Flatten a Multi Layer DWG file into a single layer

Question

How do I flatten a multi-layer *.DWG? file into a single layer in PowerCADD?

Requirements

PowerCADD v7 , version 7.02 or newer recommended to use Move to Layer
PowerCADD v6 or newer to use Import...
Any version of PowerCADD to use Copy/Paste



Background

Typically AutoCAD DWG files contain data on multiple layers. While typically it's important and desirable to retain the layer structure, there can be times when it's convenient to have all that data flattened to a single layer in PowerCADD.

What To Do

All of the methods we'll describe here are available in PowerCADD v7 -- and some methods are available in PowerCADD v6 or earlier versions as noted at the start of this article.

Method 1: copy and paste
This method is available to all versions of PowerCADD. Simply translate the *.DWG file, then:

  1. Turn Edit All Layers ON in the Layers Window
  2. Choose Select All and choose Edit menu > Cut
  3. Choose Edit menu > Paste
  4. All the data is flattened to a single layer

If you wanted the data in a different file (perhaps your own drawing) simply activate that drawing before choose Paste and the data is inserted onto the active layer in the active drawing.

Method 2: Import the file
This method is available to PowerCADD v6 and v7 users. To translate the *.DWG file into a single layer:

  1. Open the drawing you'd like the *.DWG file to appear in
  2. Make the layer in the drawing the *.DWG data should be on Active
  3. Choose File? menu > Import... and choose the desired *.DWG file
  4. Specify your translation settings in the Incoming DWG Settings Dialog and press Ok
  5. Result: the multi-layer *.DWG file is collapsed onto the active layer specified in step (2)

Method 3: Use Move To Layer
This method is available in PowerCADD v7 only. The technique can be applied to any drawings with objects you'd like to now appear on a single layer. In the case of translating a *.DWG file, you could use this technique to flatten the drawing after you translate it but before pasting it or referencing it into your primary drawing. You could also use this technique after you've combined the multi-layer DWG file into your drawing and now you want it on a single layer.

  1. Turn on the layers in the drawing to be flattened
  2. Choose Edit menu > Select All (Cmd+A)
  3. Choose Arrange menu > Move to Layer > The Layer name you want the data on
  4. Result: all the selected objects are moved to the specified layer

Note: In step 3 you could also press Control + Click (or Right Click with a multi-button mouse) on any object, then choose Move to Layer from the contextual menu -- the results would be the same.

We hope that helps
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