Note: It looks as though this is no longer the case in 2014. Either method changes the layers for just the active view

So I was teaching an AutoCAD update class today and it came to the part regarding layer states.  I saved a layer state and went into a layout tab and showed that when you restore the layer state, all the layers are changed.  My student looked confused so I went over to her and none of her layers changed in the viewports but all the layers in paper space changed.  So of course I told her she should do a regenall and not just a regen.  Well, she had done a regenall and only the layers in paper space changed and the layers in model space didn’t.  Alright, why was this happening on her computer and not on mine?  Well, turns out that she was changing the layer state using a different method then I was.  I used the layer states pulldown on the layer panel of the home tab of the ribbon and she was changing them via the layer states manager.  So, what’s the difference?  Well, when you change the layer state via the pulldown, you change the base layer properties but, when you restore the layer state via the layer states manager, you are applying the new layer state to the layers as an override.  But wait a minute!  The layers only changed in the paper space, not in the viewports!  Well, paperspace acts like a viewport and has layer overrides just like a viewport does.

So, in the following image, you can see the original look of the drawing.  It’s a civil engineering drawing although it isn’t a Civil 3D drawing.  I know, the name of the blog is Civil 3D Plus but, it’s my blog so deal with it.  Besides, the program is technically called “AutoCAD Civil 3D” so, since this is an AutoCAD tip, it relates to Civil 3D as well.

I created a layer state called GREEN and made a change to all the layers in the layer state.  Bet you can’t guess what change I made.  Anyways, I go into the layer states manager and restore the layer state GREEN and this is what I get:

As you can see, the base properties of the layers haven’t been changed but the current viewport (i.e. paperspace) overrides have been changed.  A quick undo and I’m back to where I was.  Now, instead of going into the layer states manager, I use the layer states pulldown on the ribbon to change the layer state and this is what I get:

In this situation, no viewport overrides are applied and instead, the base layer properties are changed.  So, it turns out that when you restore a layer state in a layout tab, it’s important to choose the proper method.