XFIG Users Manual

Layers (Depths)


Xfig uses depths (a simple form of layers) to determine the drawing order of overlapping objects. The depth is one of the attributes of an object, just as color is. If you have two or more overlapping objects and the order in which they are drawn is important you must give each a different depth value.

Depth 0 is the top of the drawing order, with increasing depths being underneath objects with smaller depth. The maximum depth is 999.

Depth Panel

[Depth panel] While the depth feature has been a part of xfig for a long time, there is now a panel to the right of the canvas which allows the user to enable or disable editing and displaying depth levels. This panel may be hidden or shown by selecting Show depth manager from the View menu.

Clicking on the checkbox area of a depth indicator will turn on or off the display and editing of objects at that depth. By clicking on one checkbox and holding down the mouse button while dragging the mouse up or down over other depth checkboxes, multiple depths may be enabled or disabled at one time.

If you click on a checkbox that is ON and drag the mouse over other checkboxes, they will be turned OFF regardless of their initial state. Conversely, if you click on a checkbox that is OFF and drag the mouse over other checkboxes, they will be turned ON.

New When printing/exporting, it is possible to choose to output only the objects with the depths set ON here (active layers), or output all objects (all layers) regardless to this setting.


- All On
Pressing this button will turn on all depths.
- All Off
Pressing this button will turn off all depths.
- Toggle
Pressing this button will toggle all depths, i.e. turn on all depths that are off and turn off all depths that are on.

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