Using a CAD feature layer definition query

Use a definition query to filter out unwanted CAD geometry. You can enter an expression directly into the text box or use Query Builder to define an SQL statement that specifies a unique attribute or attributes contained in the CAD file.

To display only the entities on a specific CAD drawing layer:

  1. Double-click the CAD layer in the table of contents to open the Layer Properties dialog box.
    • Or right-click the CAD feature layer and click Properties.
  2. Click the Definition Query tab.
  3. Click the Query Builder button.
  4. Double-click the reserved CAD field Layer to enter the field name into the SQL text box.
  5. Click the EQUAL SIGN button Equal.
  6. Click the Get Unique Values button to display a list of layer names contained in the CAD file.
  7. Double-click a layer name from the list of unique values to complete the SQL statement.

    For example, the expression "Layer" = 'LOT-L' displays only the CAD elements residing on the drawing layer named LOT-L.

  8. Click the Apply button to verify the results.
  9. Click OK to close the dialog box.

You can reduce the need for definition queries when working with AutoCAD DWG files by using CAD-defined feature classes. There are two ways to create a CAD-defined feature class:

  • Automatically in ArcGIS using the Export To CAD tool
  • Interactively in AutoCAD using the plug-in application ArcGIS for AutoCAD

Related Topics

Published 6/8/2010