Can't get rid of accidental typing in component instance name


I have a component (unique in the much larger model it was part of) which accidentally got named ‘o’ because Mac dialogue boxes don’t lose focus when you press Enter to complete an edit. The cursor was in the instance name line of Entity info, and the user (not me) typed ‘o’ for Orbit.

We can’t get rid of the name. I delete it, press Enter, or click on another component in the drawing, then click back on this component, and the ‘o’ instance name is still there.

It’s a great nuisance, because Outliner seems to sort components by their instance name, not their definition name, which means that components that accidentally get instance names aren’t together with other instances.

Is this a bug, a Mac ‘feature’, or designed behaviour?

The same behaviour also easily causes components to lose their names altogether, and appear at the top of the list in the Component browser with no name at all. At least I can work out which component it is, and reinstate the name.

But I can’t blank out, or delete, or otherwise get rid of an accidental naming of a component instance.

Can anyone suggest a workaround?

Here’s the offending component. Unfortunately, the user’s large model contains scores if not hundreds of such accidentally named component instances (he either hasn’t got or doesn’t use a scroll wheel mouse without typing ‘o’ for Orbit, and like me, uses a Mac.)

Undeleteable component instance name.skp (29.2 KB)

PS. This may be relevant. I’ve just noticed that component contains another component, which it shouldn’t, named for a different floor in the building.

But if I explode the inner component, I still can’t get rid of the instance name of the outermost one.


highlight the ‘o’ in ‘Entity Info’ replace it using the space bar, click on any other field…

the deletion should stick…



Does it give it a name of <space>, use an empty string, or re-assign it to null instead?


seems to leave it blank, i.e. if you go back to it in Entity Info the cursor is at the first char position…



Does that mean it will still sort out of sequence with components whose instance name is null?

I’ll experiment to find out, but wondered if you know from your own experience?


Thanks @john_drivenupthewall for providing the workaround.

Just to be clear for anyone else subsequently reading this thread, typing a space character instead of the text in the instance name, then pressing Enter or Return, clears the field completely, and does NOT leave a space in the instance name. It either sets it to an empty string, or to null, and the component instances in Outliner revert to sorting by the definition name whether or not they got an instance name accidentally.


This ridiculous behaviour drives me @#$$%^&* insane. It is literally the only software I have ever seen or used that doesn’t release focus on enter/return.

Every single day I end up accidentally renaming a component and/or layer with a single letter shortcut (most often “m”). The fact that the SU dev team has let this idiosyncratic and UI-hostile behaviour stand for so many years is completely baffling to me. (just as their ridiculous logic for file save locations that scatters files all over my file system, rather than always saving — as the default — back to the originating folder).

If there was a overwhelmingly compelling reason/benefit to thwarting previous UI conventions, then maybe I could understand it. But I can’t think of a single instance where the SU programmed behaviour is more desirable than the universally-accepted UI practice.

/End rant.

Back on topic, good to learn the trick of entering a space to clear an accidental / unwanted overwrite of an instance name.


Of course the thousands of ‘underprivileged’ PC users don’t experience this unique MAC feature, the focus is correctly swapped…

At the risk of going 'off-topic'...

This is somewhat like the MAC’s materials dialog being somewhat less than user-friendly - or even less intuitive - when compared to the equivalent on a PC…

Since the Trimble guys will very often do their usage demos on MACs, I am amazed that their SketchUp MAC version is so backwards in these significant areas, when compared to the PC !

I can think of no SketchUp tool that is better [easier] to use on a MAC…
But there are several tools that are undoubtedly better on a PC.
Any ideas / comments ??


I use both Windows and Mac OS. The above name problem is annoying, I also find (on Mac OS) after you convert a group to an component, when you start to type the new Definition Name the groups original name becomes the Instance Name! (I’ve just started using SU 2016 and this seems to have been resolved).
On the Mac OS you can copy figures from the measurements box but not on Windows OS, which I find very frustrating.
But using this forum work-arounds can be found and hopefully Trimble can resolve these problems in future updates.


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