Beginner Question: Does it make any sense to put geometry on other tags than on "Untagged"?

Hello Forum,
in the last years I did a lot of stuff with SketchUp (V2018 - V2020), and maybe some guys seen my work (My Architectural Drawings, Renderings and Animations). And I guess I´m not a Beginner any more. But I still ask myself one Question: Does it make any sense to put geometry on other tags than on “Untagged” (cause tags only control the visibility)? Are there any benefits to draw geometry on other tags?
Or is it that simple: drawing everything on “untagged” and simply organize the groups visibility with tags?

Greetings, Peter

For about 99.98% of SketchUp users it does not make sense to give tags to geometry. All geometry should be left untagged and only components and groups should get tags.

It might also help to change your thinking. You aren’t putting anything on a tag. You give tags to objects (groups, components, dimensions) but not to edges and faces.

Giving tags to edges and faces is a sure road to the booby hatch or at least a great way to make you frustrated as your model gets out of control.

1 Like

Keep in mind, too, that tags only control visibility of the objects in your model. Tags are different from the layers function in Photoshop and other programs. So, if you’re creating a number of scenes to show various aspects of your model, you will want to turn certain tags on or off for a scene, so that it shows only the objects you want to show. The simplest example is a drop-front desk. Do two writing surfaces–one closed, one open, each assigned to a different tag. For a scene showing the desk closed, hide the tag for the open front. Fro a scene showing the desk open, hide the tag for the closed front.

1 Like

So why do the other 0,02% Users put geometry on other Tags?

There are a few cases in which users are exporting line work for CNC cutting in which the exported lines are used to create toolpaths with different Z values. Even then, though, I think the best work flow is to save tagging the linework until the modeling is complete.

If you use the accepted best work flow you never need to worry about which tag is active because any time you are editing an object (group or component), you are working with untagged geometry. Much easier work flow.


I wonder if there are some other special cases for tagging geometry. For example, if you use text or dimensions within Sketchup rather than Layout? Of course, you could group such things and tag them instead and maybe that is the best way.

Dimensions and text aren’t ‘geometry’ in SU in the sense @DaveR is talking about - only edges and faces are usually included in that term. In my experience there’s usually no problem in tagging individual dimensions, 2D or 3D text, whether or not you group them first.

1 Like

A fair distinction John but I guess one that could be lost on newbies who might think of everything visible in the drawing as generically some kind of geometry.

‘Raw’ (ungrouped) dimensions, text created by the ‘Text’ tool and guides and guidepoints can have tags assigned to them without causing confusion. They never intersect in a sticky way, nor do they create unexpected new entities.

Raw edges and faces on the other hand with other tags than ‘Untagged’ can get you confused when switching between scenes. The invisible edges (when their tags are off) aren’t unprotected from getting intersected with new geometry (resulting in newly created faces and split edges) and also are sticky to new geometry in the same context.

(you knew all this but this is for newbies)

I did limit my remarks to geometry and groups and components however dimensions, labels, and screen text along with section planes are also objects that can be given tags.

I agree that almost all raw geometry [edges and faces] should remain with the default tag [layer] assignment ‘Untagged’ [Layer0].
Otherwise you could go mad chasing your tail…

In a few of my specialized extensions I do occasionally tag ‘lone’ edges differently within a nested group context, where I want them to still show up from within another tag/layer nested context.
But this is usually with specialized CNC type apps, where an added ‘line’ is needed and it might otherwise be excluded in an export method. Also some of my CNC export code does temporarily reassign special ‘layers’ to specific edges it’s exporting, but it always aborts after the export is done and reverts them to Untagged/Layer0…

So do NOT diverge from the Untagged/Layer0 assignment for edges/faces UNLESS you have an excellent reason and you remain in full control of the situation…


My only use case for geometry on tags other than Untagged is when I want to export a 2D vector image with things showing through transparent materials. Vector exporters don’t support transparency so putting all “glass” on its own tag and turning it off is for me the solution. This also works for showing things behind transparent planes with a different linetype in LayOut.