Keeping Layers When Combining Drawings

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  • Keeping Layers When Combining Drawings

    Posted by Vince on June 7, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Does anyone know if there is a way to maintain the layers on a set of drawings when combining them?

    If I have site layouts over several drawings, I like to merge them into one file but by doing this I lose all of the original layers that were within the drawings – this is not helpful with Engineering Layouts as often there is too much to detail look at at any one time.

    I know you could set mess about and save the originals with different layer configurations then combine them but this is far too involved and changes cannot be made should everything not be saved exactly how it is needed.

    Vince replied 2 months ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • David Cutler

    Member
    June 7, 2022 at 2:39 pm
    Points: 9,623
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII

    Very interesting question @Vince Unfortunately I don’t have much experience with Layers. My initial thought is that it may be as simple as a setting checkbox that indicates “preserve existing layers when combining” buried somewhere in the preferences – though you probably would have found this by now…

    A couple of follow up questions:

    1. Are you “overlaying” the pages from separate documents or simply adding another 10 pages to an existing document?

    2. Are you using “sets”? (If so I’m probably of no use to you as I don’t use them.)

    3. If you are using sets do you have the same issue if you simply combine two documents into 1 PDF file?

    4. Is part of the issue that the layer names are the same in both documents?

    Ready to watch to see what other post and learn from them… ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿฟ

    • Vince

      Member
      June 8, 2022 at 12:22 am
      Points: 4,877
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII

      Hi @David Cutler

      I’m not using sets or adding drawings to an existing open one.

      Basically, all I’m doing is combining several drawings from the same folder e.g. Engineering Layouts Sheets 1 of 4 to 4 of 4. It would appear that they all would have come from the same master file created as a DWG file.

      The layers all appear to match as they should do if they came from one original.

      I like your thought about options to keep the layers but I haven’t found this yet.

      • Troy DeGroot

        Organizer
        June 8, 2022 at 7:54 am
        Points: 11,545
        Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I

        @Vince I wonder if creating a Layer Configuration would help. Before you insert new sheets, save the layer configuration, then, fingers crossed, you can apply the configuration to the new sheets after. Just thinking, I don’t have drawings to test.

        • Vince

          Member
          June 8, 2022 at 2:37 pm
          Points: 4,877
          Rank: UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII

          Hi @Troy

          I’ve tried saving the default configurations and then I’ve also tried saving the configurations with new names – unfortunately as soon as I combine the drawings all of the layers are lost.

          Maybe another suggestion for a new feature then…

  • David Cutler

    Member
    June 8, 2022 at 5:44 am
    Points: 9,623
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII

    Thank you for the clarifications @Vince

    Iโ€™ll have to pay more attention to the layers the next time that I combine documents. Most of the PDFs I receive donโ€™t have the native layers available. I wonder if perhaps this is the reason why?

    • Vince

      Member
      June 8, 2022 at 2:38 pm
      Points: 4,877
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII

      Hi @David

      The layers are definitely there to start with but are always lost once the combining has been done.

      • David Cutler

        Member
        June 9, 2022 at 7:50 am
        Points: 9,623
        Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII

        I think I may have a work around for you @Vince

        I found that I have the same issue with some plot plans that I was working with yesterday. When I combined the 29 sheets the layer structure is there, but the layers only appear to be present on the first page of the PDF – they are grayed out on the other 28 pages.

        So I tried this: I opened the 1st and 2nd sheets separately. I then copied the second sheet from the thumbnail view and switched back to the 1st sheet file. On the thumbnail screen I right clicked and pasted the second page into the file. This appears to have preserved the functionality of the layers. This would be a slow process with a project with 100’s of sheets, but it would get it done and preserve the functionality.

        If you haven’t already done so I’d suggest reaching out to Bluebeam on this one. You may have found a bug that they haven’t come across yet…

        Good luck!

        • Vince

          Member
          June 9, 2022 at 3:49 pm
          Points: 4,877
          Rank: UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Orange Belt IIII

          That’s a great workaround @David – thank you! ๐Ÿ‘

          I will contact Bluebeam about why the layers are lost when combining drawings once I’ve remembered the procedure for doing this! ๐Ÿ˜†