Getting Layers to Work

Hi. I am used to Visio (which may be a mistake). Based on that experience, I should be able to assign object to a certain layer and edit within that layer. That way I see certain details without the clutter of upper layers. However, I find that deleting an object in Layer1 propagates back to the “Layout”. If I lock the “Layout”, it is not possible to do anything in Layer1. Hiding a layer (“Select a layer, and then choose Format - Layer / In the Properties area, clear the Visible check box. / Click OK.”) does nothing.

Operating system. Ubuntu 22.04.2

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{Meta: Let me decide myself what I want to post. The message “…too similar…” is really annoying.}

This should only occur if the layer named “Layout” is not hidden, and the object you supposed to have assigned “Layer1” actually has assigned the layer “Layout”.
Things are complicated by the fact that shapes may be members of the same GroupShape, but still have assigned different layers. Verablly layers are treated as if they are containers, but viewing it the way the API is organized, they aren’t.
Unfortunately I don’t know a simple way to show what layer a specific shape has assigned.
Anyway: Do as @Hrbrgr advised, and we will hopefully be able to help.

Operating system. Ubuntu 22.04.2
I have added this to the post as well.

I think I was expecting too much. In Visio, I could assign objects to various layers. I could then choose which layer I want to display. This can get very dense if the diagram is full of layers of pipes, wires, structure etc. In Visio, I did not move objects from one layer to another (as described in I would work with a master layer and then assign objects to other layers as needed. These objects were not necessarily on top of each other. A pipe could be in front of some walls and behind others.

So I think the Visio approach is very different, and it is not fair to expect that Draw would do the same thing (Visio costs a lot more).

Thanks very much for your help

…and it is not fair to expect that Draw would do the same thing (Visio costs a lot more).

And why are you passing judgment on Draw and you know very very little about it?

Learning something new can be exhausting. The learning curve could be very steep in the beginning.

Layer Functions in Draw

Hidden Features in Draw

English documentation

Though I don’t know Visio as a user, I would also expect the approaches to be different. LibreOffice (now maintained and developed by TheDocumentFoundation takes a different approach to the “normal Office applications” as well, but still tries to be largely compatible with the MS “solutions”. Its main advantage insofar is its monolthic design. Concerning Draw there never was intended compatibility with Visio - which not is part of the MS office suite.
Draw was originally developed by the StarDivision, later by SUN Microsystems finally merged into the ORACLE corporation and eventually made FLOSS.
As you see it’s basically a clearly professional project of which you rightfully expect high quality. The differences between Draw and Visio are at least not actually price related, because the prices MS takes aren’t costs but wins - except the price includes professional support for the software, does it?
From my point of view you get mostly good support by the community here - for no cost.
There are shortcomings of LibreOffice, of course, too. We may, however, porbably not catch-up with MS insofar.

Anyway: The way the guide talks about layers is misleading. The layers aren’t containers, They only help to organize visibility, printability and locking. In addition layers and Z-order are independent in Draw. The nomenclature may be doubtable therefore.

One question in return:

How (do you think) this is blocked in Draw?

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Did you mean something like this:

  • Realistic drawings of wickerwork or knitted fabrics require a locally defined Z-order in the area of overlaps.
  • What software can do this?

Of course, tubes, pipes and the like can be arranged to “wickerwork”. Don’t think it would be a good idea.

Then Draw is perhaps not the right tool. If you’re designing something related to building utilities, you could have a try to FreeCAD which has dedicated modules for Part Design and Architecture. Objects can be grouped into sets such as walls, floors (stories), furniture, networks (water, sewage, electricity, …), structures, … which are selectively hidden.

Layers in Draw are like layers in Visio, more or less. They constitute a conceptual grouping of objects, and do not determine “Z-order” or “object stacking”.

There are differences in layer use between the apps. A few:

  • An object in Draw resides in exactly one layer. An object in Visio can be assigned to any number of layers, and also remain unassigned (not on a layer).
  • In Visio, properties can be dealt to objects based on layer assignment. This is typically done by way of object styles in Draw.

Even though both apps have a way to create simulated 3D renderings of objects, neither app is a 3D modeling tool. For an object to cross over positions in the Z order, you have to cheat a little: split an object in two halves, adjust Z order independently for each part, and then group them.