How to use layers efficiently in ARCHLine.XP?

In ARCHLine.XP 2019, improvements on the Layer tools help you get your jobs done faster.

Working on your projects mean cramming in more and more pieces of information, which are all stored on layers, until you get to a point where it takes a bit longer to find the right layer you need. Layer Filters and Variations are great tools for a quick and better layer management. Using these, you will be able to manage layers more quickly.

  1. Layer properties manager
    You can start the Layer Properties Manager Dialog from the Ribbon Menu or the Status Bar. It is important to understand that all projects are made up of layers, even if we do nothing during the design process to organize the content on the layers according to our own logic. When you start a new project, the program instantly loads default layers. The architectural and drawing items that we create are automatically placed on a layer defined in the styles, such as the walls on the “Wall”, the slabs on the “Slab”, and the columns on the “Column”.
  2. Moving items to another layer
    You may want to group some walls differently or rearrange the objects of a room to other layers. In this case, select items you want to transfer to another layer and choose the target layer from the drop-down list in the Layers list in the Properties panel. The item(s) will be moved to the target layer. If you do not find the appropriate layer in the drop-down list, use the Add Layer option at the bottom to open the Layer Management Dialog to add a new one.
  3. Add new layers
    Use the buttons in the upper left corner of the Layer Manager dialog to add new, delete, or activate a layer. You can add a new layer only if the All Filters in the Layer Filters list is active. After pressing the Add button, a layer named Layer 1 is created, and with double-click you can rename it. Type the name of a new group filter. The active layer is marked with a green tick.
  4. Delete layer
    By default you cannot delete a layer that has items on it. To delete this layer, you must first delete all of its items. Unused layers display zero (0) items in the dialog.
    You can control the order of layers by clicking on the column header to sort the items in ascending or descending order. Unused layers display zero (0) items and can be deleted by simple selection, and then click the delete button in the top left corner of the dialog.
    It is not allowed to delete the active layer. To delete this layer, make another layer active and then delete the layer.
  5. Delete all items on a layer and purge the layer
    The new toggle button in the bottom left corner of the Layer Properties Manager Dialog allows to delete layers that contain items.
    ATTENTION: You cannot undo deleting a layer which has items on it. The deleted layer can only be restored with its items gone. So, before removing a layer containing items, make sure that you don't really need them.

  6. Restore deleted layers
    After the first deletion, a new entry named Deleted Layers is automatically displayed in the Layer Filters. Click on this to see the removed layers highlighted with a red background colour. It is possible to restore these using the restore button in the top left corner, but it is important to know that restoring the deleted layer will only put the name of the layer back in the layer list as an empty layer. Select the required layer, and then click Restore Deleted Layer in the upper left corner of the dialog to complete the restore.
    ATTENTION, the deleted layer can only be restored with no items on it!
  7. Lock / Unlock layer(s)
    You can lock or unlock a layer in the layer Manager. You can turn visibility on / off by clicking the light bulb icon in the next column to the layer name. The padlock icon is displayed so it is easy to see which layers are locked.
    To change multiple layers together, use the Shift or Ctrl keys to select more layers. All layers can be selected in one step by pressing CTRL-A.
    You can lock / unlock in the next column the editable feature of a layer. Items belonging to layers with locked editable feature remain visible on the floor plan, but not possible to select them or modify their properties. We can also adjust the printability of the Layer in the next column.
  8. Layer filters
    A larger project may require to group (filter) layers by different aspects. You will be able to manage your layers more quickly using Layer filters.
    Filters can be created manually, by grouping the layers you want, or ARCHLine.XP creates filters automatically, according to specific layer properties as Used Layers, Show visible layers only, or All layers.
    Click the blue plus button to create a new filter group, and then double-click the New Group name to rename it. Then, select the layers to be placed in the group in the list on the left and drag and drop them to the name of the new Layer filter. For example, you can create a list within the Layer Manager that contains all of our wall layers and click a shorter list to find the layer you want.
    When importing DWG files, the layers of the imported file are automatically placed in a separate filter group to increase transparency.
    A layer can be included in multiple filter groups and can be removed at any time. This is done via the red X icon with a frame around in the top left corner of the Filters list. In this case, the selected layer is removed from the filter group, but this is not the same as deleting the layer.
    The layer removed from the filter group can still be found in the Used Layers or All Layer groups and other filter groups. Use the Delete button in the upper right corner of the Filters group to delete a full filter group. In this case, the layers in the project are not deleted, only the filter group ceases.
  9. Display visible layers only
    It may often be necessary to reduce displaying layers that are currently visible. You will be able to do so with a filter called Show Visible Layers Only. You find the checkbox in the upper right corner of the dialog.
  10. Display used layers
    When you select the Used Layers Filter, all the layers in the drawing that contain items are displayed.
  11. Delete layers created during DWG import
    You may want to delete all the layers in the filter group, along with the content on them. This can occur mainly in cases where items that are scanned during DWG import are no longer needed and you want to clean the project. You can do this as follows: activate the filter group created by the DWG import. In the lower-left corner of the dialog, select the Delete all items on a layer and the layer option. This allows to delete non-empty layers, so items received with DWG import will be deleted from the project. Then, click on the layer list and press CTRL + A to select all the layers. Finally, click the Delete layer button to delete them from the project.
    ATTENTION! This operation cannot undo.
  12. Layer variations
    The purpose of Layer Variations is to quickly toggle between the visibility of many layers.
    This may include turning on / off the layers containing scans, imported drawings, fixtures, mechanical equipment, or building parts at the same time. Layer Variations are used to facilitate this process.
    Layer variations can be selected and activated with one click on the Status Bar.
    Once you have set which layers you want to turn on / off, you can save the current layer settings as a new variation by clicking the blue plus button. Double-clicking on the new group name you can rename the variation.
    If you want to create another variation, click the blue plus again (this will copy the current variation), add a new name, and then set what you want to change compared to the previous variation, and save the changes pressing the update button.
    If you want to change an existing variation, the procedure is the same. Set what we want to change compared to the current variation and overwrite the changes pressing the update button.

Our article has been a quick recap of the layer management and project organisation. If you want to know more, feel free to browse our online tutorial videos.