 The floor plan without the deck shown

11. To restore the visibility of all layers at once by turning them on, expand the Home tab ➢ Layers panel and select the Layer On tool. Figure 6.33 shows the result.

F i G u R E 6 . 3 3 The floor plan after turning off the A-FLOR-FIXT layer (top), and with the visibility of all layers restored (bottom)

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Two of your layers, A-ROOF and A-WALL-HEAD, still have no objects on them because these components haven’t been drawn yet. You’ll draw the headers now.

Drawing the Headers Most door and window openings don’t extend to the ceiling. The portion of the wall above the opening and below the ceiling is the header. The term comes from the name of the beam inside the wall that spans the opening. In a floor plan, wall lines usually stop at the door and window openings, but you need lines across the gap between jamb lines to show that an opening doesn’t extend to the ceiling; hence, you’ll create the header.

To draw headers directly onto the correct layer, you need to make the A-WALL-HEAD layer current. As you’ve seen, you can use the Layer Properties Manager dialog box. But you can also use a shortcut, the Layer drop-down list in the Layers panel, which you have just been using to move objects from one layer to another:

1. Make sure 06A-FPLAY4.dwg is open.

2. From the Home tab ➢ Layers panel click the Layer drop-down list to display a list of layers, or click the down-arrow button on the right end.

The drop-down list opens, displaying a list of the layers in your draw- ing. If you have more than 10 layers, a scroll bar becomes operational, giving you access to all the layers.

3. Click the A-WALL-HEAD layer. The drop-down list closes. “A-WALL- HEAD” appears in the box (see Figure 6.34), telling you that the Headers layer has replaced Walls as the current layer.

F i G u R E 6 . 3 4 The A-WALL-HEAD layer is now shown as current in the Layers panel.

4. Make sure osnaps are enabled using the Object Snap button on the status bar or by pressing F3. The Endpoint, Midpoint, and Intersection object snaps (osnaps) are now active.

If they aren’t, right-click on the Object Snap button and, in the con- text menu, click on the osnaps that you want active.

5. From the Home tab ➢ Layers panel, click the Freeze tool.



If the list of layers in the layer drop- down is not sorted alphabetically, try increasing the value of the MAXSORT system variable.

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As you begin to draw the headers, other objects such as the doors and thresholds may get in the way. You’ll use the Freeze tool to graphi- cally select the layers instead of opening the Layer Properties Manager to freeze the respective layers.

6. At the Select an object on the layer to be frozen or: prompt, click one door or door swing (A-DOOR) and one threshold (A-DECK-STRS).

All the objects on the Doors and Steps layers temporarily disappear. Press Esc to end the Freeze command.

You need to draw two parallel lines across each of the three open- ings, from the endpoint of one jamb line to the corresponding end- point of the jamb on the opposite side of the opening.

7. To start the LINE command, enter L↵ or click the Line button from the Home tab ➢ Draw panel.

Move the cursor near the upper end of the left jamb for the back door until the colored snap marker appears at the upper-left endpoint of the jamb line and then click.

8. Move the cursor to the left end of the lower jamb, and click to complete the line.

9. Right-click once to open a context menu near your cursor (see Figure 6.35).

10. Choose Enter from the menu, and then right-click again to open another context menu at the cursor, as shown in Figure 6.36.

11. Choose Repeat LINE.

F i G u R E 6 . 3 5 The right-click context menu for accessing recent and common commands

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12. Move to the right endpoint of the upper jamb line for the back door and, with the same technique used in steps 6 through 10, draw the lower header line across the opening. You can see the results in the left image of Figure 6.37.

13. Keep using the same procedure to draw the rest of the header lines for the remaining three doorway openings.

The floor plan will look like the right image of Figure 6.37.

14. Save this drawing as 06A-FPLAY5.dwg.

F i G u R E 6 . 3 6 A second right-click context menu with additional commands available

F i G u R E 6 . 3 7 The header lines drawn for the back door opening (left) and for the rest of the doorway openings (right)

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Drawing the Roof You’ve seen that the Layer drop-down list is a shortcut that allows you to pick a different layer quickly as the current layer and to turn off or turn on individual layers. You’ve also learned how to use the Layer Properties Manager dialog box to create new layers or to turn off many layers at a time. You’ll learn about another tool for changing the current layer as you draw the rooflines.

