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    By Dennis Collin

    With the recent 2020.1 update AutoCAD received a new Textlayer variable which places text objects on a specific text layer, even when the text layer is not set as current. Unfortunately, no such tool exists out of the box for hatching, dimensions and leaders etc. However, this limitation is addressed by a very useful free add-in which is available for full AutoCAD versions 2017-2020.

    This add-in is called Comslayerlt and once installed sits in the appropriate add-ins tab on the ribbon.


    This plug-in permits the setting not just of text layers, but also other AutoCAD elements as well including viewports, leaders, tables and even Xrefs. Other layer settings such as linetypes and colour can also be set. Should a certain layer not exist then the tool will create the relevant layer in the drawing. In addition, layers can also be set for blocks, with a filter for block names to place, for example, plumbing fixture blocks and furniture onto their respective layers.

    The layer assignment tool can be controlled via a toggle so that it only operates on certain drawings. It is a very simple, yet effective tool and ideally should be implemented as a standard feature in ‘vanilla’ AutoCAD.

    The add-in can be installed from the Autodesk app store here:

    (login required)


    For a previous post on the new AutoCAD 2020 Textlayer variable go here:


    The TEXTLAYER system variable is also available for AutoCAD LT 2020, but unfortunately LT does not come with API support so doesn’t benefit from separate developer routines. Hopefully this enhanced layer functionality will be introduced in a future release.