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Tech Support Blog: Controlling Layers for Specific Annotations

Thursday June 9, 2016 at 2:50pm

Many SOLIDWORKS users still maintain layers in 2D drawings and there are a number of settings to allow you to control which type of annotations can take on layer properties such as line colour and font styles. Much of this can be setup at a template level, but following a support call this week, there is one key thing to bare in mind if you want this to work successfully.

So firstly you have to create your layers- this can only be done via the "Line Format" or "Layer" toolbars, so ensure you activate these first- right clicking the command manager area at the top of the screen allows you to bring them through.



Once added they look like this and the highlighted icon accesses the Layer Control interface

Layer Toolbar

Layer Control

So I have added a new layer (in red) to house DIMENSIONS, but now need to configure my document preferences to automatically default dimensions to this layer- I don't want to have to manually switch layers each time.

This is where we access the Document Properties (Tools > Options) and can drill down on different annotation types and preset a default layer.

Document Properties

Now when it comes to the drawing, you would expect that the type of Annotation will automatically know to sit on the DIMENSIONS layer and therefore be red in colour. However there is one more thing you must check. You now need to the set the drawing sheet to abide by those preferences in general. To do this click the paper background and use the Layer pull down menu to select "Per Standard"- this literally means use those document preferences.

Set Per Standard layer

Now when a dimension is added through Smart Dimension or Model Items it knows to assign it to the DIMENSIONS layer and turn it red.

Dimension Colour

Now to retain this information for future drawings, you need to save these settings as a Drawing Template- ensure you delete any drawing views and then use File > Save As and change the file type to "Drawing Template" (*.drwdot) and then if this is used for the creation of subsequent drawings, those layers and preferences will carry through.

By Adam Hartles
Senior Applications Engineer


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