Before you start to draw the rooflines, refer to Figure 6.38 and note the lines representing different parts of the roof:

Eight  eaves lines around the perimeter of the building, representing the lowest edge of the roof

One  ridgeline, representing the peak of the roof

F i G u R E 6 . 3 8 The floor plan with the rooflines

The roof for the cabin is called a double-pitched roof because the panels slope down to the eaves on only two sides. You’ll start by drawing the eaves.

Creating the Eaves

Because the roof extends beyond the exterior walls the same distance on all sides of the building, you can generate the eaves lines by offsetting the outside wall lines:

1. Make sure 06A-FPLAY5.dwg is open.

2. Open the Layer drop-down list, and select the A-ROOF layer to make it current.

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3. Start the OFFSET command from the Home tab ➢ Modify panel ➢ Offset tool, or enter O↵ from the command line.

1. At the Specify offset distance or prompt, press the down arrow and select the Layer option (see the left image of Figure 6.39).

2. The second prompt reads Enter layer option for offset objects. Press the down arrow and select the Current option, or enter C↵ to instruct AutoCAD to create offsets on the current layer (A-ROOF) as shown in the right image of Figure 6.39.

F i G u R E 6 . 3 9 Choosing the Layer option (left) and the current option (right)

4. Enter 1’6↵ (457↵) when prompted to Specify offset distance. Pick the upper-left, vertical, outside handrail polyline, and then pick a point to the left of that polyline to offset it to the outside. The L-shaped offset line is on the Roof layer.

5. Move to another side of the cabin, pick the lower-right outside hand- rail polyline, and offset it to the outside.

6. Repeat this process for the three outside wall lines that define the pop- out on the bottom of the cabin and the short horizontal outside wall line to the left of the pop-out. You have one offset element on each side of the cabin (see Figure 6.40). Press ↵ to end the OFFSET command.

7. Start the FILLET command from the Home tab ➢ Modify panel ➢ Offset tool.

Verify that the fillet radius is set to zero by entering R↵, and then 0↵ (or use the Shift key to override the radius value).

8. Starting with the horizontal portion of the upper-left L-shaped polyline, click two of these newly offset lines that are on adjacent sides of the building. Work around the building in a clockwise manner, being sure to click the half of the line nearest the corner where the two selected lines will meet (see the top of Figure 6.41). The lines extend to meet each other and form a corner (see the bottom of Figure 6.41). The FILLET command ends.

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F i G u R E 6 . 4 0 One outside wall line is offset to each side of the building.

9. Press ↵ to restart the FILLET command, and then enter M↵ to select the Multiple option.

Pick the remaining pairs of adjacent lines that will meet at the corners. When you try to fillet the final section, you’ll get a warning at the command prompt that reads Lines belonging to polylines must be consecutive or separated by one segment and the command prompt returns to Select first object or:.

Although it looks as though the polyline has a single gap between two adjacent segments, in actuality the gap is between the first (ver- tical) segment and the eighth (horizontal) segment. You can’t use the PEDIT command’s Close option yet because it would add an addi- tional, diagonal segment from the polylines’ existing endpoints. You could explode the pline into individual lines, execute the fillet, and then use PEDIT to join them, but in this case you’ll use the polylines’ grips to close the gap.

start Ing oBjeCt snaps By now, you know that you can activate a nonrunning osnap using the Ctrl+right-click menu or the Object Snap toolbar, or by typing the shortcut keys. From now on, I’ll simply instruct you to activate a specific object snap and you can use the method you prefer.

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Pick these lines for the first fillet

F i G u R E 6 . 4 1 Picking lines to fillet one of the eaves’ corners (top) and the result (bottom)

10. Press the Esc key to terminate the FILLET command. Click the polyline to select it and display its grips.

You can temporarily turn off the Quick Properties panel by clicking the X in the upper-right corner, or you can turn it off completely by clicking the Object Properties button in the status bar.

11. Click the grip at the open left endpoint of the horizontal segment (see the top of Figure 6.42).

The grip turns red to signify that it is hot (active) and can be manipulated.

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12. Start the Perpendicular osnap, place the cursor over the open, vertical segment, and then click when the marker appears.

The horizontal line is extended to the location perpendicular to the vertical line.

13. Select the grip at the open end of the vertical segment to make it hot; then click the open end of the horizontal line to move the first end- point there (see the bottom of Figure 6.42).

