View Full Version : Unable to delete Layers, there is nothing on those Layers

2004-07-07, 12:36 PM
hi everybody,

i have a large drawing with a lot of layers with objects i have deleted, but i cant delete the layers even though they are empty. i run 2002LT. any help is appreciated.


2004-07-07, 12:45 PM
Do you have express tool installed? Are you sure the layers are empty? No locked, frozen, or off layers? Have you tried a purgeall lisp routine?

2004-07-07, 12:52 PM
Hi Shawn

Please note I've *moved* this Topic (Thread) from the AutoCAD General Forum (http://forums.augi.com/forumdisplay.php?f=120) to this one as I believe it would be better served here.

Thanks, Mike

Forum Moderator

2004-07-07, 12:54 PM
not sure of express tools,
the layers appear to be empty and they are not frozen,locked or off.
and i am unfamiliar with the purge command, what is it? will it delete empty layers only?


2004-07-07, 01:02 PM

Check out the following Technical Documents on the Autodesk web site under the Knowledge Base section -

ID: TS44431 - Remove unused entities from drawing database (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2872632&linkID=2475323)

ID: TS53057 - PURGE command does not purge objects from drawing (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2878350&linkID=2475323)

ID: TS46610 - Cannot purge some blocks from drawing (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2879383&linkID=2475323)

ID: TS17407 - Remove unreferenced objects (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2878563&linkID=2475323)

If you still have problems Purging/Removing Layers from the drawing file please post it here so we can take a look.

Have a good one, Mike

2004-07-07, 01:02 PM
If you don't see express listed at the top of you AutoCAD (with file, edit, view, atc.) you don't have any express tools. The purge command will remove or "unload" any unassociated entities in the drawing file. QSAVE your drawing and then type "PURGE" in the command line. This will bring up a dialog with a tree view showing items you can purge, or items that you cannot purge (depends on which if the top two options you have selected. At the bottom you will see a couple buttons stating purge, purge all, cancel, and help. You might want to make sure the purge nested items is on but I would try to purge the drawing without that option first to see if it works. Oh, and if you chack the "confirm each item to be purged" box, it will ask you if you are sure for everything that is pugeable (is that a word??) which can take a while if there's alot to be purged. Hope this works for you.

2004-07-07, 01:15 PM
Express tools aren't available with LT

2004-07-07, 01:16 PM
The purge command will only delete layers that have nothing on them. You can check the AutoCAD help file for more information on the purge command.

It is also possible that these layers are nested in blocks. If that is the case, the only way to get rid of them is to explode the block and purge.

2004-07-07, 01:16 PM
If you don't see express listed at the top of you AutoCAD (with file, edit, view, atc.) you don't have any express tools.Hi

Express Tools are not available within AutoCAD LT unless you buy some Third Party Software that enables ARX, LISP, VBA etc functions/routines to be run in AutoCAD LT.

Have a good one, Mike

2004-07-07, 02:22 PM
the purge command did the trick, all the empty layers havent been deleted but it did delete quite a few of them. enough to bring the file size down to 1 Mb from 4 Mb.

yet it still thinks that there are objects in the empty layers?? maybe one of you can explain it to me : )

another question i have is, what are blocks? how come the purge command didnt list any layers to be purged but when i purged blocks it deleted layers?

thanks again for all the help.

2004-07-07, 02:37 PM

Check out the following Technical Documents on the Autodesk web site under the Knowledge Base section -

ID: TS22402 - Using the BLOCK command to create a single object from multiple objects (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2898446&linkID=2475323)

ID: TS22657 - Advantages and disadvantages of using blocks and xrefs (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2897955&linkID=2475323)


AutoCAD Online Help File [F1] (hopefully AutoCAD LT is the same) -

Contents tab -> AutoCAD Online Manuals -> User's Guide -> Create and Modify Objects -> Draw Geometric Objects -> Create and Insert Symbols.

