2.1.4 – Adding Layers
See Using Layers video tutorial.
Layers let you organize objects by letting you separate related objects from other objects. A common use of layers is with background and foreground objects and adding comments. You can place background objects on one layer, and then you can place foreground objects on a different layer, and manipulate them without disturbing the background. This also allows you to add comments on different layers for help with an audit.
Another use of layers is to organize model notes on layers that can help you during model development, but be made invisible during presentation.
The Layer Manager lets you add, delete, and set layer options.
Layers are important for 4 main reasons.
- Organize graphic elements to emphasize the most important things, yet not interfere with model access. This is different than ordering things on the same layer which will cause difficulty in selecting the desired element.
- Save time and effort by documenting during the build process. You can keep track of important project information such as notes, questions, assumptions, timings or anything else, yet keep you model clean and ready for presentation.
- Improve your presentation by revealing information as it is needed, rather than dumping information the audience. This gives you control over how much and when to release information.
- Take the headache out of tracking of all your project data. All of your information — notes, assumptions, word documents, data sets, power point presentations, etc., can be attached to the model. When you create a model package , all the files attached are also included.
How To – Add layers
1. To access the Layer Manager, go to the Arrange menu and click on Layers. Then select Layer Manager.
2. To change the layer name, click Rename, type Notes, and then click OK. Notice that the layer name changes in the list.
3. To add a layer called Chart, click Add, type Chart, and then click OK. Notice that the Chart layer now appears in the list.
The layers appear in the list in the same order in which you added them to the model. Layers at the top of your list appear behind items at the bottom of your list.
4. On the Layer Manager screen, review the options (Visible, Printable, or Locked) for each layer.
You can set the visible, printable, and locked layer options by selecting the appropriate box for each layer. Visible and Printable let you see and print a layer, respectively. When a layer is locked, you cannot access it without unlocking it.
You must select the Visible option for a particular layer on the Layer Manager before you can access that layer to make additions or changes.
5. Click OK. Notice the tabs at the bottom left of the chart area . These are the layer tabs. The tab contains the name of the layer. To activate the layer, click the tab. The active tab becomes highlighted.
When you have more than two layers, the arrow buttons to the left of the tabs let you scroll through the layer tabs.
You can also access the options for a particular layer by clicking the right mouse button on that layer tab and selecting from the menu. This menu also allows you to access the full Layer Manager menu.
How To – Move Layers Forward or Back
To bring a layer to the foreground or move it to the background:
- Select the layer to move.
- Click the Arrange menu.
- Click Layers and select the desired Move option.