The Perpendicular osnap marker

Place the cursor over this vertical line.

Pick this grip.

F i G u R E 6 . 4 2 Using the grip to move the horizontal endpoint (above) and the vertical endpoint (next page)

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Click this grip to extend the vertical line.

Select this grip first.

14. Finally, with the polyline still selected, start the PEDIT command, choose the Close option, and press ↵ to end the command.

Visually, there is no difference in the perimeter of the roof, but AutoCAD no longer sees an open polyline. Closed polylines are almost always preferable in case you need to extrude a 2D object into a 3D object, and using closed polylines is generally a cleaner drafting prac- tice. Your completed roof perimeter should look like Figure 6.43.

15. Save this drawing as 06A-FPLAY6.dwg.

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F i G u R E 6 . 4 3 The completed eaves lines after filleting

Setting a Linetype Scale Factor Currently it’s hard to see that the lines drawn on the A-ROOF layer are indeed dashed as specified in the Layer Properties Manager. Unless you zoom into a line on the A-ROOF layer, the lines look continuous like the objects on the other lay- ers in your drawing. This is because the dashes inside the DASHED linetype are set up to be ½″ (13mm) long with ¼″ (6mm) spaces. Using the linetype scale, or LTSCALE as many call it, you will tell AutoCAD how to scale your linetypes.

Interestingly enough, a drawing’s linetype scale is actually controlled by three separate LTSCALE variables: LTSCALE (Linetype Scale), PSLTSCALE (Paper Space Linetype Scale), and MSLTSCALE (Model Space Linetype Scale). With three variables to choose from, it’s probably easy to see how one of the most debated topics among AutoCAD users is what setting should be used for these variables. I’ll show you two of the more popular ways people choose to set these variables. The first is more of a manual approach, and the second is what I like to call LTSCALE Auto Pilot.

In comparison to the LTSCALE variable itself, both PSLTSCALE and MSLTSCALE are relative newcomers. Consequently many users still prefer to calculate their LTSCALE value manually. A common architectural scale is 1/2″ = 1′-0″. To make the dashes plot (print) ½″ long (as desired) divide 12″ (1 foot) into ½″ (12″ ÷ ½″ = 24).

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If you set LTSCALE to 24, PSLTSCALE to 0, and MSLTSCALE to 0, the dashes for the DSAHED linetype assigned to the A-ROOF layer will plot ½″ long. A big drawback to this method is that your dashes will be only ½″ long if you plot your drawing at a scale of 1/2″ = 1′-0″. Plotting your drawing at a scale of 1/4″ = 1′-0″ would translate to the dashes in your drawing plotting ¼″ long.

If you’re confused by this method of calculating and setting the various LTSCALE variables; you’re not alone. The method I’m going to show you next is both a little easier and more modern than the first way I showed you. The following steps will demonstrate how to put LTSCALE on Auto Pilot:

N O T E the Imperial to Metric conversion is approximated.

1. Make sure 06A-FPLAY6.dwg is open.

2. Enter LTSCALE↵ or LTS↵.The prompt in the command window says Enter new linetype

scale factor <1.0000>:.

3. Enter 1↵ to set the linetype scale factor to 1. Nothing changes quite yet, as the default value for LTSCALE is 1.

4. Enter PSLTSCALE↵. When prompted to Enter new value for PSLTSCALE:, enter 1↵.

5. Enter MSLTSCALE↵. When prompted to Enter new value for MSLTSCALE:, enter 1↵.

6. Change the Annotation Scale of your drawing by clicking the Scale drop-down on the status bar.

7. Select 1/2″ = 1′-0″ from the list of scales, as shown in Figure 6.44. If you aren’t satisfied with the dash size, as illustrated in Figure 6.45,

change the Annotation Scale as you did in steps 6 and 7 above. An advantage to this method is you can preview any scale (by changing the Annotation Scale) without affecting any drawing sheets in your project. Layout viewports have an Annotation Scale much like the Annotation Scale property you just changed for model space. With LTSCALE, PSLTSCALE, and MSLTSCALE each set to 1, AutoCAD will auto- matically calculate the correct linetype scale based on the properties of each individual view.