Have a good one, Mike

2004-07-07, 03:13 PM
A block can be any number of things, some of which include dimensions, leaders, or custom made blocks such as standard parts. These blocks are a groups of items all linked together in one block (for example, our assembly details are all blocks, which consist of nuts, bolts, washers, etc, but can be moved, copied, inserted, etc as one item).

So, if you had blocks, the purge command lists those blocks, and if by deleting those blocks, the layer becomes empty, it will delete the layers as well.

BTW, Mike, yes the help command for LT is F1.

Hope that helps.

2004-07-07, 03:35 PM
BTW, Mike, yes the help command for LT is F1.
Hi Brenda

I was meaning the contents I was referencing within the Help File....

:beer: Mike

2004-07-07, 04:37 PM

Let's start with non-purging layers. Check to see if there are any layers frozen in your paperspace viewports. If so, they will not be deleted when purging. Also, layers in block definitions will not purge, since they are referenced in the drawing.

Blocks are defined elements in AutoCAD that are designed to reduce file size and increase consistency in a drawing. Let's say that you have a drawing with furniture in it, and each chair is drawn separately. AutoCAD maintains properties for each element in the drawing (lines, arcs, etc) for each chair. If your drawing had 1000 chairs in it, the file may get rather large.

If your drawing had a chair that you created a block with, AutoCAD stores the information for that block, and when you copy the block 1000 times (to get 1000 chairs in your drawing), AutoCAD identifies the block with only the insertion point, rotation angle, and scale. All other information about the chair is in the block definition. The end result is a smaller drawing, since the number of elements in the drawing is drastically reduced, and consistency, since all chairs are instances of the same block. Another benefit of using blocks is that the changing of a block definition will update all blocks in the drawing.

I'm sure Mike Perry's Technical Documents links will give you plenty of insight. I encourage you to check them out.

There is also attributed blocks, where text and numeric information can be stored in each block instance.


2004-07-08, 08:07 AM
If your layer appears empty, try FORMAT > POINTSTYLE and if the point style is a small dot change it to a large cross/circle design: you might have points in the drawing on those layers.

The layers were deleted with the blocks but not listed in the purge window, probably because the PURGE NESTED ITEMS was checked. The blocks were redundant but not the layers since the blocks contained objects on those layers; once the blocks were purged then the layers were redundant and were purged.

Another thing to check is whether a block is drawn using objects on layer1 and layer2, but it's insertion point on the drawing is in layer3.

2004-07-09, 09:51 AM
Blocks are groups of entities 'blocked' together to make one entity.
E.g. You could draw a line & a circle say & then make these into a block with a name (say cirline) so that every time you inserted cirline the two entities would appear. Check out help on blocks or any good Autocad manual.

It is possible that a block has been created on or including certain layers. If you delete the block or it has not been inserted it is still there as an entity to be used in your drawing database. Thus any layers although appearing to have nothing in them could be referenced to a block.

You need to purge the unused blocks before their layers will go.

Also if you create a block on Layer 0 it adopts the properties of the layer into which it is inserted. A block created on any other layer will retain that layers properties but will be inserted on the current layer.

Hope this hasn't confused you too much.

2004-07-23, 06:31 PM
Another thought on deleting layers....

Check to see if any wipeouts or textmasks exist in your drawing. TFRAMES controls the visibility of image boundaries. Turn TFRAMES on and look for wipeouts and textmasks. If text with textmasks were pasted in from another drawing, the textmask will appear as a "raster image", and not be grouped with the text. Perhaps this is the reason why some layers are not purging.

I'm not sure if TFRAMES is available in LT2002 though.


2004-08-25, 05:20 PM
hey everyone, thanks for all the great help.

quick question
i just copy and pasted text from one drawing onto another. then i changed the layer of that text in the property manager on the new drawing. now i want to delete the old layer of text (ie. the layer on which the text was on from the first drawing) but it wont let me, i tried purging but there isnt anything to purge. how can i rid myself of this layer?

oh and how do i delete blocks, i dont think im using them but again when i try purging there is nothing shown to purge.


