Can I work just with one tag?

I would like to know if it is possible to work with geometries on selected Tags.
For example: I have been thru lots of ocasions when I was editing or adding geometries on a zoomed area and after a while I just realized that somehow I messed up with other areas that had nothing to do with the ones I was working.

At this moment I am adding some pipes and I would like to work on tag “hidraulics” but also LOCK everything else to not mess up the rest of the model. Is this even possible? Is there another way to achieve this?


I think you are using tags incorrectly. Tags do not separate geometry. The functionality you are looking for is in groups and components. They separate geometry from interacting and can be worked on separately.

You can control the visibility of a tag in the tags window by clicking the eye. But even when not visible, raw geometry can be altered without you seeing it. Best practice is to make all objects into groups or components as you make them. Later you can assign those groups or components to tags.


The consensus is that you should almost never place lines and edges on any other tag than Untagged. You can enclose your raw geometry into groups or components and then assegn tags to those.

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Ok lets put tag aside…
I am creating the hidraulic network of my house.
Should I use component or should I use group to make them? Which one is more usefull for this task?
I understand that components are more like for distinct parts, I feel like I should not be using component for desing my entire hidraulic network. Components are more like pieces of the pipe, like the pipe segments, pipe turns, valves, etc.
Is that right? Or wrong?

You should start by grouping all geometry into pieces as you move. It’s up to you if you want to use components instead, but it’s not required. Focus on grouping at first. Leave nothing without a group or it will interfere with everything else regardless of tag.


Components and groups are both like wrappers you put geometry into. Once inside the wrapper the geometry is protected from interacting with anything else in the model. It becomes a distinct "object” that can be moved around and worked with. To make changes to that object you need to open the wrapper to reach inside and work with the geometry, by double clicking or right clicking and choosing edit. I particularly like @DaveR ‘s jelly bean analogy here.

The main difference is that groups are single instances of an object, while components can have multiple instances that are all linked. In your case I would use components to make up the individual parts of the pipe system as elbows, and valves etc are identical repeating parts. Then if you later make a small change to one of them the change will be reflected across all instances in the entire drawings, a real time saver. Once your geometry is enclosed in a wrapper it can then be assigned to a tag. So you might assign all the individual components of a given system to a single tag called “steam system 1”. Then you can easily control the visibility of that entire system with the tag window.

You could put each system into it’s own group or component also, this is called nesting, having wrappers within wrappers and is fine. It can take longer to edit if there is a lot of nesting because you have to drill down inside the wrappers to get to the thing you want to edit but it’s fine to do. If you are editing a component you can choose View>Component Edit>Hide rest of model to solo that component while editing.


Looks like its an habit a beginer need to create.

I am now working inside a group. But now I stumble in another problem: using the line tool, I can’t place it in the middle of the pipe. It won’t snap in place, different when I work outside of the group. I need this to create a path for the the “follow me” tool.

Is this a bug or something I am missing?

Can you download and post your file here in the forum? Or post a screen shot so we can see what you are talking about. Inference “snapping” should work either way.

I can upload it but I already circunvented the problem. I don’t know why, the cilinder (that represent the pipe) “lost” the center point AFTER making it. I have 4 vertical tubes and I was trying to make a curve for the 1st without sucess. After looking in the internet, I read in forum someone saying, sometimes SU lose the metadata of the circle or cilinder and when this happens it can’t stablish the center point anymore.

Then I tried to make a fresh new tube inside the group and it worked. Soo I guess I need to make one at a time.

Casa Av Parque 4 eletrica.skp (5.2 MB)

Endlessfix, try the blue tubes behind the white one. Try to pick the center of it to draw a line and then use the follow me tool. I can’t do it.

Can’t use tape tool as well.

The inference engine will find the center of any circle or arc. The follow me tool will move a face along a path but the ending face is no longer recognized as a circle or arc (although the original still is) the ending face looses it’s center inference point. Push/pull does not explode arcs and circles. You can tell if something is an arc or circle by selecting it with a single click, if the entire circle selects it’s an entity, if only one facet selects it’s a collection of lines. You can also look under entity info and it will be labeled as a circle.

You can quickly find center of an exploded arc by bisecting it. At the end here I make a hidden line that ends at center, this gives me a hidden reference to find center easily.

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You might try this for locating a center point of an exploded circle.
Here I used the arc tool with 4 sides.



Great explanation! Thank a lot!

I am noticing that before I start the follow me tool I still have the circle in my cylinder. But once I use the follow me tool, the starting circle stop being a circle (can’t select it with one click anymore, just segments). Is this correct?

If soo, once I make a turn with my “pipe” technicaly it is no more a cylinder but a serie of planes that mimic a cylinder, correct?

Yes. Follow Me will explode the circle into a bunch of edge segments.

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Chris Fullmer has an extension (Arc Centerpoint Finder) that will find the centre from 2 sides of an exploded arc or circle. From Extension Warehouse.

And there’s another extension by ni called Lines to Arc which will reconstitute an arc or circle from its exploded edges, provided no edge has been shortened or split at its midpoint - all the edges need to remain the same length.

That’s the way SU works - always using just edges and faces. If a cylinder is push-pulled from a circle, the edges are automatically smoothed, so it looks rounded.

If drawn from an exploded circle, or a polygon, they aren’t smoothed automatically, but you can do it manually.

Unfortunately since the OP is using SketchUp Free, that won’t do any good.


Oops - I didn’t look at his profile. Still, maybe it will help someone one else using a desktop version.

Tx, Dave, for picking that up.