Bill Stanley, President of Engineered Software XTNL URL, posted a sneak peak publicly XTNL URL of the new Layer Opacity? Attribute in the soon to be released update for PowerCADD 7. Read the rest of this article to get our take on things.

The new feature refers to Layer Attributes, and specifically being able to globally adjust the opacity of a layer. Layer Opacity allows you to specify to what degree information is hidden or revealed below the layer. For example, a layer opacity of 100% hides all information below the layer. A layer set to 10% opacity would appear almost transparent, allowing you to see through to objects below. Adjusting layer opacity affects the Pen and Fill opacity of all objects on a layer, as compared to adjusting an objects Pen or Fill opacity attributes separately using the Attributes window. It may be helpful to consider Layer Opacity as Global to everything on a layer, and cumulative with respect object opacity attributes.

To adjust the Opacity Attribute of a specific Layer (or selected Layers), do this:

  1. open the Layers Window by choosing Window menu > Layers Window (or press the L)
  2. click on a layer name in the layer list
  3. double click the layer name or click Edit
  4. the Layer Attributes dialog appears as shown below
  5. drag the opacity slider left or right to change the layers opacity or enter a value in the Layer Opacity field
  6. click OK to see the results

Keep in mind the effects of adjusting opacity at the object and layer levels are going to be combined as shown below. It's also important to remember that when a layer status is set to dimmed (it may be on, off or dimmed) the layer is rendered as transparent and that effect will be combined as well. In this example all the circles have a pen opacity of 100% (solid) and a fill opacity as noted. The horizontal line is on the bottom most layer and all opacity settings are 100% (solid). Observe how the circles show more or less of the line as the opacity settings are combined.

LayerOpacityDiagramD.JPG.jpg

As you can see, Layer Opacity can be a great way to globally change all the opacity attributes of objects on the same layer, and it can be combined with other opacity attributes to create a variety of effects. Just how important will Layer Opacity be in your work flow? Well, consider things like existing verses proposed conditions of a building or site plan. Perhaps a demolition plan. Perhaps you need to illustrate another consultants imported layers for context while emphasizing your particular component of the work. The usefulness of Layer Opacity exceeds just illustration work; have fun and experiment!

We hope that helps
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