Drawings displayed in the ASSETS screen are essentially Library records where the Library Type has the “Show as Drawings” flag checked.

“Layers” can be added to drawings for the purposes of:

  1. Navigation
  2. Data overlay
  3. Reporting

“Layers” are marked up regions on the drawing which can be linked to assets in the asset hierarchy.

Properties of a Drawing

  1. Library Type - By default, this will be “Drawings”.

  2. Name - A 50 character field which is the name for the drawing, it is most common to use either the drawing title or the drawing number here.

  3. Description - A 100 character field which provides more descriptive information of the Drawing.

  4. Document No. - A 50 character field which stores the Drawing Number or Reference.

  5. Revision - Revision of the drawing (eg. “A” or “C”).

  6. Reference Date - Reference date of the drawing.

  7. Physical Location - If this Library Item is a reference to hard copy document, then enter the physical location of the document here.

  8. Hyperlink - When linking this document to a UNC or URL, then the full hyperlink is stored in this field.

  9. Attachment - When loading a drawing into the NEXUS IC database, or replacing an existing drawing then click on the Import sub menu item. Other menu items available from this dropdown are:

    • Link - Link to a file on a mapped drive. A copy of the file will be stored in the NEXUS database and updated when the file changes.
    • Export - Saves the drawing to a folder location of your choice.
    • Launch - Launches the drawing in the default Windows viewer.
    • Copy - Copies the drawing to your clipboard.
    • Clear - Removes the drawing from the library item.
  10. Show Grey Scale - A flag which will display DWG or DXF drawing layers in black and white in lieu of designed colours.

  11. Show Captions - A flag which will show or hide caption layers of a DWG or DXF drawing.

  12. Show Dimensions - A flag which will show or hide dimension layers of a DWG or DXF drawing.

  13. Use in Reports - Can be used to filter what drawings are output to reports.

  14. Force 2D - If you have DWG or DXF drawings which NEXUS is detecting as 3D, and you’d prefer NEXUS to treat them as 2D, tick this box for those drawings.

  15. Background Colour - Allows you to define the background colour of a Drawing. Please note that this functionality will only work on drawing types which support transparency (eg. DXF, DWG, GIF etc.).

The Drawings Toolbar

  • Add

    The Add menu item allows you to add a new Drawing. When you click Add, the Add Library dialog will appear. (This is because Drawings are Library Items in NEXUS IC 6.) Enter the Name of the Drawing and any other relevant document information. Then click on the Attachment button.


    You can also add drawings by dragging image files from Windows Explorer onto the Drawings pane. If you drag/drop one file, you will be given the Add Library dialog, and clicking Cancel will cancel the add. If you drag/drop multiple files, they will simply be added.


    NEXUS IC supports the following image formats:

  • Edit

    Edit the properties of the current drawing. From this dialog you can also Add and Edit connections to the drawing.

  • Delete

    Delete or Unlink the drawing from the asset. Delete will delete the library item from NEXUS. Unlink will remove the link to the asset, but keep the library item.

  • Drawing Type

    You can select which library types appear here. (To control what appears on this list, go to LIBRARY, edit the library types in question, and tick or untick Show As Drawings).

  • Include Parents

    If you check Include Parents, drawings on this asset’s parents will be shown in the thumbnail list for you to select.

  • Copy to Clipboard

    Copies the drawing to your clipboard at the current scale and offset shown. The drawing thumbnail and layers will also be included.

Layers Menu

  • Layers ‣ Extract Layers

    On a PDF drawing with comments/annotations, the Extract Layers tool will be enabled. Click this to extract and create layers for each annotation on the drawing. If the Annotation matches an existing Asset Name in the asset hierarchy, the layers will be automatically linked to their corresponding assets.

  • Layers ‣ Edit Layers

    Click this to add, edit delete layers on drawings. A ‘layer’ is a region, or a button, or a caption, drawn on the drawing.

  • Layers ‣ Save

    Save add/edit/deletions that you’ve done to layers on this drawing and exit Edit Layers mode. This option is only available if you’ve made changes.

  • Layers ‣ Cancel

    Cancel add/edit/deletions that you’ve done to layers on this drawing.

