Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Don't Ignore Unreconciled Layers - They are there to Help You




Unreconciled Layers, you know, that pesky notification bubble that you close as soon as you open a DWG file, are very important and can save you a lot of time, effort, and work. Many AutoCAD users simply ignore the notification and move on. I suggest that you stop this practice and start using the notifications to help you out.


Unreconciled Layers are layers that have been added to a file you have referenced in your current file. AutoCAD will alert you when this happens to give you the opportunity to deal with the new data. New layers could be added at any time in the life of a project for many reasons. Most likely something new has been added or some linework has been moved to a new layer. Moving objects to a new layer are done in order to give users more control of what their drawings look like. Perhaps an old sidewalk will now have to be demolished to make way for something new. The CAD Tech created a sidewalk-demo layer in the base file and moved the area of sidewalk to be removed to the new demo layer.Now that that was done, when the site plan drawing is opened you (or anyone else) will be notified that there is a new layer to deal with. Open the layer manager, filter by unreconciled layers, and turn off, freeze, or change the color/linetype of that layer in the appropriate viewports. You don;t have to hunt, search or find the right layers. AutoCAD automatically shows you the new stuff.

This process has saved me a lot of time on many projects. But in order for it to work you have to make sure all of your layers have been reconciled beforehand; otherwise you will get the notification every time you open the DWG and you will not get any type of benefit from it at all.

I suggest that you either use it or disable it. Here are some system variables that will help you control how the Unreconciled Layer notification behaves.

  • LAYERNOTIFY - Specifies when an alert displays when unreconciled new layers are found.

  • LAYEREVAL - Specifies whether the layer list is evaluated for new layers when added to the drawing or to attached xrefs.

  • LAYEREVALCTL - Controls the overall Unreconciled New Layer filter list in Layer Properties Manager which is evaluated for new layers.

This little bubble can be very helpful to you or it can just get in your way. I suggest you use it. But if you aren't going to use it then turn it off completely. That way you won't have to close the bubble every time you see it.

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