If you begin working with a large number of layers (around 200), you may notice that the layers are not sorted in the layer dialog. Instead they are shown in the order they were created. AutoCAD uses a system variable MAXSORT to control how many layers to sort on layer control as well as how many files to sort on file open. Simply type in MAXSORT at the command prompt and put in a numeric value larger than the default value of 200. This value is stored in the configuration files and won’t need to be reentered in your next drawing.
Don’t Plot That Layer!
A trick in AutoCAD that has been around for the longest time is a layer name that won’t plot regardless of its status. Create a layer in your drawing called DEFPOINTS. Use it to place notes to yourself, construction lines, etc. It also an excellent layer to put paper space viewports into, since the frames don’t plot.
No Xref Layer Filter
If you want your layer dialog to show only layers in the current drawing and exclude all xrefs, create a filter with a name like NOXREF, then put this in for the layer name "~*|*" (without the quotation marks).
Delete All Named Layer Filters
Later versions of AutoCAD have the ability to delete all named layer filters quickly.
1. Open the Layer dialog box.
2. Open the Named Layer Filters dialog using the [...] button in the upper left corner.
3. Choose the [Delete All] button in the lower right.
Copy Layer Table
Beginning with AutoCAD 2005, you can copy the contents of the layer dialog to the clipboard for pasting into other applications, mainly for printing. With the dialog displayed, issue the Ctrl+A keystroke combination to select all the records, then use Ctrl+C to copy the contents to the clipboard.
New Layers (Frozen in Existing Viewports)
Starting with AutoCAD 2008, the layer dialog has a new icon just to the right of the 'New Layer' icon. Use it to create a new layer that will be frozen in all existing layout viewports!
Another Classic - ClassicLayer
Some users of newer versions of AutoCAD are reporting slow behavior in using the new Layer dialog that floats and remains open. This new dialog must constantly monitor AutoCAD to maintain an accurate reflection of the layer status in the drawing, including reacting to changing the active drawing, etc.
For those who want faster response or those that like the old way better, use the ClassicLayer command to initiate the old dialog.