Thanks for joining me on my journey through the land of BricsCAD. Today offers an exciting tour of the tools to manage layers and linetypes!

Drawing Explorer

The default method to create and manage layers in BricsCAD is via Drawing Explorer. Because, like everything else in Drawing Explorer, layers are named drawing content. You can, of course, launch Drawing Explorer from the Quad and other methods including the command line. You can also launch it with the LAYER command (LA alias). Doing so automatically displays the Layers panels in Drawing Explorer.

Layers in Drawing Explorer

One of the primary benefits of managing layers in Drawing Explorer is the ability to preview layer geometry as you manage layer properties. It is similar to the LAYWALK tool in AutoCAD®. However, unlike AutoCAD®, BricsCAD enables you to view geometry on any number of layers and then, with those layers already selected, you can change their properties. It’s very cool and eliminates the need for a separate LAYWALK command.

Layer Preview in Drawing Explorer

The toolbar and right-click menu provide access to additional tools relevant for layer management. For example, you can merge layers or open and close the Filters panel.

Layer tools in Drawing Explorer

Drawing Explorer is incredibly useful as a central location for managing all the named content in your drawings. However, it is a dialog box and cannot remain open while you use other commands.

Layers Panel

If you frequently access the Layers panel, you may want to leave it open while you work. No problem! Use the LAYERSPANELOPEN command to display only the Layers panel from the Drawing Explorer.  Move and resize it as you wish, and even move it to a second monitor. If you find old habits hard to break and prefer for the LAYER command and LA alias to open the Layers panel instead of the Drawing Explorer. It’s easy to change and I’ll show you how in a future post!

Layers Panel

Layer States

Layer states are named content stored in a drawing. How do you think you access them in BricsCAD? If you answered, “Drawing Explorer”, you’re correct! You can, of course, open Drawing Explorer via typical methods. Or you can launch it with the LAYERSTATE command (LAS alias) to open it with the Layer States panels already displayed. It includes one panel to access layer states and another panel to modify properties for the selected state.

Layer States in Drawing Explorer


The LINETYPE command (LT alias) in BricsCAD opens the Drawing Explorer with the Linetypes panel displayed. This is where you can load new linetypes or delete existing ones. It’s like the Linetype Manager in AutoCAD®. However, in BricsCAD you won’t find controls for linetype scaling (LTSCALE and CELTSCALE) in the Drawing Explorer because those aren’t named content.

Linetypes in Drawing Explorer

Instead, you can specify Linetype scales in the Settings dialog box or at the Command line like any other system variable.

settings in BricsCAD

What’s Next?

I hope you enjoyed our tour of Layer and Linetype tools. Come back next time as we explore the most common methods for editing entities.

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A quick overview of Heidi’s Journey

Here is an overview of all the articles of Heidi’s journey:

1) First impressions
2) Download and install
3) Welcome to BricsCAD
4) Exploring the interface
5) Command access
6) Exploring trial levels
7) Exploring each workspace
8) Drawing Entities
9) Settings for Drawing Entities
10) Drawing with Styles
11) License options
12) Working with blocks
13) Working with references
14) Working with Layers and Linetypes (Current article)
15) Editing Entities
16) Entity Manipulation
17) Selection Methods
18) Drawing Explorer
19) Settings
20) Classic Edition