Layer Translator

Have you ever had to change or update layers in an existing drawing to a different standard? Look no further...

Changing a vast number of layer names (or properties) in an AutoCAD drawing can be extremely time consuming. The process works great when using company standards on a project but what if the client needs specific layers when the drawings are submitted? Users can work with their company's standard layer sets through the project then 'translate' them before they provide the final drawing deliverable.

Layer Translator (LAYTRANS) was added to AutoCAD many version ago but so few people really know about it. It was originally part of the Express Tools package but was incorporated into the standard AutoCAD toolset as far back as AutoCAD 2006. LAYTRANS can be found on the Manage tab of the Ribbon under the CAD Standards panel.

LAYTRANS allows a user to quickly batch convert layers in a drawing by selecting Existing Layers to "translate" to Target Layers. This process can quickly convert old/legacy CAD standard layers (or a client supplied drawing) to current company or project CAD standard layers at a fraction of the time versus manually changing each layer one by one.

The dialog box lists the layers in the current drawing (in the left pane) under Translate From and a list of "target" layers (in the right pane) under Translate To. The left pane of existing layers populates automatically, listing all the layers in your current drawing. The right pane can be populated with target layers by loading a template or drawing that contains the desired target layers.

Once loaded:
  • you can quickly specify which existing layers are to be translated
  • you can limit the translation to only the layers you have designated (as not all existing layers may need to be translated)
  • you can select multiple existing layers (by holding down the CTRL key when selecting) and transfer the geometry/entities from those selected layers to a single target layer
  • you can select the existing layer (in the left pane) and 'double-click' the target layer (in the right pane) to add it to the Layer Translation Mappings.
Even if the layer names are matching (example: C-WATR-E) in both the existing layers and the target layers, LAYTRANS will ensure any new properties such as color or linetype match that of the target layer.

As you make the selections, you will see the layer translations show up in the bottom of the dialog box, under Layer Translation Mappings.

Once you have selected all the required layers to translate, press the "Translate" button. All geometry/entities on the existing layers will be transferred to the target layer.
LAYTRANS also deleted the existing layer from the drawing saving you another step.

If you have several drawings with the same layer mapping requirements, you can save this mapping file (it will create a .DWS file). Next time you need to do the same Layer Translation Mappings, you can simply load the DWS file and the mappings will be preloaded.

Autodesk Knowledge Network - Reference Link