Agh.... Grouping issue! Plz help

Hi All,

I am a novice with SketchUp but am trying to draw a house we are building so we can plan the garden, some external wood and generally to have play. I am copying the architectural plans that the builders gave to us. But… I have a problem.

I created my groups (floor, internal walls, external walls, ceiling / floor, roof etc) and put them on the corresponding layers. I needed to then make changes but for some reason it will not let me group all of the entities together. I am trying to do this with the floor (as I needed to add some architecture that was grouped in the external walls), the floor was already a group so I exploded it, put the floor and the external walls (I exploded this too) on Layer0 (saw that on another question and thought it was the light-bulb moment!), re-selected and then tried to regroup them all together.

So in the left picture I have selected everything, then I go to make a group and it only puts some of the entities into the group, like the picture on the right:

I have tried lots of different things, I exploded all of my groups thinking some of the entities we locked in other groups, I tried to find the individual lines in the outliner to see where they were but I couldn’t seem to find them (is there a way to select something and go straight to the location in the outliner?).

I expect then when I try and re-group the other entities on my other layers I am going to get the same situation with the floor. I basically want to group together what I can see on that particular layer, is that possible?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Please remember I am a novice so anything too technical I might not understand.

Thank you!!

PS. sorry if it is long winded, I just wanted to give as much detail as possible.

How about sharing the SKP file so we can see exactly what state you’ve got it in now and give you some ideas about exactly what to fix?

One key thing I’m sensing from your post is that you are under the impression that you need to explode a group to make changes to the geometry. While you can do this, you risk merging the geometry with other ungrouped geometry. It’s generally better and it’s easier to open the group for editing and make the changes.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the response, much appreciated!

Ahh, the file is too big! But, that might have helped… I copied just the floor into a new sketchup page. It came up with Layer0 but it also had ARCH - Internal and ARCH - External in there as well (my other groups which I exploded!). So, I did what I have been doing before, I moved it all onto Layer0 and then went to make group and it worked. It is now 1 group… so I am hoping that I can now move it back to my saved work and delete out one and put in the other. Not sure if that will mess with all my other non grouped work now though!

I wonder why it worked in a new page but wouldn’t work on my saved work? If there is another way I can show you my whole work that would be good?


Try purging unused in Window>Model Info>Statistics. That may get the file size down enough. Otherwise upload it to the 3D Warehouse or Drop Box and share the link.

As to why it worked in the new file and not in the old, it’s hard to say exactly. I have a suspicion you are using layers incorrectly and not grouping things properly. Seeing the file will help to work it out.

1st Floor - Final Plans - Forum.skp (2.4 MB)

Here you go… I deleted the kitchen, stairs, bathrooms etc and it is now small enough…

I think your suspicion might be right… I did say I was a novice :smiley:

Let me know that you think and any other glaring mistakes that I have made…

Thanks for your help!

NB. Oh, the other thing it would not let me do is put a rectangle over the whole of the floor so that I can create the slab, I am thinking that once I have it in a group it will let me do this though.

At the risk of stealing Dave’s thunder, I can see a number of issues with your drawing that you might want to tidy up.

Do you use Outliner? You should as you will find it extremely useful. Here is what it looks like for your drawing:

Your grouping structure is a bit illogical. You have a door knob that has several levels of nested groups. Do you need that level of detail?

Also, you have multiple instances of identical windows. It would be much more logical for these to be components (change one and all instances change).

Many of your groups are simply called by the default name of Group. That means you cannot tell what is what. It’s good to get into the habit of naming groups and components as they are created (easier with components).

You also have raw geometry, like wall faces, that are ungrouped. Ideally, if you switched off all layers other than Layer 0, you would have nothing to see as everything would be grouped and assigned to a suitable layer.

Some people (Dave included, I believe) do not use Groups at all but only Components. There are a number of reasons. Remember that you can always choose a component and select Make Unique if you want a new one that doesn’t change the others. I also have an extension that warns me when I go to edit a component to stop me inadvertently changing something that has multiple instances.

I think Simon has stolen my thunder. :smiley: Actually, I was called away and he just got to it before I could. He has made some very good points.

A few key things:

ALWAYS leave Layer 0 active. Assign layers ONLY to groups and components.

