The layer walk tool is one the most subtly hidden tools on the layers panel of AutoCAD. Despite its usefulness, many people don’t even know it exists. In this article, I will describe this tool and how to use it.
To begin using the wayer walk tool, click on the “laywalk” icon on the expanded layers panel of the home tab. Alternatively, you can use its command equivalent LAYWALK. The layer walk window will pop up with a list of all layers in the current drawing as shown in the image to the left.
Click on any layer in the window and you will notice that all other objects will be hidden from the drawing, leaving only the objects on the selected layer. You can press and hold the CTRL or Shift key to select multiple layers.
If you want to reverse your selection and hide the selected layers then right click in the window containing the layer names and select “Invert Selection” from the contextual menu. To save these settings as layer states, right click again in the laywalk window and click on “Save Layer State”. Give your layer state a name and description and click OK.
When you exit the layer walk window the original layer state is restored. If you want to keep the modified layer state active for the current drawing, un-check the “Restore On Exit” radio button on the layer walk window as shown in image below.
Getting More From Laywalk
This tool can be used for a lot more than a layer visualization tool. With Laywalk you can locate layers that don’t contain objects and purge them directly by clicking the “Purge” button in the lower left corner.
If you are not sure about a layer in your drawing then click the “Select Objects” button at the top left corner of the Laywalk window, select objects from the drawing area, and then press enter. All layers containing selected objects will become active and all other entities in the drawing will be hidden.
You can also find those stubborn layers that don’t contain objects but behave as layers containing objects by selecting all objects with the “Select Objects” button as mentioned above. When you select all objects from the drawing area and then inspect the list of layers in the Laywalk window, you will find that those deceptive layers are among the un-selected layers which you can then purge using the LAYDEL command.
If you want to extract even more information with this tool, right click on the Laywalk window and select “Inspect” from the contextual menu. You will see a window that contains the number of layers in your drawing, the number of selected layers and the number of objects on the selected layers.