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Mastering Layer Management: A Guide to ‘ByLayer’ and ‘ByBlock’ Properties in DraftSight

Layer management is a fundamental aspect of creating organised and efficient designs in DraftSight, the popular CAD software. Pratiksha Dahotre provides an insightful exploration into the world of ‘ByLayer’ and ‘ByBlock’ properties, drawing an analogy to the organisation of filing data for enhanced understanding. This guide aims to shed light on these properties, offering clarity to both new and seasoned users of DraftSight.


The Importance of Layers in DraftSight

Just as categorising records into meaningful groups enhances data retrieval and organisation, employing layers in DraftSight brings structure and simplicity to complex drawings. Layers facilitate the categorisation of objects within a drawing, making it easier to manage and modify them. ‘Layer 0’, the default layer in DraftSight®, plays a pivotal role in this system. It acts as the foundation where all new 2D drawings start and, importantly, cannot be deleted.


Understanding ‘ByLayer’ Properties

Objects in DraftSight inherit the ‘color’, ‘line type’, and ‘line weight’ of the layer they are assigned to, known as ‘ByLayer’ properties. This system is widely recognised among DraftSight users for its efficiency in managing object attributes at the layer level, ensuring consistency and clarity across the drawing.


The Significance of ‘ByBlock’ Properties

Less familiar but equally vital are the ‘ByBlock’ properties. These properties allow objects, when grouped into a block and assigned to ‘Layer 0’, to adopt the characteristics of any layer they are inserted into later. This means that a block created on ‘Layer 0’ can dynamically change its properties based on the layer it is placed in, offering flexibility in design management. However, blocks created on other layers retain their original properties, highlighting the unique role of ‘Layer 0’ in layer management.


Practical Example: ‘ByLayer’ vs ‘ByBlock’

  • Draw two rectangles on ‘Layer 0’, and then assign one of the rectangle as ‘Bylayer’ properties and another as ‘Byblock’.

  • Make them as two different blocks and name them as ‘Rec1’ and ‘Rec2’.

  • Assign ‘Rec1’ block to ‘Bylayer’ blocks and ‘Rec2’ block to ‘ByBlock’ values.



  • Insert those blocks into a new layer say ‘Layer 1’. To get more clarity in the property, assign ‘red colour’ as ‘LineColor’ and ‘CENTER line’ as ‘LineStyle’ for ‘Bylayer’ properties to ‘Layer 1’.

  • When you insert block created on ‘Layer 0’ to ‘Layer 1’, that block will take ‘Layer 1’ properties.

  • Then select both block and apply different colors or line type to it. You will see only ‘Rec2’ block can override the properties.

  • Take a new dwg file

  • Create two new layers say ‘Layer 1’ and ‘Layer 2’.

  • Set ‘Red colour’ as ‘LineColor’ and ‘CENTER line’ as ‘LineStyle’ for ‘Bylayer’ Properties in ‘Layer 1’ and for ‘Layer 2’ set ‘Cyan colour’ as ‘Line Color’ and ‘Zigzag line’ as ‘LineStyle’ for ‘Bylayer’ characteristics.

  • Draw 2 rectangles on ‘Layer 1’ set one as ‘Bylayer’ and another as ‘Byblock’. Form a two different blocks using those rectangles name them as ‘Rec1’ and ‘Rec2’ (Again assign ‘Rec1’ as ‘Bylayer’ and ‘Rec2’ as ‘ByBlock’ Properties).

  • Insert blocks on ‘Layer 2’. ‘Rec1’ will show its original layer properties while ‘Rec2’ shows new layer properties.


The ‘ByLayer’ and ‘ByBlock’ properties in DraftSight® are powerful tools for managing object attributes efficiently. While ‘ByLayer’ ensures uniformity and consistency across layers, ‘ByBlock’ offers unparalleled flexibility in adapting block properties to fit new layer characteristics. Understanding and leveraging these properties allow for more refined control over the design, ensuring each component behaves exactly as intended, regardless of the layer it resides in.


This exploration into the nuanced world of DraftSight® layer management not only enhances our approach to CAD design but also enriches our ability to create organised, efficient, and adaptable drawings. For a deeper dive into mastering these properties, refer to Pratiksha Dahotre's original content here.


Elevate your DraftSight® skills by mastering the art of layer management, unlocking the full potential of your designs.

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