Remember that making a group or component is like putting the selection in a transparent box. You can see the contents of the box but you can’t make any changes to the contents without opening the box. When you create nested components/groups, as Simon has mentioned, you’re putting the components/groups, inside more boxes. There are some useful ways to leverage nesting but it can also easily get out of control and make more work for you. It’s tedious at best to have to open three or four boxes to get to the thing inside.

As Simon’s screen shot shows, you’ve made groups of the windows and you’ve called them Window but that’s nearly as useless as leaving them named “Group” because you can’t tell which is which. It’s a bit like having a roomful of people named Bill. If you can only call out to one of them using his first name, how do you get the attention of the one you are actually wanting to talk to?

I’m tempted to suggest that you start from the beginning with the right methods rather than trying to fix up the existing model. There appears to be plenty to fix and I think it would be more efficient to begin again.

:smile: Were you taking a nap instead of “being called away”. You seem to be on the forum 24/7


Funny guy. :smiley:

No nap this time.

Hi Simon and Dave,

Thanks for the response. I am in Australia so it was late when I sent that last message.

As you can tell I have not been using the outliner as much, it has been a secondary thought. Simon, with the door handle that was from 3d Warehouse so I just downloaded it and stuck it in as it is like the one we are having, I didn’t realise it was that detailed. I can always remove that and select another one. Same with the windows, I can select and change the names, a bit time consuming but not the end of the world. I am not that confident with components, although I thought I was ok with groups… I know it is one and the same but seems like it is another level to me. I am a novice…

Dave, Eek… starting again?! This might not take you long to do but it has taken me hours and hours to get this far so the thought of starting again is terrifying (I started to try and calculate and draw the roof, it was only after some research that I found the follow me tool). This is all to scale so I would have to redraw it all. I’m sure there are shortcuts that I do not know but that would be my last last option. My wife does not care if things are grouped correctly or not.

Did either of you have any ideas why it will not let me group the floor layer entirely and it only lets me group some of the geomatory? If it is all on layer 0 then I don’t understand why I cannot group it together. As far as I am aware the rest of the groups were on layers, until I exploded them as I was trying to work out why this is happening. I do have a saved version before I exploded them all that I can revert back to.

If I can find out the reason it wont let me group then it will allow me to continue.

Thanks for your assistance.

It would help to see your unexploded version as this one is a mess. When you explode a group the raw geometry inherits the layer the group was on assigned to, this means all your raw geometry is mixed together. This causes all sorts of problems. As the others have said, Layers do not separate geometry, groups and components do. Layers are only so you can easily show and hide different parts of your model, to either help with modeling or for display.
A complex model can exist without layers, but not without groups or components.

As you can see in this gif even with the layers turned off a triple click will select all the geometry that isn’t grouped, this should never happen. If a selection of geometry doesn’t show a layer in the entity info dialog then that geometry is assigned to more than one layer. Use the opportunity to move it back to layer 0.
And a single edge drawn in will create faces. You must keep your geometry separated into G/C and only assign a layer tag to groups and components for visibility purposes.


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Hi Box,

Thanks for the into… Ahh… I see what you mean, that is a mess now and would take a good while to undo all of that. I am at work but will post up my unexploded version, I cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes on that one but it could be a better starting point for me. I think that the floor, 1st level, 2nd level and roof are in their own groups.

Is that the reason why I cannot group together the floor as there is merged geometry on it? I was thinking that the layers did what you are saying they don’t do, separates the geometry rather that it just being a visibility thing.

If I were to work from this one are you suggesting moving everything back to layer 0 and then working through putting it back into the groups?

Cheers (I think I should have does some more reading before starting!!)

1st Floor - Final Plans - Forum 2.skp (2.1 MB)

Hi Box, Simon and Dave,

Right, here is the unexploded version of what I did. Knowing a little bit more now there will still be some problems with this but it looks like there are some groups in the outliner which means they should not be connected and all the geometry isn’t mixed (if I understood right).

I tried to triple click but it is not showing anything. So, from what you said Box, if I want to change something I need to go into that group and make the change, I should never explode it or it will merge?

What do you think of this version… do I have a chance?