  • Layers ‣ Layer properties

    Properties of the currently selected layer(s). Different types of layer have different properties. Pick a different item from the Layer Type drop-down to change this layer to another type. You can set a Colour, which will be shown in the shape’s border, and shown translucent in the shape’s area. Opacity sets how translucent — 0 is completely transparent; 100 is completely opaque.

  • Layers ‣ Delete Layer

    Deletes the layer off the drawing.

  • Layers ‣ Create Layer

    If you’re partway through creating, say, a Polygon layer (see below), you can right-click and choose Create Layer (or press Enter) to complete the shape. This will take you to the Layer Properties dialog for your new layer.

  • Layers ‣ Cancel Point

    Don’t like the point you’ve just left-clicked to create? Right-click and choose Cancel Point (or press Shift-Ctrl-P).

  • Layers ‣ Cancel Layer

    Don’t like the layer you’re partway through creating? Right-click and choose Cancel Layer (or press Escape).

  • Layers ‣ Copy

    Select a layer using the Selection Tool (see below), and right-click and choose Copy (or press Ctrl-C). This will copy the region to NEXUS IC’s internal clipboard. Then…

  • Layers ‣ Paste

    …paste that layer by right-clicking and choosing Paste (or Ctrl-V). NEXUS will paste the layer in, offset a little from the original. Then click inside the layer with the left mouse button and drag the layer to its desired location.

  • Layers ‣ Select All

    Select all the layers on the drawing.


    Using ‘Select All’ is useful way to reposition or delete multiple layers. You can also select multiple layers by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking each layer.

  • Layers ‣ Clear Selection

    Unselects all the layers. This is useful, for example, if you want to unselect the selected layer so you can see the colours of all layers at once. (The selected layer is shown in pale blue; Clear Selection means no layer is so shown.)

Layer Tools

  • Selection Tool
    Click this, and when you click on a layer in the drawing you’ll be selecting it. Ctrl-click to select additional layers. You can click inside a layer and drag to move layers. (Click-dragging a point will move just that point.)
  • Rectangle
    Click this then click-drag to create a rectangular region on the drawing. Once complete, you can drag the four corners of the rectangle separately so that it’s not a rectangle anymore.
  • Polygon
    Click this to start drawing a polygon region. Each click in the drawing will add a point to your polygon. Press Enter or right-click and choose Create Layer to complete the polygon.
  • Ellipse
    Click this then click-drag to create a ellipse region on the drawing. Once complete, this is turned into a 50-sided polygon.
  • Line Region
    This tool is useful for putting regions on P&IDs etc., where you have a thin, possibly branching line and you want to put a narrow region over it. Click the Line Region button, then left-click on an end of the line you want to trace, left-click at the next point that it turns a corner, etc. As with Rectangle, when you complete (by pressing Enter or right-clicking and choosing Complete Layer), the layer is a region and you can adjust all its corners independently.
  • Caption
    Click this then click in the drawing at the top left of where you would like your caption to appear. In the Layer Properties dialog, type some Caption text. Optionally choose a Caption Colour and a Caption Angle — blank or 0 gives ordinary horizontal text.
  • Button
    Click this then click in the drawing at the top left of where you would like your caption to appear. In the Layer Properties dialog, type some Caption text — if you type no text, you will get a very small button, because the button sizes to fit the text.

View Menu

  • View ‣ Fit Width
    Changes the pan and zoom on the drawing so that it fits within the width available in the Drawings pane.
  • View ‣ Fit Height
    Changes the pan and zoom on the drawing so that it fits within the height available in the Drawings pane.
  • View ‣ Default Size
    Sets zoom to 100%. This may or may not fit in your Drawings pane, depending on how big the drawing is.
  • View ‣ Zoom In
    Zoom In.
  • View ‣ Zoom Out
    Zoom Out.
  • View ‣ Zoom Selection
    Click this, then in the drawing click and drag a rectangle. NEXUS IC will then zoom to the area you’ve selected.
  • View ‣ Increase Caption Size
    Increases the size of all captions on the drawing: on captions, buttons, and regions.
  • View ‣ Decrease Caption Size
    Decreases similarly.
  • View ‣ Caption ‣ …
    If you select Default, captions will display the text you have set in Layer Properties. If you select Asset Information or Event, NEXUS IC will display a picker. You pick a field, and NEXUS IC will use values from that field to fill captions. This only works for layers that have an asset set in Layer Properties.

