Allow access to component entity info from within the Layout Text tool

The Layout Label tool allows you to pick values from the components hierarchy entity info. The Text tool does not. My personal style in my Layout docs uses Text blocks to add detailed information about specific components in the SketchUp model.

This is a screen shot of a page showing the type of details I include:

This annotated screen shot of the same page shows what I’d like to see in the Text tool:

The real issue for me is that if you change the components info (i.e. Name) in the SketchUp model, the Labels will automatically update, but the same component info inside a Text block will not.

What I’m picturing is an addition/extension of the Auto Text functionality that lets you pick entity info from all components found in all included SketchUp files in the Layout file.

I have solved that by making the textbox another label.
This means I make a label but I set the line colour to totally transparent, so you see the label as if it was a textbox but you have components info able to choose.

1 Like

How would you choose which object in which viewport the individual words in the text box was referencing? Seems a UI disaster waiting to happen…

1 Like

If you double click the reference remains…

No, in the proposed text box that the OP requested.

You would have to map words in your text box to specific components within specific viewports.

I had the same question as @bmike . How would you link a normal text box to anything specific in the viewport? A label includes a leader to do just that. Making the leader transparent as @rtches indicates can make the label look like a normal text box.

1 Like

Perhaps for simple models this could work, but I sometimes have 100s and maybe 500+ components in a construction document, so I think it would make AutoText unwieldy.

Sorry, I understood that was about transparent label

Hear’s one thought I had…

Add a new Layout window (ala Layers, Pages, Dimension Styles etc.) that looks and behaves lot like the SketchUp Outliner window. Call it the “Component Info” window.

That new Component Info window will have a hierarchical list of all SketchUp files referenced in the Layout doc —for me typically one, but however many might be referenced in the Layout doc.

Each SketchUp file would then expand to show all Components in that SketchUp file via the same flippy expand/collapse triangle mechanism used in the Outliner.

Each Component would then expand to show its: Definition name; Instance Name (if any); And any Advanced Attributes values.

Then, from with the Text box you are currently editing, you can mouse over to the new Component Info window, navigate it as needed, and click on the appropriate Component value to have that value inserted into the text as a link to the selected item. Note that I say “link” rather than just inserting the text (like the way Auto-Text uses ) so that if the item’s value changes in SketchUp, it will automatically update in the Layout text.

To be fare, I do not know how the Label tool automatically updates the name of the component it is connected to when that components name changes in SketchUp. My SWAG is that all components in SketchUp are stored in an internal record structure where each component record has its own unique component identifier number and all the other unique information about that specific component (i.e. Definition name, Instance name, etc.).

I understand the request and I can see how you arrive there, although I also use labels with transparent leaders for this. However, as if Layout didn’t have speed issues already on larger files, I shudder to think of how it would grind with an open “Outliner” window for every included SKP, Ouch.

1 Like

I have actually used the Label with a transparent leader trick in other places. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t work for most of my “Notes” text since the text can reference more than one component.