---Lesson 4--- 

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  • Layer Conventions

In many ways, designing with a computer is similar to using overlay drafting techniques. When you use CADVANCE a drawing can be composed of up to 255 LAYERS. These layers act just like an overlay sheet would in a pin-bar overlay drafting system. In the same way that you create specialized drawings by using various overlay sheets (lighting, plumbing, etc.), in CADVANCE you create various drawings by Alternately displaying, and/or not displaying, the individual electronic layers that you want to plot. The Layer information in CADVANCE is located below the VIEW/LAYERS command of the Main Menu bar.

Utilizing a good layer strategy gives you the ability to combine architectural floor plans with ceiling, plumbing, HVAC, lighting, furniture and security plans (to name a few), and you can do it all in one design. By combining all of this information in one database, any changes which would normally require revisions to all of those drawings, can now be accomplished by editing just one. Also, by turning specific layers on and off, you can plot only those necessary for a particular layout.

VIEW/LAYERS/SETUP (Alt VLU)- This is the area in which we define our specific layers. Remember that a layer name can only have a total of 16 characters in it, and we recommend that you only use one color per layer to assist you in more logical color plotting routines.

Although CAD systems are becoming widespread tools for design work, very few include standardized conventions for layer naming. Utilizing a good layer strategy at your company is essential to top-notch design. As this can be a very time consuming plan to organize, we recommend that you utilize the AIA Layering Standards at all times. This is not only a good standard, it also assists you in uniform layer naming conventions when dealing with other companies with whom you may share drawings.

The aim of the AIA Layer Standards is to conform layering strategies throughout the CAD design world, so that file exchange becomes increasingly less painful between firms and their consultants. For those who do not wish to spend the time developing their own strategy, products such as A/E Tools are available (please ask your trainer for information on this product).

VIEW/LAYERS/ACTIVE (Alt VLT)- By selecting ACTIVE, you will turn all layers off EXCEPT the active layer displayed on the status line.

VIEW/LAYERS/ALL (Alt VLA)- Selecting ALL will turn all layers currently off, back on.

VIEW/LAYERS/ON & OFF (Alt VLO or Alt VLF)- The ON and OFF commands will turn single specified layers on or off automatically. Know that when you turn a layer ON, the screen will redraw and show
you the layer requested, but you must VIEW/REDRAW (F5) the screen if you turn layers OFF to see them refreshed.

VIEW/VERTEX (Alt VV) - This command highlights all the vertices, nodes and symbol basepoints that are on the objects visible. Remember, depending on the color of the objects, vertices may be hard to see.

VIEW/STORE or RECALL (Alt VLT or Alt VLC) -You can use the SAVE command to save certain layer configurations by name, and RESTORE them for later use automatically. As an example, you could save the PLUMBING.LYR setup to include the interior/exterior wall layers along with the layers used for plumbing pipe and fixtures. All of these layers would be turned on. Conversely, the layers used for HVAC, electrical, lighting and furniture would be turned off in this setup.

Please refer to the CADVANCE Quick Reference Guide for more information on the VIEW. SYMBOL, VIEW/TEXT EXTENTS and VIEW/ REFERENCE commands.


  • Editing Techniques

The manipulation commands in CADVANCE are considered to be one of its most powerful tools. These will be used on a regular basis to edit existing drawings and make those constant design changes and updates a much simpler task for you, the designer. The following information is reference material for the exercises that we will do today with the EDITING.VWF file you received.

EDIT/UNDO (Ctrl Z) - This is the command that will undo everything you've done back to the beginning of the session or the last FILE/SAVE or FILE/PACK. If you make an error, this command is terrific. Remember, to hold down the Ctrl key and carefully toggle the Z to back up one event at a time. There is no Undo an Undo...

EDIT/ REPEAT LAST (F6) - This command repeats the last command selected and comes in very handy when doing things like DRAW/TEXT which you may want to repeat.

EDIT/ CUT, COPY and PASTE - These commands utilize the Windows Clipboard and allow you to insert data from other files and programs into the current drawing file. This is a very powerful tool you will use often, and it takes the Paper Scale into account when you insert other CADVANCE objects such as details.

EDIT/MOVE (F2) - The Move command does exactly that... it moves an object, or multiple objects from one point to another. When moving, be sure to utilize the snap commands for consistent accuracy on pick-up and placement.


