DEFPOINTS Layer

By on November 2, 2005

When you create dimensions in IntelliCAD or AutoCAD, the dimensioning components such as extension lines, arrowheads, dimension lines, and dimension text are placed on the on the current layer.  The first time dimensions are added to a drawing, IntelliCAD 98 also creates a special layer named “DEFPOINTS”.  This layer holds the “definition points” for the dimension.  By default this layer does not and cannot be made to print.

Definition points are the anchor or reference points for dimensions.  They are in fact point entities that are drawn with and internally associated with each dimension drawn.  You can see them clearly if you turn off all layers except DEFPOINTS.

Because these reference points can serve no purpose on hardcopy output, layer DEFPOINTS does not print under any circumstances.

The catch is, while DEFPOINTS is created automatically, you can easily set it to the current layer and draw on it just you would any other layer.  However, nothing you draw on this layer can ever be printed out.  The unwary can easily be caught as entities display in the drawing editor, yet cannot be made to print out under any circumstances.

If entities are drawn on this layer by mistake they must be moved to a controllable layer to allow them to print.  Alternatively, layer DEFPOINTS can be renamed to any other name.  IntelliCAD will create a new DEFPOINTS layer with any subsequent dimenisions.

On a positive note, DEFPOINTS can be used to hold all manner of information that you will never require to be printed.  While this is useful at times, the assignment of one layer to dual purposes, will eventually prove unsatisfactory and defeats the true role of layers as a graphic data filter.

To assign entities to another layer:

  • Do one of the following:
    • Choose Modify > Properties
    • On the Modify toolbar, click the Properties tool
  • Type entprop and press Enter
  • Select the entities and press Enter.
  • Choose another layer.
  • Click OK.

To rename the DEFPOINTS layer:

  • Do one of the following:
    • Choose Settings > Explore Layers.
    • On the Settings toolbar, click the Explore Layers tool
  • Type explayers and press Enter
  • Select the DEFPOINTS layer in the Layer Name list.
  • Choose Edit > Rename.
  • Type a new layer name and press Enter.
  • To complete the command and return to your drawing, close the Drawing Explorer window.

About Geoffrey Harrod

Geoff Harrod - BA, Grad. Diploma Information processing (UQ) Experience with many CAD products since 1980. Former AutoCAD system developer, university CAD lecturer, technical editor of MultiCAD Magazine and contributor to many other CAD publications. Authorised reseller & trainer for Cadsoft , TurboCAD and progeCAD.

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