Layers can be used to control entity visibility. Once an entity has been placed on its own layer, the color, linetype, line thickness can be controlled by the layer settings. If needs be, the layer can be locked so that there can be no inadvertent movement of entities on it.

The figure below shows the Layer Properties Manager in GardenCAD.

Layer dialog box

The name of the layer is contained in the first column, whether the content of the layer shows on or off is controlled by the lightbulb icon, the layer can be locked of unlocked, the color assigned to the layer, the linetype, lineweight and finally whether or not the content of a layer will be printed.

To reiterate, a layer is a logical grouping of data, assembled as though they were laid out on transparent acetate overlay sheets. Users commonly choose to put certain related information on named  layers - irrigation, planting, notes, dimensions etc.. Individual layers or groups of layers can then be turned off and on so that their respective data can be viewed in or out of context with information on adjacent layers. 

At the top left of the layers dialog box is a useful drop down menu. Here is is possible to show (isolate) all layers, all used layers or all unused layers.

Show used layers

Opting to show all unused layers can be useful as those layers can be deleted or renamed for other purposes.

Show unused layers

The details button provides more detail on the content of a layer.


This mode is particularly useful if you are unable to delete a layer - changes are the layer contains an entity that is difficult to locate.

Tip: The most likely reason for an inability to delete a layer is that the layer has been used in a block that's been placed on a different layer.

Layer names can be in upper or layer case. Try and avoid using unusual characters.

Tip: All new graphic objects placed in the drawing editor are added to the current layer. 

Tip: When a new drawing is created, it will already have one layer named "0" [layer zero]. It is not possible to remove layer zero.

Layer Properties

The Layer Properties Manager can be activated in a number of ways:

Choose Layers from the Format drop down menu - Settings > Layers
Select the layer icon from the toolbar 
Activate layer
Type LAYER or LA in the command line and then press Enter.
Color and layers

Users are often confused about color assignments in their CAD drawings. A color can be associated with any entity in a GardenCAD drawing or color can be controlled by the properties of the layer on which it resides. 

Color - ByLayerByBlock and implicit color definition

Many entities will have color assigned to them 'ByLayer' because that's the default setting, but it is not the only option.

 "ByLayer" means the color assigned to a Layer will dictate the color of an entity found on that particular layer. A second"ByBlock" option means the color assigned to a Block will dictate the color of an entity when inserted as a block entity.

Tip: If the entity is not a part of block but has the "ByBlock" color assigned to it, the white color (7) will be used to draw it.

In the example shown below, the entity selected (a line) color has been defined ByLayer. The layer color is blue so the line appaers blue. Note that the thickness of the line has been set independently of the layer lineweight setting.

Color bylayer

In contrast, the polyline indicating the water feature has been set to blue. The entity will always appear blue, irrespective of the layer color setting. In the figure below, the water feature is on a layer called border, but because its color is set to blue, it will always be blue.

Color implicit

All colors used in GardenCAD are stored in a table called the "Color palette". Each color of the palette is an RGB (Red Green Blue) value. The so-called index color system is the GardenCAD default system and for continuity with other software like AutoCAD, it allows for 256 distinct (and numbered) colors to be used. Each color has a unique number. 

Tip: The command to call up color settings is COLOR. Using the common UK spelling COLOUR will not work.

Here is what happens if layer border is turned off. Clearly text and some of the symbols have been (possibly in error) placed on that layer.

Border off

What I can do is isolate layer border as the only one on and select all entities on it and move to a different layer (0). The invert tool is handy for doing that.

Isolate layer

The number of entities on layer border was substantially reduced by this action.

Pages and layers

When trying to delete a layer (and you cannot) you may have placed entities on that layer in a pages space.


Provided that the preferences box is active, the color assigned to an entity is shown near the top of the Preferences dialog box.