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Friday, July 28, 2017

AutoCAD Tip of the Day: How to stop the “Layer Reconcile” prompt from driving you Insane

Upgrading to a new version of AutoCAD has always been something I’ve approached with mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I love having the latest and greatest version.  New tools, new tricks, and more power.  On the other hand, there’s the learning curve, things you like and are used to get changed and then there’s new stuff that drives you crazy.  One “new improvement” that was introduced in version 2008 was the Reconcile Layer prompt.

I understand the reason behind it.  It sounds good in theory.  I completely agree with the write up by Autodesk:

“You can be notified when new layers are added to the drawing before certain tasks, such as plotting, saving, or restoring a layer state.

It is important to be aware of new layers that have been added to a drawing or to an attached Xrefs without your knowledge. You can avoid potential problems, such as plotting objects that were added to the drawing by the addition of a new layer.”

Sounds great.  But after being prompted about 10 million times if I wanted to “reconcile layers”, I was ready to scream.  As a matter of fact, I believe I did.

So how to fix it?  If you are using AutoCAD 2008, it’s a little more complicated than if you are using 2009.  Here it goes.

AutoCAD 2008:  If you go to Layer Manager and click on “Settings” in the bottom left hand corner, you will get a dialogue box with a check box for “Evaluate new layers added to drawing”.  Simply unselect the box and tell it OK and you are done.  This checkbox is also controlled by the system variable LAYEREVAL.  Set it to “0” and it has the same effect.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Wrong!  That only fixes it for that particular drawing.  If you open another drawing, you will have to go through the same process.  To fix for all drawings, we will need to do a much more advanced technique…

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9 Responses to “AutoCAD Tip of the Day: How to stop the “Layer Reconcile” prompt from driving you Insane”
  1. Dan Crimmins says:

    The tip on Xref and VISRETAIN was probably good for those who change all those layers, colors, etc. But my shop does none of those things, and we Xref frequently. How about a short tip to give us intermediate users an idea of why we should change all those layers, colors, etc.

    thanks . . . Rocky

  2. Hey Rocky,

    There are several reasons you may wish to change the layers. For example, when doing an electrical drawing for an architectural project, we will XREF in the floor plan we receive from the Architect. We then freeze all the notes, dimension, furniture, hatching, etc… to get a clean drawing. Then we change all the remaining architectural layers to gray to make the plan lighter and then draw all of our electrical darker so it stands out.

    So anytime an XREF you bring in has layers that you don’t need, or they clutter up the drawing, or if you want to lighten or darken elements that were not done so on the original, this system variable allows you to keep all those changes.

    It can also be useful when you want to take a drawing that you will be getting frequent updates that you need to change layer settings to conform to your standards.

    These are just a few uses. If other readers would like to contribute, please keep this conversation going.


  3. cesar says:

    Question about hatching…. how do you hatch a single line object, – in some cases I have to hatch many lines for single line ductwork (hvac). What I do is I have to convert the lines into polylines, then offset them then isolate, then hatch, etc.. takes too long. Any advise..I appreciated.
    Have a great day !!

  4. Cesar,
    By any chance are you using Architectural Desktop (AutoCAD Architecture)? If so, you can make a wall style that only shows the hatch and not the bounding lines. Another option would be to create a dynamic block that hatches and area that’s on a noplot layer. Let me know if either of those works for you.

  5. Kevin says:

    Thanks, I’ve wanted to pop that reconcile baloon (plus all its other children) for some time.


  6. John says:


    Youve stopped sending me top tips. Is everything ok

  7. Hey John,
    The tips have momentarily stopped because we will be releasing our Weekly Tip Sheet on Monday. It will contain a tip for every day of the week. Let me know what you think when you get it.

  8. Lyuba says:

    Hi Mike and everyone else!

    I have the following question:
    When creating Pdf files from AutoCad drawing files (with the “Text Mask” function is used on the drawing), then there will be a problem when you or your client tries to make a print from the Pdf file. The entire “Text Mask” box will print out totally black or with lines through it that will obscure the text. The “Text Mask” box will not appear obscured when viewing the Pdf in Adobe. It will only print out that way.
    Why is this happening and is there a way to fix this?

    Thank you very much for your help,

  9. I’ve had problems creating PDF files in the past, so I usually use DWF files instead. I’ve always assumed it’s a problem with the Adobe driver that caused the problems.

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