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F i G u R E 6 . 4 4 The Annotation Scale list

F i G u R E 6 . 4 5 The eaves lines on the Roof layer with visible dashes

Drawing the Ridgeline To finish the roof, you’ll draw a single line to represent the peak of the roof that extends from the front of the cabin to the back. Because of the pop-out, the roof is not symmetrical, so the ridgeline will be centered on the two longest vertical sections.

Look at the Linetype drop-down list on the Properties panel (see Figure 6.46). A dashed line with the name ByLayer appears there. ByLayer tells you that the

O

If your linetypes do not dash after you’ve changed the annotation Scale, enter REA↵ at the command line to perform a REGENALL.

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current linetype will be whatever linetype has been assigned to the current layer. In the case of the A-ROOF layer, the assigned linetype is Dashed. You’ll read more about ByLayer later in this chapter.

F i G u R E 6 . 4 6 The Linetype drop-down list

1. Continue using 06A-FPLAY6.dwg, or open it if it’s not already.

2. Start the LINE command and activate the Midpoint object snap.

3. Start the line from the midpoint of the right vertical roofline. Start the Perpendicular osnap, and then click on the vertical roofline on the opposite side of the cabin.

4. Terminate the LINE command. Your cabin should look like Figure 6.47.

F i G u R E 6 . 4 7 The completed roof

using the Layer Walk tool Before saving this drawing, use the Make Object’s Layer Current button (Home tab ➢ Layers palette) to make the A-DOOR layer current. You will use the Layer Walk tool to verify the contents of each layer by isolating them one at a time:

1. Make sure 06A-FPLAY6.dwg is open.

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2. Expand the Layers panel, and click the Pin button in the lower-right corner.

This causes the panel to stay open after the cursor moves off it, instead of autocollapsing.

3. Verify that all layers are in a Thaw state by using the Thaw All Layers tool found on the Home tab ➢ Layers panel.

4. Click the Make Object’s Layer Current button in the top row of but- tons in the Layers panel. You’ll get the Select object whose layer will become current: prompt.

5. Pick one of the door or swing lines. The A-DOOR layer replaces A-ROOF in the Layer drop-down list,

telling you the A-DOOR layer is now the current layer.

T I P the Make Object’s Layer Current button works two ways. You can click the button and then select the object whose layer will become current, or you can select an object that’s on the target layer and then click the but- ton. If you select multiple objects using the latter method, they must all reside on the current layer or the tool will prompt you to select an object.

6. Click the LayerWalk button in the extended Layers panel to open the LayerWalk dialog box, shown in Figure 6.48.

F i G u R E 6 . 4 8 The LayerWalk dialog box

7. Select a layer other than layer 0, and the drawing area shows only the objects on that layer. Use the up and down arrows to “walk” through the drawing’s layers, verifying that the objects reside on the correct layers. Figure 6.49 shows the cabin drawing with the A-FLOR-FIXT layer selected (top).

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8. If you double-click a layer name, that layer stays displayed even when it isn’t highlighted and an asterisk appears next to the layer name. Figure 6.49 (bottom) shows the cabin drawing with the A-ROOF layer selected and the A-WALL layer locked on.

9. Close the LayerWalk dialog box.

10. Click the Unpin button to unpin the expanded Layers panel.

11. Save this drawing as 06A-FPLAY7.dwg.

F i G u R E 6 . 4 9 Displaying the contents of the A-FLOR-FIXT layer (top) and the A-WALL layer (bottom)

By drawing the rooflines, you have completed most of the exercises for this chapter. The cabin floor plan is almost complete. In the next chapter, you’ll

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complete the floor plan by placing windows in the external walls using a group- ing tool called a block. The rest of this chapter contains a short discussion about color, linetypes, and lineweights and how they work with layers and objects. We’ll also look at the Action Recorder feature to record and play back repetitive tasks.

Setting Properties of Layers and objects This section covers a few concepts you should consider when assigning proper- ties to layers and objects.

Selecting Colors for Layers and objects First, you must decide whether you prefer a light or dark background color for the drawing area. This is generally a personal preference, but the lighting in your work area can be a contributing factor. Bright work areas usually make it difficult to read monitors easily, and with a dark background color on your screen in a brightly lit room, you’ll often get distracting reflections on the screen. Eyestrain can result. Darkening your work area will usually minimize these effects. If that’s not possible, you might have to live with a lighter background.