Layer Colour Menu

  • Layer Colour ‣ Default
    Shows layers on drawings in the colours that you have selected in the Properties of each layer.
  • Layer Colour ‣ Traffic Lighting
    Shows layers on drawings in the colours specified by the currently selected Traffic Light.
  • Layer Colour ‣ Transparent
    Shows layers on drawings as just an outline, in the colours that you have selected in the Properties of each layer.
  • Layer Colour ‣ Unknown Asset
    Shows layers that have an asset in the Known Asset Colour, and layers that don’t have an asset assigned in the Missing Asset Colour. You can configure these in Database ‣ Properties.

3D Drawings Toolbar

3D drawings get different items on their toolbar. Add, Edit, Delete and Colour are as described above.

  • Rotate
    When selected, dragging on the 3D drawing will change the “camera” angle. When unselected, dragging on the drawing will pan.
  • Wireframe / Hidden Lines / Smooth Shading / Flat Shading
    Select between these to control rendering of the drawing. Some are faster; some are prettier. For some drawings, Wireframe may not show anything.
  • Information
    Toggle a panel at the bottom of the Drawings pane showing information for the selected region of the drawing.
  • Coordinates
    Toggle the display of coordinates at the bottom right of the drawing, showing the mouse location.

View Menu

For 3D drawings, the View menu contains extra items:

  • View ‣ Rotate
    Same as the Rotate button.
  • View ‣ View Direction
    Select one of 10 viewing directions. You can get to any of these viewing directions via the Rotate button, but this is faster.
  • View ‣ Viewports
    For a 3D drawing, available viewports will be displayed on this menu.
  • View ‣ 3D Styles
    Same as the Wireframe / Hidden Lines / Smooth Shading / Flat Shading buttons.
  • View ‣ Hint ‣ …
    Similar to View ‣ Caption ‣ …, but information will be displayed as a mouse-over hint on the region you’re currently on, rather than as captions.
  • View ‣ Show ‣ …
    Information and Coordinates are the same as their respective buttons.
    Grid may or may not show a grid, depending on the drawing. Axis will show/hide the axis orientation arrows at the bottom left of the Drawing panel. North Arrow may or may not show an arrow illustrating the North direction, depending on the drawing.

Refer to 3D Drawing Setup Example and 3D Drawing Preparation in Autocad on how to configure 3D drawing objects to link to assets in the asset hierarchy.

Asset Information

You can right-click on an Asset Information field name and select “Display on drawing” to show values from that Asset Information field on drawing layers.

Drag and Drop

When you are editing layers, you can drag an asset from the asset tree at the left of the window onto the drawing. You will then be given a dialog asking you what type of layer you would like to add to represent this asset on this drawing.

You can also drag from the asset tree onto an existing region. The existing region will be given this new asset as its Caption and Asset, and you will be shown the Edit Layer dialog.

You can also drag an Asset Information field from a form onto the drawing. This makes the selected layer display text from that Asset information field.

Properties of a Layer

  1. Layer Type - Specifies the way the layer will be rendered on the drawing. Only Region and Button with Region let you create complex outlines.
  2. Colour - Colour of the layer. This colour is used for both the outline and the fill.
  3. Opacity - Opacity of the filled part of the layer. 0 is transparent; 100 is solid.
  4. Show Caption - Tick this to set the Caption (below) visible.
  5. Caption - Text string to show for this layer. This caption text grows/shrinks as you zoom in/out. It can be moved using the “grab point” at its top left. The text can be replaced with other text when the drawing is used in a report template or the drag AIG feature is used.
  6. Caption Colour - Colour of the Caption.
  7. Caption Angle - 0° is horizontal, right way up. Positive angles rotate the text anticlockwise.
  8. Associated Field - You can show text from an Asset Information field on this layer. The text will be appended after the fixed text specified in Caption.
  9. Asset - A layer can link to an asset. Specify that asset here.
  10. Relative Asset - Instead of specifying a particular asset, you can enter text here. NEXUS will search for children that match that name. If multiple children match, when the user clicks this layer and chooses Navigate to, there will be one entry for each in the pop-up menu.
  11. Associated Drawing - When the user clicks this layer and chooses Navigate to, you can choose here which drawing will be selected once the navigation is complete. That drawing must be available on that asset.