Hands-on exercise. See Ortelius File > New From Template > Exercises & Demos > 6-Layers Exercise.
Layers are a traditional way to organize map information and graphics. Set up layers to hold different type of map features and other map elements. For example, all roads would be drawn on a layer that is named “Roads.”
Layers control the drawing order of your map features, with objects in upper layers “drawn on top” of objects in lower layers.
The Layers list is visable by default. To show or hide the map layers list, click the Layers icon in the menu bar. Alternatively, choose View > Hide Layers / Show Layers from the main menu.
Click onto a layer name in the Layers list to activate the layer (designated by the white arrow).
Selecting Objects in the Active Layer
By default, objects in the currently active layer can be selected and manipilated. To select an object, click onto the layer to which it belongs first to make the layer active.
The active layer is designated by a white arrow to the left of the layer name. A dot at the left of the layer name indicates there is one or more objects within the layer that remain selected, even though the layer is no longer active.
HINT: If you want to enable any object to be selectable, regardless of which layer is currently active, choose Layer > Auto-Activate Clicked Layer from the main menu. When Auto-Activate Clicked Layer is enabled, the active layer will follow the current object selection. Keep in mind that this may make it more difficult to keep objects organized while drawing.
Organizing your map and drawing objects by layers is a key concept in Ortelius.
When you draw in Ortelius, you are drawing on the active layer. A white arrow on the layers list indicates which layer is active. Highlighting indicates the selected layer and typically is the same as the active layer.
Drag to re-order layers. Click the “+” and “–” icons to add or delete layers. Layers can be locked and unlocked to control further editing, as well as made hidden or visible. Color-wells indicate the color of the selection handles when an object on that layer is selected. To set the color, click the well and choose a new color in the pop-up menu.
To stay organized with layers, keep similar map features (such as roads and streams) on their own layers.
When geographic information system (GIS) Shapefile map data are imported, objects from these files are automatically placed on their own layers.
Related topic: Layer Behavior
Add New Empty Layer
To add a new layer, click the “+” in the lower left portion of the Layers view, or choose Layer > New Drawing Layer from the main menu.
Delete Selected Layer
Delete the selected (highlighted) layer by clicking the “-” in the lower left portion of the Layers view, or right-click in the layer view and select “Delete Layer” to remove the selected layer.
To rename a layer, double click the layer name in the Layer view and enter a new layer name, or right-click in the layer view and select “Rename” to change the name of the selected layer.
Changing the Stack Order of Layers
To change the stack order of layers, click onto the layer and drag it up or down in the Layer list. Alternatively, choose Layer > Arrange > Bring to Front, Bring Forward, Send Backward, or Send to Back.
New Layer Group
Layer groups can keep multiple layers managed together. Add a layer group by right-clicking the Layers pane and choosing New Layer Group, or choosing Layer > New Layer Group from the main menu. For example, you may want to keep rivers, lakes, and wetland layers in a layer group called “water features.” Add layers to a layer group by dragging the layers into it.
Move Selected Objects to New Layer
To move existing drawing objects from one layer to a new layer, simply select the objects and choose Layer > Move To > New Layer from the main menu. A new layer will be created and the object(s) will be placed.
Alternatively, move existing objects to an existing layer by selecting the objects and choosing Layer > Move To > and choose the move-to layer from the list.
Show, Hide, Lock, Unlock
In the Layers view, toggle the “show” (eye) icon in the layer list to show or hide a layer. Toggle the lock/unlock icon to prevent or enable a layer for editing.