Next, look at the colors in your drawing. If the background of your drawing area is white, notice which colors are the easiest to read. For most monitors, yel- low, light gray, and cyan are somewhat faded, while blue, green, red, and magenta are read easily. If your drawing area background is black, the blue is sometimes too dark to read easily, but the rest of the colors that you have used so far usually read well. This is one reason that most users prefer the black or at least a dark background color.

Assigning a Color or a Linetype to an object instead of a Layer You can also assign properties of layers, such as color, linetype, and lineweight, to objects. For example, think about the A-ROOF layer. It’s assigned the Dashed linetype. A line on the A-ROOF layer can be assigned the Continuous linetype, even though all other lines on the Roof layer are dashed. The same is true for color and lineweight. Occasionally, this makes sense, especially for linetypes, but that is the exception rather than the rule. To make such a change, select the line, open the Properties palette, and change the linetype from ByLayer to the linetype of your choice. You can also use the Properties toolbar to make quick changes to an object’s appearance.

C h a p t e r 6 • U s i n g L a y e r s t o O r g a n i z e Yo u r D r a w i n g2 9 6

T I P It’s a generally accepted best practice that an object’s color, line- type, lineweight, and transparency should all be By Layer. however, it’s not uncommon to receive a drawing with lots of object overrides (usually from a third-party, and usually irrelevant to anyone else). Use the SETBYLAYER command to clean this up quickly.

In this chapter, you have seen how to assign colors and linetypes to layers in order to control the way objects on those layers appear. That is the rule to fol- low. When objects are assigned properties that vary from those of their layer, the result can be confusing to someone working with your drawing file, because the objects don’t appear to be on their assigned layer. If the object’s properties match those of another layer, you can mistakenly think the object is on that layer.

Making a Color or a Linetype Current If you look at the Properties panel for a moment, you’ll see more such lists to the right of the Layer drop-down list. The first three are the Color, Linetype, and Lineweight controls. You use these tools to set a color, linetype, or lineweight to be current. When this is done, each object subsequently created will be assigned the cur- rent linetype, lineweight, and/or color, regardless of which linetype, lineweight, and color have been assigned to the current layer. If, for example, the A-DOOR layer is set as the current layer and the Dashed linetype and green color are assigned as current, any lines drawn are dashed and green but still on the A-DOOR layer. This isn’t a good way to set up the system of layers, linetypes, and colors because of the obvious confu- sion it will create in your drawing, but beginners often accidentally do this.

The best way to maintain maximum control of your drawing is to keep the cur- rent linetype, lineweight, and color set to ByLayer, as they are by default. When you do this, colors and linetypes are controlled by the layers, and an object takes on the color and linetype of the layer it is on. If this configuration is accidentally disturbed and objects are created with the wrong color or linetype, you can cor- rect the situation without too much trouble. First, reset the current color, line- weight, and linetype to ByLayer by using the drop-down lists on the Properties panel. Next, select all problem objects; then use the Properties palette or Quick Properties panel to change the linetype, lineweight, or color to ByLayer. They will take on the color, lineweight, and linetype of the layer to which they have been assigned, and you can quickly tell whether they are on their proper layers.

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using the Action Recorder One of the most useful tools in AutoCAD 2011 is the Action Recorder. With this feature, you can perform repetitive tasks and save the steps to a

file, called a macro, which can be played back any time you need to repeat those steps in any drawing. For example, if you need to draw several countersunk holes in a plate at a specified distance, you can prompt the user for a start point, angle, diameter, and spacing, and then let AutoCAD do the work. The Action Recorder creates the macros for you without the need for you to learn macro program- ming. For this example, you will add two new layers to your drawing and then make one of them the current layer. The practice of adding your standards to somebody else’s (a client, contractor, and so on) drawing is common. Follow these steps to create the action:

1. Click the Manage tab from the Ribbon to display a series of panels that contain tools for managing a drawing’s interface and standards.

2. Click the Record button (Manage tab ➢ Action Recorder panel). The Record button changes to a Stop button, and the panel pins itself open, as shown in Figure 6.50. A large red dot appears at the cursor to remind you that the actions are being recorded.

F i G u R E 6 . 5 0 The Action Recorder panel as it appears when the actions are being recorded

3. You’ll use the command line to start the LAYER command. The - prefix starts the command without opening the Layer Properties Manager dialog box. Enter -LAYER↵.

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