What is the Defpoints layer in AutoCAD

You must have noticed Defpoints layer in layer property manager of AutoCAD which is automatically created. Have you wondered why this layer is created automatically and what is the use of this layer, keep reading this article to get answers.

What is Defpoints layer?

This layer is automatically generated when a dimension is created in your AutoCAD drawing, this layer stores information about definition points of dimensions. Objects on this layer are visible in drawing area but these objects will not appear when you plot your drawing, plotting is turned off for Defpoints layer.

What is Defpoints layer
Fig 1 – Defpoints as seen in dimensions

Definition points are reference points for dimensions these are same points which appear at grip location when a dimension is selected. In the image above you will notice tiny points at the location of red circles, these points are visible only in drawing area and they are never plotted.

A Defpoint layer cannot be deleted and if you try to delete it then an error message will appear as shown in figure 2. Although LAYDEL command can be used to delete this layer but I would not recommend it as it may corrupt your drawing.

What is Defpoints layer
Fig 2 – Defpoint layer and error message

Should I place objects on Defpoints layer?

Drafters generally harness this property of Defpoints layer to place objects on this layer which they don’t want to plot for example viewports and construction geometries but it is not a good practice as it may lead to unexpected changes in drawing such as.

If you freeze layer 0 then anything placed on Defpoints layer will become partially locked and you will not be able to select objects on it.

On running AUDIT command all objects placed on Defpoints layer will be transferred to a new layer $AUDIT-BAD-LAYER and as a result objects will remain visible in the plot.

So try to always create a new layer with its plot turned off and then place all objects which you don’t want to show in the plot like viewport and construction geometries on that layer.

How you use Defpoints layer and do you also use it for placing no-plot objects? Let me know in the comments below.

6 comments

  1. Does anything else get put on the $AUDIT_BAD_LAYER?
    Many years ago I created No Plot and Viewport layers when I heard it shouldn’t be used for elements but never had a good answer to why and the bad layer when auditing was never mentioned.

  2. I use all the time, espicially for Vports. I’ve never had a problem with the Audit business and I’ve been using it since DOS rel. 11. (circa 1987). What I like about it is that it’s “bullet-proof” as far as not plotting and being able to forget about the no-plot setting getting changed. That said, if I do see the Audit problem show itself, I’ll reconsider.

  3. This is excellent! I need to present this to the senior designers at work who struggle to keep us in the previous century. They use the defpoints layer for non-printing notes to future designers doing a revision as well as non-printing reference geometry in the model or drawing tab. And of course, since it comes from someone else besides myself, they might be accepting of it. As for myself, I have been making a layer called NO_PRINT ever since they began to allow non-printing as an option for individual layers.

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