Adjusting layer hierarchy in a 2d drawing

Hello all,
When I am using SUPro in a 2D layout and I have my objects in layers, I can’t get the correct layer to be on top. By this I mean: I am creating a structure of posts and beams. The posts are squares that I have colored green, and the beams are rectangles colored red. The posts are being covered up by the beams that are intersecting them. Even though the beams will reside on top of the posts, I need to show the post locations. How can I adjust which layer is on top?

Thanks in advance for your advise…

Are you referring to the tags in SketchUp or are you talking about LayOut? SketchUp 2020 does not have layers. They were replaced by tags. In Sketchup tag (layer) order has no bearing on what shows in front of what. That’s done by using 3D space.

If you are just creating 2D shapes in SketchUp to represent the elements in your model, you still need to separate them with distance in order for one to appear above the other.

In LayOut you should be able to place your content on different layers with the content on layers higher in the list showing over content on layers lower in the list.

Perhaps you could share your file so we can see what you have to work with.

Thanks for such a fast response!
Yes of course I meant tags… sorry, coming from 2017 where it was always called layers.
Here is the sketchup file along with a JPEG. As mentioned it is the green squares that represent posts that I would like to show on top of the beams. Right now the posts are mostly in the corners, and you can see some of them peaking through.

I have just switched to pro so I am new to jumping between SU and LayOut… I didn’t think of drawing in LayOut first, or if that would be the best course of action.

Rossetti.skp (121.9 KB)

OK. So as I wrote, tag(layer) order makes no difference in a 3D space. It actually doesn’t even make sense to order things by tag/layer when working in 3D space. That’s 2D thinking.

In order to make your red beams appear to go over your blue/gray geometry, you need to put some space between them. Here I’ve moved all the red elements up in the space.

So now in the top view, elements that should be below the red beams don’t show through. Compare the doors, for example.

It depends on what you need out of the model. I find the drawing tools easier to use in SketchUp but if you have no plan to utilize the 3D model space you might find it easier to just do all your work in LayOut.

Do you only need a plan view or do you also need elevations in your final product? If you need both, it would make more sense to create a 3D model in SketchUp and make the 2D views you need. That way when changes are required you only need to edit the 3D model. You don’t have to chase around trying to figure out what needs to change for each view like you would if you are making only 2D plan and elevation drawings.

@DaveR has given you an excellent solution to your ‘Z’ fighting / layering issues. Another technique you may consider, is one I utilize leveraging the strength of SU 3D modeling, in which I give different “heights” to the different “horizontal” elements to create a viewing priority when the model is viewed in Top View.

Please see attached updated model.

Rossetti-Update.skp (153.6 KB)

I also modified the posts and downspouts to Components and added two Scenes to ease modeling.

Thank you both!
Before switching to pro, I did get around this by first doing it as a 2D drawing, but would give certain objects a height (Z) of 1/8" to get them to the top. Switching to pro I guess I was under the assumption that there would be a better work around in the 2D arena. I do use both 2D and 3D, basically getting the layout for the client in 2D, and to establish preliminary pricing, and if they commit, then following up with 3D renderings. I’m thinking I will be better off doing the 2D as more of a straight forward line drawing, and not overlapping the components… that is have the beams come up to the post and not overlap… clean it up some. Of course I have to take into consideration my partners way of drawing as well… Work in progress!


I think considering it a work around to use Z positioning to create the separation in SketchUp is going down the wrong path. The faces have no thickness so it is perfectly normal that faces sharing the same location will show at the same time. Again, that’s really 2D thinking but you are working in what is meant to be a 3D space.

It sounds like the work flow you want to use is akin to using paper and pencil. With paper and pencil you would also have to stop drawing and leave gaps to avoid the overlap. Of course you can approach your modeling that way but the whole thing just sounds like more work than going 3D right away. As long as it works for you, though, that’s the key.