AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

Use layers from existing drawings so you don’t have to recreate them

It’s always wiser to reuse work you’ve done than to recreate it from scratch. You spend spend time creating layers and you shouldn’t have to do it again.

Use the DesignCenter to access layers

An easy way to get layers from another drawing is to use the DesignCenter. Follow these steps:autocad-use-layers-from-existing-drawings-1

  1. Press Ctrl+2 to open the DesignCenter.
  2. In the Folder List pane, navigate to a file that contains the layers you want and double-click it to expand its components.
  3. Click Layers to display the layers in the right-hand pane.
  4. Drag the layer you want onto the drawing area.


You can now see that layer in the Layer list on the Home tab.


Content Explorer

You can also use the Content Explorer to access layers from other drawings. I explain how to use the Content Explorer here. The process is the same; you navigate to a drawing in a “watched folder” and drag the layer onto the drawing area.

Save a template

Once you know the layers you need, you should save them in a template. Follow these steps:

  1. autocad-use-layers-from-existing-drawings-4Delete any objects in the drawing; you want only the settings, such as units, layers, etc.
  2. Choose Application button> Save As.
  3. From the File of Type drop-down list, choose AutoCAD Drawing Template (*.dwt). The Save In folder (at the top of the dialog box) automatically changes to your Templates folder.
  4. In the File Name text box, type a name for your template.
  5. In the Template Options dialog box that opens, type a description if you want. You can also choose if new layers come in as unreconciled (warning you of new layers) or not.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Close the template that you saved.
  8. To use the template, choose Application button> New to open the Select Template dialog box. Your new template will be there.
  9. Choose it and click Open. Your new drawing now has all the layers that you saved in the template.


Ellen Finkelstein

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