Layers

TPC uses layers to store drawing objects. Layers can be turned off, frozen, locked, ignored, and so on. You can set the color, line type and line width of objects to BYLAYER so that these properties are controlled by the layer the object is on rather than the object itself. TPC'S layers are similar to the layers used in CAD programs.

What Are Layers?

You can think of layers as transparent overlays within the drawing with each layer holding similar objects. The drawing's scale, zoom and coordinate system apply to all layers, so a point on one layer lines up perfectly with the same point on another layer.

Layers are used to group similar objects. Each drawing has a point symbols, layer for instance, to hold the point symbol objects. There is a line layer for lines, a point label layer for point labels and so on. You might want to create a notes layer for survey notes you want to put on the drawing or a streets layer for street names.

The Current Layer

When you add an object to a drawing (i.e. insert a north arrow or draw a line) Drawing View adds the object to the drawing's current layer. Only one layer at a time can be the current layer. To put the object on a different layer, you can draw or insert the object then change it's layer or change the current layer to the layer you want, then draw or insert the object.

The current layer is displayed in the layers toolbar. To turn this tool bar on, choose View | Customize View | Toolbars | Layers.

The Default Layer

Each drawing has a default layer. For compatibility with CAD programs, the default layer's name is ‘0' (zero). If TPC is unable to resolve a layer reference for an object, it places that object on the default layer.

When you start a new drawing, the default layer is also the current layer. It is possible to do an entire drawing using just the default layer. For drawings like mortgage inspections and simple boundary surveys, this would be quite reasonable.

Predefined Layers

TPC uses predefined layers to hold the objects that Drawing View draws. You will see an asterisk ( * ) next to these layer names in the Layers dialog, indicating they are predefined layers. Predefined layers work just like user layers except that you can not delete them and objects placed on a predefined layer can not be moved to another layer.

TPC creates the following layers for all drawings:

0 - this is the default layer and is used by most CAD programs.
Background - place your background pictures on this layer and move it to the back of the drawing so that the survey objects appear on top of the background images.
Leaders - put any user drawn leaders on this layer.

Survey Layers

TPC stores drawing objects it creates from survey data on Survey Layers. These layers names start with ‘TPC' as in ‘TPCLines'. The layer name indicates which objects are stored on each predefined layer.

Drawing Templates

Drawing templates store any additional layers you create. If you have layers you create and use often, you might want to add them to a drawing template.

Traverses vs. Layers

TPC uses traverses to accomplish what CAD programs must rely on layers to do – organize the drawing data.

The concept of traverses is unique to TPC. As you build a survey in TPC, you create traverses. The traverses create an inherent ‘structure' for your survey that can be used to create your survey drawings. To include a traverse in the current drawing, just tag it. The Drawing View then draws the traverses using drawing settings or individual traverse drawing settings. What Drawing View is actually doing is creating the drawing objects for you and placing them on their predefined layers.

If you choose to, you could complete all your survey drawings without ever using layers directly. Just make the changes you want to the objects that Drawing View created, add your own text and plot the drawing – it's that simple.

Clipping by Layer

In the layers dialog, you can clip or un-clip individual layers to the drawing's clip object.

Controlling Object Properties by Layer

Each object's color, line type and line width can be controlled by the layer it is on. The Line dialog shown here indicates ‘By Layer' for these properties of the line. The Drawing or Traverse Drawing Settings control these properties unless they are set to ‘By Layer' in the Drawing Settings, Traverse Drawing Settings (depending on whether Use Traverse Drawing Settings is turned on) or item properties.

The ‘By Layer' option is available in the Color, Line and Line Width lists of most object's Properties dialog. It is also available from the Control Point and Side Shot settings dialogs.

Changing an Objects Layer

You can change the layer an object is on by changing the layer in the Properties dialog.

Layer Names

Managing Layers

You manage layers using the Layers Dialog. Use this dialog to turn layers on/off, freeze layers, lock layers and more. The layer tools in this dialog are similar to layer tools found in many CAD programs.

Related Topics

Managing Layers
Drawings
Drawing View

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