Autotext in SketchUp?


Hello Sketchups Users!

I’ve been using SketchUp Pro for proffesional use the last 2 years and I gotta say I’m impressed by this affordable program.

But enough about me, let’s get back to the case! This new Autotext function in Layout is a great succes in my eyes. A succes I would like put into Sketchup aswell. I use the Autotext function on all my drawings in Layout and as I was drawing in Sketchup it suddenly struck me “Couldn’t Autotext work in Sketchup as a Component Definition-Text?” and I think it can.

Here’s a case about how it could help me:
I draw steel pipes for Solar Energy. Most of my pipes are a standard component; 6000mm long and in the component definition you find the pipe thinkness, lenght, diameter, etc.
But when I come across a point where I have to make my pipe shorter, I take my 6000mm standard pipe component, make it unique, make it shorter and (here’s my point) edit the Component Definition with a new lenght.
I would save ALOT of time if I could make an Autotext write my pipes centerline length, so I wouldn’t have to edit the text all the time.

When inside of a component, select your centerline, right-click, add a function “Costume Autotext”, let the user name the Costume Autotext and give it a function (this case lenght), add Your autotext directly into the Component Definition and wolla.
For function I guess alot of us could use options like lenght, diameter, radius, thinkness, volume, etc.

I’ve searched, but not found anything near what I’ve just explained, so that’s why I brought this topic here.
What are your thought Sketchup Users? Could this help your workflow? How does my idea sound?

Best regards,
Thore Witt


another solution which already exists would to use the dynamic component capability to write the attribute value required and use layout to access it.

Post a pipe and will make dynamic so you can scale it or size it,
gives us the syntax of the data you want layout to show and its likely your requirement can already be solved


Hi Pcmoor

Here’s one of my standard pipe components:
Pipe.skp (115.5 KB)

The point of the autotext was to make a component list when the project is done with all the correct lenghts in it. I often find in big projects that a pipe is made unique without updating the text, then it will say “Componentname | 6000mm#1” and the component list would be wrong.


If you use the report writer you notice that everything is in inches, so there is a need to change every thing by multiple(s) of 2,54, this is also true with some of the dynamic attribute functions like current and facearea.This inconsistency will hopefully be changed in the next version update

After viewing your component, I note you have elected to place most if not all the data you require on the definition. By this you identify and list your components without the need to reference the rest of the report.
I removed the 16,000 from the definition name and made it into a dynamic component with options to either scale or place specific measures all limited to 16m or below.

The name attribute in a dynamic component writes on the Option Dialog which initially has or had the same data / name as the definition, So we can change this to reflect the true length as you require.
please see Pipe.skp (129.7 KB)

The syntax 16,000 is created using a bit of logic with the num_ attributes
Now you have a name in the header of the option dialog which you can copy to rename the component. Or regardless this is accessible in the list and in layout.

You may need to reconsider how you use data within Sketchup. The DC is the best, visible method of storing data. However there are still hurdles for us metric users, which I hope the Sketchup guys will amend soon!


It’s true I place all of my data in the “Component Definition” and that’s because I use “Windows - Statistics” for making a material list. I found the “Generate Report” quite hard to order from, due to the massive information stored into the report. Also in the Statistics it sums the same component where the report makes one of each, even though they’re the same. I might be behind on this DC and Report Generate, but it looks like an Autotext with the LenY already is within reach. If I could just get LenY into my “Component Definition” I could get the material list as I’m used to and the problem would be sorted already.

Is it possible to make a DC which inserts the “Component Info: Name” into the “Component Definition”?

How do you make a material list fast and smooth with DC and Generate Report?


The DC can’t change its own definition, this can only be done whilst it is inactive. This is the same as the reasoning for any file name when another application is using it. The best you can do is copy (control C) the header of the option box, then change the definition by paste (control V). However lets assume you have one cut @ 3600, then later again have the same cut @3600; sketchup will not allow you to perform the same task as the component definition already exists.

I agree with you in regards the “Generate Report”, it would be good whilst in Sketchup one could decide which attributes get reported and in what units. This is what the feature request should be.

However it is possible to make a customised script within a spreadsheet to sort the data and create meaningful lists and tables. This can achieved with VBA in excel. This could be a task for the company that employs you, If you do work with excel on a windows platform, I don’t mind going through the steps to achieve this


Maybe this might tempt you, if so can you start a new post on to edit a “Generate Report”


taken from Pipe.skp (185.6 KB)


Hi again pcmoor!

This look very tempting, I’ll look at it when I’m back at work on tuesday!