How to make AutoCAD Layer States display as a list

AutoCAD Layer States are a very useful layer management tool for those layer heavy drawing files. Layer states offer the opportunity to group layers together into logical collections such as Building Envelope, Building Services, Structural Detail, Lighting or Furniture layout. Once set, to turn on and off large groups of layers to display just what we want to see becomes a one-click operation, saving time and frustration.

autocad layer states 2Default Layer State display as buttons

After creating layer states, they are available from the Layer panel drop-down and appear as buttons.

This is fine if the descriptions are short but for many common descriptions we end up with truncated headings, and when we have a lot, selecting the correct one every time can be interesting.

The layer state titles can be shown with a basic list style presentation. Sometimes AutoCAD will do this automatically but not always, so on these occasions we can force AutoCAD to display in this manner.

autocad layer states 3

Layer State display as a List

WARNING - this guide is quite wordy! In other words, it will take longer to read than it will to do the job, but I have worded it as a complete novice guide, so hopefully this will be useful. 

I believe I have found a 5-step method to force it to text mode:

1. Type CUI and hit Enter to open the CUI, Custom User Interface.
2. Expand: Ribbon/Tabs/ Home – 2D and click on Home – Layers.
3. In the preview panel on the top right click on the “Unsaved Layer State”
4. In the Properties panel below, notice the Display / Minimum Width, currently set to 209, (presumably pixels), change this 300 or 400, click on Apply and OK.
autocad layer states 45. Review your layer state menu drop down, it should be wider and hopefully now a text list rather than buttons.

As a side note, after doing this, if you set the display width back to 209, AutoCAD will remember the list setting.

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