Recreating Problem Drawings Part 2: The Layer States Manager

Recreating Problem Drawings

Part 2: Layer States Manager


In this blog series, we will be covering a method that I regularly use to recreate problem drawings that crash too often, or even corrupted to the point that it will no longer open. If you have experienced these types of drawings and are looking for a potential solution, read on!

In Part 1 of this blog series, we covered the topic of cleaning up our problem drawing in preparation to recover it using the Purge and Audit commands. Purging and auditing your drawings on a regular basis will help keep your drawings from exhibiting the issue we are trying to correct in this series.

In Part 2 of this blog series, we are going to cover the topic of the Layer States Manager, a tool we can use to save the current state of our layer properties. These layer states may or may not be used later in our workflow to save our problem drawing, depending on how corrupted the current problem drawing is.

To save the current layer states of the problem drawing, open it in Civil 3D. If the drawing is so corrupted that it will not open, please refer back to Part 1 of this blog series on how to do a full recovery on the drawing and its references. Once a RECOVERALL has been completed, try to open the problem drawing again. If the drawing still refuses to open, we will need to skip this part in the series, but do not skip it as layer states can be utilized in your everyday drafting and design practices.

Once your problem drawing is open, activate the Model tab and enter LAYERSTATE on the command line to open the Layer States Manager. The Layer States Manager can also be opened from the layers property palette by clicking on the Layer States Manger icon found in the upper-left hand section.

The Layer States Manager can also be accessed from the Layers ribbon panel drop-down, Layer States drop-down, then selecting Manage Layer States…

Once the Layer States Manager has been opened, ensure that the dialog box is fully expanded by clicking on the circular arrow found in the bottom-right corner of the dialog displayed if it is not already expanded.

Once expanded, note the properties that are available to save and restore later. Click the Select All button found at the bottom of the properties to restore, then click New… found in the middle section of the Layer States Manager. This will allow you to save the current state of layer properties here in Model space to a unique layer states name.

Once the Model space layer states have been saved, switch to a layout, and activate a viewport by double-clicking into one. Within an active layout viewport, bring up your Layer States Manager and save a new layer state named specific to the current viewport, ensuring all layer properties to restore are checked, especially the Visibility in Current VP option. This will save any current viewport layer overrides to be called upon within any viewport.

Save a named layer state for each viewport that contains unique layer overrides. This will ensure the ability to recreate the layouts of the problem drawing if they will need to be manually recreated. Note the options related to viewports and Xrefs in the image above; choose all options required for your needs. We are going to try and prevent doing this manually in Part 4 of this blog series, but just in case we are required to, saving layer states will make this manual process much easier to complete.

Now that a layer state has been created for our problem drawing in model space and layout viewports, export each layer state to a directory to be called upon later using the Export... button shown in the image below.

Note the additional buttons highlighted in the image above.

Use the New... button to create new layer states from Model space, paper space, or an active paper space viewport.

Use Update... while having a saved named layer state selected to update it to the current state of layer properties.

Use Edit... to make specific changes to a layer property associated with the currently selected saved layer state.

Use Rename to rename the currently selected saved layer state.

Use Delete the delete the currently selected saved layer state.

Finally, use Import... and Export... to share layer states between drawings with shared layer names. In Part 4 of this blog series, we will be utilizing the Import... button to import the layer states exported from this blog, then using the Restore button on the bottom of the Layer States Manager dialog to set the current layer states to the imported named layer states.

In this part of our blog series, we learned how to save the current state of layer properties in a drawing in both model space and layout viewports that contain viewport overrides. After saving these layer state properties, we then exported the layer states as an external file to be called on later if needed. These layer properties may or may not be used in Part 4 of our series, which I will explain more during Part 4 of this blog series.

The layer state manager can prove useful for everyday layer management, not simply for drawing recovery discussed in this blog. 

In Part 3 of our blog series, we will be discussing inserting our problem drawing into a new clean drawing and all the things needed to know to do so to ensure the cleanest and smallest resulting file possible.

About the Author

Archie Dodge

Civil Solutions Applications Expert<br><br>Over 12 years of experience in geotechnical engineering design, and land planning design, ranging in projects from dams, gypsum stacks and coal ash piles, to subdivisions, parks, and an airport expansion. Autodesk Certified Professional in Civil 3D and an expert in Autodesk infrastructure software. Trainer and consultant with IMAGINiT Technologies.

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