Creating layers

When a new drawing is created, it automatically contains an empty design layer entitled “Design Layer-1.” Add design layers to the drawing to organize it. Add sheet layers as needed for presentation. Create new design layers and sheet layers, or import them (and optionally, the objects they contain) from other current version files or from standard files. In Vectorworks Design Suite products, create a design layer viewport to reference design layers in other files without importing them.

To create a new layer:

For convenience, a new layer can be created from multiple locations in the software.

New button on the Design Layers/Sheet Layers tab of the Organization dialog box (Tools > Organization)

Layers button on the View bar to open the Organization dialog box

New Design Layer or New Sheet Layer option from the Layers drop-down list on the View bar

Layer field on the Shape tab of the Object Info palette

New context menu on the Design Layers or Sheet Layers tab of the Navigation palette (Vectorworks Design Suite required)

From the New Design Layer or New Sheet Layer dialog box, create a new layer, or import a layer and its properties from standard or existing Vectorworks files.

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.



Create a New Design Layer

or Create New Sheet Layer

Creates a new design or sheet layer.

For a design layer, also enter a descriptive Name.

For a sheet layer, enter a unique Sheet Number, or use the default (as in Sht-2). The Sheet Number can be displayed in drawing labels, section markers, and title block borders. Also enter a descriptive Sheet Title, which can be displayed in title block borders.

Import Design Layers

or Import Sheet Layer

Imports layers and their attributes from standard files or from existing files. Files located in the Standards folder, as well as existing files selected previously, are displayed in the list. Select a file; the available layers and descriptions are listed beneath the file name. If a layer name in the current file matches a layer in the import file, that layer is not on the list as an import option.

Select the desired layer. To select multiple layers from the import list, hold down the Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) key while you click.


Click Choose to select a file for layer import. Files must be in the current version.

Import Layer Objects

(design layer only)

In addition to importing the design layer structure and attributes, imports the contents of the layers; if a file has become corrupted, this is a possible way of recovering its data. If there is a naming conflict with pre-existing symbols or pre-existing layers in the current file, replace or rename the symbols or rename the layers.

Creation Options


Saved View Visibility

(design layer only)

Sets the visibility of the new design layer in saved views (when saved views exist in the drawing)

Viewport Visibility

(design layer only)

Sets the visibility of the new design layer in viewports (when viewports exist in the drawing)

Edit Properties After Creation

Immediately after creation, opens the Edit Design Layers or Edit Sheet Layers dialog box to set the properties of the new layer; see Setting design layer properties or Setting sheet layer properties

The layers display in the Layers list on the Organization dialog box, View bar, Object Info palette and (for Vectorworks Design Suite) the Navigation palette. If the layer is created from anywhere other than the Object Info palette, it becomes the active layer.

Setting design layer properties

Setting sheet layer properties

Assigning objects to classes and layers

Setting global visibility with class and design layer options

Visibility columns

The Visibility tool

Concept: Layers overview


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