Restoring Classic Layer Filters

JAS Layer FiltersI ran into a problem early on in our deployment  and testing of AutoCAD Civil 3d 2009 that I couldn’t figure out.  I had swallowed the new Layer Properties Manager hook-line-and sinker and quickly found that some of the highly-used AEC Layer Filter tools that I had grown very accustomed to using were missing.   The modeless Layer Properties Manager took the place of my Dashboard.  [I have not yet replaced my custom dashboard 🙁 but the LPM does work well docked on Screen 2]

Autodesk support helped me out.  I had to dig this up earlier this week because Update 1 (service pack 2) removed this registry hack and my earlier change this year did not remain.

Here is the tweak:

Thank you for contacting Autodesk Support. Unfortunately, the Import/Export layer Functionality was removed from Civil 3D 2009.  However, have a workaround that will hopefully meet your needs.

There is a command called CLASSICLAYER. This command should bring you the older Layer Manager with all of the commands. However, to get this to work correctly, we need to modify the Registry slightly. To add the required Windows Registry:

1. On the Start menu (Windows), click Run.

2. In the Run dialog box, enter regedit. Click OK.

3. Find the following subkey:

4. Double-click the ADT String Value.

5. In the Edit String dialog box, in the Value Data text box, enter AecLayerManagerEx.dll and click OK.

The next time you launch Civil 3D, type CLASSICLAYER. You should now get a new dialog box that has the correct commands. Keep in mind that the “old” civil layer manager will still function as before. You can modify the CUI to add a button or change the Layer Toolbar to launch this Classic Layer Manager instead, although it will not be dockable.

Warning! Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at

Use the Microsoft® Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry as well as the system.dat and user.dat files as outlined for your operating system in the Microsoft Knowledge Base and in the solution, TS66513. Additional information about the registry is also contained in the Help topics in the Microsoft Registry Editor.


Let me re-iterate the warning above ! Improperly editing your Windows Registry can & could render either your computer or your Civil 3d unusable!

One comment

  1. I know a few people who prefer the classiclayer approach anyway. In 2009 if you set your LAYERDLGMODE=0 your layer dialog box will show up in classic mode every time. I’m sure the ‘desk is working furiously on a setting for the image and xref dialog boxes.