2004-08-25, 05:37 PM

Can you please post a drawing file that contains the Layers & Blocks that you wish to get rid of (Purge)?

Would really help (me) to see the drawing file so we could comment + offer the most relevant information with regards to your questions.

Have a good one, Mike

2004-08-27, 02:24 PM
OK mike you asked for it....

heres a drawing ive been using and its fine but i guess the issues ive been bringing up are to educate myself in cad a little better.

- text on DEVICE layer, but work off of another layer (TEXT layer); why and how can i change it so it works normally?

- layers 1 and 2 appear to be empty, but i cant delete or purge them; why?
i think layer 1 was the layer that was created when i copied text from another drawing and pasted onto this one. i changed the text to the OPT2 layer from the properties window. (yeah i now deleted that text from the drawing altogether)

- is there a block manager or something where i can organize all the blocks in the drawing? So i can delete them from the drawing if im not using them, what blocks i am using and their name, change their colour, change their layer etc.; if yes where? if no, why not and how can i do these things?

and heres a perfect example of (just about) all my problems:
in this drawing there is a block of a motor, how do i know what the name of the block is? (i figure it will be called motor but properties name it something different (ELE00) and that name isnt in the block list).
it gets worse, this block seems to be in 2 parts, the light blue motor and then a box in grey. i somehow managed to change the blue colour and layer, but this block is attached to this grey box part (which i cant do anything to) the grey box part of the block is stuck in the OPT2 CONV layer even though it says it belongs to the OPT2 MOTOR layer. how can i get this block to be together?

any and all input is GREATLY appreciated.
THANKS in advance.

forever confused,

2004-08-27, 04:50 PM

I can't find any Text or MText Objects on Layer "DEVICE" unless they occur within a Block (sorry haven't got the time to go through the Blocks).

One instance of Block "MOTOR.NO." is on Layer "1" -> Therefore Layer "1" can't be Purged

One null MText Object (empty) is on Layer "2" -> Therefore Layer "2" can't be Purged

ID: TS51385 - Removing invisible text from a drawing (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2885125&linkID=2475323)

Could use the AutoCAD Design Center (._Adcenter) as a Block Manager (refer to the Online Help Files for further information "F1")

I think you will also find the ._List command useful -

ID: TS21718 - Finding data about drawing objects with the LIST command (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2861452&linkID=2475874)

The ._Properties & ._QSelect commands should also prove useful (refer to the Online Help Files for further information "F1")

There are 9 instances of Block "ELE00" within the drawing, all are on Layer "OPT2 motor".

At the CommandLine type: ._Insert or ._DDInsert or whatever method you use to display the Insert Dialog Box -> "ELE00" is 1 of 7 available Blocks.

Block "ELE00" only displays as it does due to the way the Block was created. The Objects that make up Block "ELE00" are defined on 2 Layers -> Layer 1 "OPT2 conveyor" (hence the Grey colour) -> Layer 2 "OPT2 motor" (hence the Blue colour).

ID: TS2110 - Inserted block objects appear on wrong layer, or color, lineweight or linetype appear incorrect (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/item?siteID=123112&id=2894492&linkID=2475323)

Hope the above helps a little, just shout if you want me to explain anything I've written above or....

Have a good one, Mike

2005-09-22, 04:32 PM
hi everybody,

i have a large drawing with a lot of layers with objects i have deleted, but i cant delete the layers even though they are empty. i run 2002LT. any help is appreciated.



I think we have the same problem of eliminating unnecessary annoying layers copied from another drawing that contain another copied from another drawings file and ends up of more than a hundreds of layers where in fact you only need at least 10 or 20.

What I did to erase at least more than 50% of annoying layers is to froze layers you don't need and copy the remaining in the same window and turn on all annoying layers and copy paste the newly copied drawing into new drawing and save it.

Try that if it works and send me a line.



2005-11-02, 05:21 PM
HEY that works like a charm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!