Thursday, April 5, 2007

Layer Notification in AutoCAD 2008

AutoCAD 2008 news! Clicking on the Settings button in the Layer Properties Manager shows the dialog box below. It allows you to evaluate what should happen when new layers are added to a drawing. Even xrefs can be evaluated and you can be notified on different actions like Open, Save, Attach/Reload xrefs, Insert, Restore layer state and Plot. In a multi-user environment this functionality is useful as a help so you don't end up plotting a drawing with new layers that you are not aware of.
But don't rely fully on it since there are some pitfalls as seen further on.

Unreconciled New Layers is a notification that let you know that new layers has been found. If you right click on the Unreconciled New Layers icon you can also access the New Layer Notification Settings.

Unreconciled New Layers is a temporary filter that shows the layers that can be reconciled using right click. Being a filter makes it also easy to review the layers before acting on them.

LAYEREVAL and LAYERNOTIFY system variables are saved in each drawing and are the settings for unreconciled layer evaluation and notification. It can be a good idea to enforce the values using acaddoc.lsp. But remember even though you set LAYERNOTIFY to 0 it might still show the notification because the notification is showed before the setting is changed. In a single-user environment or if you don't want to use this new feature just add the following two rows to acaddoc.lsp.
(setvar "LAYEREVAL" 0)
(setvar "LAYERNOTIFY" 0)
Layer notification does NOT happen during publish operations that run in the background (such as publishing from SSM).
The drawing has to be opened and saved in AutoCAD 2008 once for the notification to work properly. The "Resave all sheets" option in SSM does NOT initiate this.
The alert before plot shows for the commands PLOT, -PLOT and PUBLISH. It does NOT show if the command is run from a script file (.SCR) or used in AutoLISP. The alert does NOT show if you start using a plot preview followed by plotting.
Take also a look at you templates and consider if you want layers in them to be unreconciled or reconciled. When saving as a template there is an option for that. Consider also what LAYEREVAL and LAYERNOTIFY should be set to.
Since the baseline that is saved in the drawing needs to know if a layer is reconciled it makes the drawing larger and there is no easy way to purge that information once it has been added. Changing LAYEREVAL and LAYERNOTIFY does not help. But I've made an AutoLISP function that solved this. More about it can be found on another blogpost. Download for PurgeReconciledLayers.LSP.
An animation is available on this Autodesk blog post by Heidi Hewett.

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