ARRAY (Alt EDA) - This is the command used to make multiple copies of an object at specific X and Y intervals in a rectangular array. This command is ideal for the creation of such things as theater seating, or any regularly placed group of objects. The system will prompt you for the number of placements in a given direction, and also for the distance between them. Remember that the object you select for the array is included in the count . Also, its' length and width must be considered as part of the total distance between objects in the array. Keeping the X and Y coordinate world in mind, you will have a positive or negative input for the distance factor.

SINGLE (Shift F2) - Used to copy a single object to a new location. Please notice that when you select the object you want to copy, the system will only give you a partial outline of it for visual reference. Due to this fact, you must be precise about your selection point by using one of the snap commands to select the `From point...' of the object, as well as the `To point...'.

CIRCULAR (Alt EDC) - This command will copy an object or objects around a center point in a circular array at a specified angle. This command is ideal for planview landscape creation, in that you need only actually draw a small portion of a plant and the system can generate the remainder of it for you with ease and accuracy. If you choose to copy an object in a circular array and not rotate it, remember that you must anchor the object to the center and a specified hinge point. Consider the example of a string that is attached to the object and rotated about a center point.

MIRROR (Alt EDM) - This command will copy a mirrored image of an object across a specified line. Be sure to draw your line at a very specific distance (use the Ctrl F2 keys to offset the mirror line), and be sure to draw it on a specific Line Angle Snap (S) so that it is straight. Please note that text will not reverse in CADVANCE, but it will retain its original point of orientation and justification.

EDIT/DELETE (Delete) - Removes selected objects from the drawing.

EDIT/ROTATE (Alt ER) - Rotates selected objects about a center point.. Remember to Snap to a specific point for the center of rotation, and then specify the angle.

EDIT/SCALE (Alt ES) - Used to rescale selected objects from a specified point. You have the ability to separately control both X and Y factors.

EDIT/TRIM (Alt EI) - The TRIM command can be used to trim lines, arcs, and circles against a line of any angle. Be sure to snap when selecting the points for the trim line to ensure that it's perfectly straight.

EDIT/PROPERTIES (Alt EO) - This allows you to change the color, layer assignment, linestyle or line weight of the selected objects. You will use it often.

EDIT/TEXT (Alt ET) - Allows you to edit either text format (spacing, text height, etc) or the words themselves.

EDIT/ALTER - You need not highlight objects prior to selecting this command. It will prompt you to select.

ADD VERTEX - Pulls a new vertex out of an existing line. Just select and stretch out a new vertex point.

MOVE VERTEX - Used a great deal during the editing process. Remember that if you select the object using POINT, it will be picked up by the nearest Vertex point to the cursor. If, on the other hand, you select by using a window, the system will select everything in the window back to its nearest Vertex points. When moving objects in a window, we recommend the you utilize the arrow keys to STEP (F7) to the new location, and place the object with the spacebar (same as button #1 on the mouse). This will ensure complete accuracy,

DELETE VERTEX - Removes a specific vertex from a drawing entity. This would apply if you wanted to
make a perfect triangle from an existing rectangle or if you wanted to straighten a curved line somewhat. (ALT VV first).

BREAK - You can break a variety of object in different ways. The most obvious use would be to break
an existing line from one point to another. You can also make an invisible break by selecting both break points as the same location. Circles and arcs are a bit more tricky. Remember to always select the second break point in a counter-clockwise direction.

FIX - Utilized for fast fixes on parallel lines (2 LINES). A great command for fixing walls! Remember that you can only window one intersection at a time, and that window may contain no more than 4 line segments ( the only exception to this rule is the OPEN Y command that will accept 6 segments).

OPEN SEGMENT - For opening a single or parallel line segment and inserting a symbol that has a defined basepoint and node. Doors, windows and electrical switches would all be good examples of symbols that would utilize this command. Be sure to confirm your settings are correct on the Status line prior to placement.

CLOSE SEGMENT - Closes a line and remove a symbol you placed with the OPEN command. It's an
open & closed case .

DELETE SEGMENT - Allows you delete a segment (vertex to vertex) of a continuous line.

EXTEND SEGMENT - Allows you to extend and/or trim a line to another.


  • Utilities

The Utilities in CADVANCE allow you to run macros, do Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) with programs like Excel, add Attribute databases to your files, Extrude objects to 3D, do batch DXF file translations and pull up third party add-on applications. Most of these topics are covered in our Advanced CADVANCE class,

The QUERY command is, however, used often in the design process to confirm an objects identity. This is a very useful tool that can assist you in recalling information about symbols, layers, line lengths, arc radius, text height, and much more. You can also check a specified distance, area or square footage. Remember to always snap to a point of reference for accuracy.

End of Lesson 4 - Next Lesson >>>

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