By default, a new layout always starts with an initial Grid Layer with a white grid 11. If you do not want a new layout to contain a grid layer by default, you can specify a new file template in the General Preferences. You can add more grid layers by pressing 3. An additional grid layer may be useful if you want to have your horizontal and vertical grid coordinates indicated on separate layers so you can hide one or the other.
These layers are always transparent and can contain grid coordinates. You can access the grid options by double clicking on the grid's layer tab 10 which will allow you to edit the grid size, appearance and configure the coordinates. However, since the grid layers are transparent, they don't contain the background color; but you can change the background color through the edit > map background color... menu or in the Map Properties panel. See the Appearance Preferences and the Map Properties sections for more details.
Note that by clicking and dragging the grid itself, you will move the origin of the coordinates on the X and Y axes.
Brick layers are used to create the actual LEGO® layout. Having several layers can make complex layouts easier to edit and organize. In the above screenshot, three separate brick layers were used. One for the tables 13, one for roads and buildings, and one for the tracks. This feature is also useful if you have layouts which combine several types of track. For example, you can use one layer for 9V, one for 12V and one for the monorail. The contents of each layer can be moved independently from other layers.
By default, a new layout also starts with an initial Brick Layer and this layer is selected by default, so you can directly start building your layout after starting BlueBrick, or after starting a new layout via the File > New menu. But, as for the default Grid Layer, you can change this behavior if you set a new map template in the General Preferences. To add a new Brick Layer, press the button 4.
Area layers are useful to mark or reserve sections in or around your layout which are not necessarily reserved for LEGO® bricks, or a part of your fixed layout 12. In the above screenshot the area is marked to indicate the location of the 9V controller. These sections are marked using the paint tool which is only active when you select an Area Layer. To add a new Area Layer, press the button 5. You can change the painting color by simply clicking on the paint tool button 15, or you can select the color you need from the edit > paint tool > choose color... menu. Double clicking on the Area Layer tab will provide you with transparency settings and the size of the brush stroke in studs.
The whole area can be moved by holding down the CTRL Button (by default), and dragging it to new location using the mouse. Note that the entire contents of the area layer will be moved. Unfortunately there's no way for now to copy/paste or move only a part of the area.
The painted areas can be erased by clicking on the arrow next to the paint tool button 15, and selecting the erase tool, or you can select the eraser from the edit > paint tool > Erase menu.
Text Layers are useful for labeling sections of your layout 14. Press 6 to add a new Text Layer and then double click inside the layout pane to open the text box window. Write in the text field and change the font properties as desired. Press Ok to close the window and then move the text into position with the mouse. The text can also be rotated, by using the rotate buttons, and rotation settings. For more details about Text editing, please read the Using Texts section.
As for every type of layer, you can also change the transparency of the Text Layer by double clicking on the text layer tab 10. So if you want to have different transparencies for different texts, just use different Text Layers.
Ruler Layers are useful to measure distances on your layout. You can add a new Ruler Layer by pressing the button 7. In a Ruler Layer you can add linear and circular rulers which can display a distance in various unit (Stud, LDU, Straight Track, Module, Meter, Feet). These rulers can also be used to simply draw lines and circles on your layout, for example to delimit the wall of the room where you plan to build your layout. Rulers can also be attached to parts underneath so that the ruler will automatically extends and updates its measured value when you move the part. For more details about Ruler editing, please read the Using Rulers section.