Can't Move Component to Different Layer

I keep having this problem with components and layers.

Occasionally I draw components while I am on the wrong layer.

I can select all of these components and then change the assigned layer in the Entity Info window, but if I then make the original (incorrect) layer invisible, all of the components disappear, even though Entity Info says they are assigned to the new/correct visible layer.

If I make the old, incorrect layer visible, and I then “Invisible” the new correct layer, the components DO become invisible… but they also become invisible when I make their original layer invisible also. It is as if I have created nested layers. That might be useful for some things, but I need to know how to completely disassociate components from the layer on which they were originally drawn,

I went to Knowledge Center and found some instructions explaining that to change components’ assigned layer one should first go to the layer to which they are to be moved, select the components to reassign to that layer, open the context menu (right click) choose “Move to Current Layer”, however my context menu displays no such option.

What am I doing wrong??? It is getting hard to keep track of all the objects I accidentally drew in the wrong layer, or which were drawn before I decided to create a new layer to which I would like to move them.

That sounds like the instruction you have read is for LayOut, SketchUp’s partner program.

You should never change the active layer, draw all geometry (lines/arcs etc) on layer 0. Make groups/components and the use the Entity Info window to assign them to layers. I think your disappearing issue is probably because you have drawn geometry on a layer other than 0.

To fix that you basically open the group/component for edit and select all of the geometry inside. If you look at Entity Info, the layer the geometry is on is displayed. If nothing displays then the geometry is on several layers. Use the layer dropdown from entity info to return the geometry to layer 0.

There are extensions to fix it too, it depends how bad it is I suppose.

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You have a layer other than 0 active in your screenshot, its a classic of using layers incorrectly in SketchUp.

It doesn’t look to be a quick fix manually. Can you upload the SKP file here in a post? If its more than 3mb you could upload it via Dropbox/Google drive and share the link here.

OK, I think I understand. I never knew I should be drawing on Layer 0 all the time. I assumed the point of layers was that one should draw on the layer to which one plans to assign the newly drawn component.

Yes, I was looking at a LayOut help file as it turns out.

Found this in SketchUp tutorial, guess this pretty much solves it:

"One thing the Layers panel can’t do is move a group or component to a new layer. After you create a group or component and set up your layers, you move a group or component to a layer as follows:

  1. Select the group or component in the drawing area.
  2. Context-click your selection and choose Entity Info .
  3. In the Entity Info panel that appears, select a layer from the Layer drop-down list. Remember that you need to set up your layers before you can choose one from this list."

Looks like I have to delete some layers in order to reassign components to Layer 0, then recreate the layers and assign the components to the layers I want them on.

This is gonna be a laborious fix

… So now I know :stuck_out_tongue:

I were going to run an extension on it for you to return all the geometry to layer 0. You could do it yourself if you wanted though.

It is a fairly large file… I think all I need to do to move everything to zero is just delete all the layers…

While it will be some work creating layers from scratch and placing components in them, it will give me a chance to reorganize my model, which it sorely needs.

Thanks much


I think you are right, if the components are on the wrong layers too you would have to reassign them again anyway after I put the geometry back to layer 0. Wiping the layers (sending everything back to 0) and reassigning the components to new layers should get it cleaned up nicely.

Hat off to you anyway for not just letting someone else fix it for you, good luck.

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In SU, you can create a new Layer within the Entity Info Panel… just by typing in the name you want into the Layer: drop down text box.

That Actually, also assigns any geometry that’s actively selected to that layer as you’re creating it. So you get two things accomplished here all at once.

Also, Look into the Outliner Window at some point… it’s useful in a few ways… one of which is it’s ability to select geometry directly from it’s own menu list—instead of having to navigate to it in the traditional way.

Are you on MAC Jim? I believe that is a MAC only feature, it’s not possible on Windows as far as I know, all you can do with the layers dropdown in Entity Info in windows is choose an already created layer.


Yes, I am on a Mac @IanT.

I’m not happy to hear that this isn’t possible on Windows… since I think it’s the best way to go about all of this.

Sorry for any misleading info though… I didn’t remember this was a Mac only feature.

I just watched tutorial video explaining that geometry is always on Layer zero, regardless of what component / group / layer it is assigned to.

I should have watched that years ago, it explains a bunch of error messages I often get when trying to draw things, and never been able to figure out until now.

No problem, its one of those slight differences between the versions. I thought I should mention it.

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You should be able to select all your layers ( other than 0-active) and “delete” them. The dropdown will give you an option to “move contents to default layer”, if you do that everything will go to layer 0 and remain in their groups.
From there you could then reassign those groups etc to layers ( I like to think of layers as “Tags”), thereby keep all geometry on layer 0 but assign elements to layers that can then be used to isolate specifics.

While experimenting in might be a good idea to save a copy of your model as something else so you could go back there if needed. You can also have 2 copies of SU running and copy and paste if needed too.

Yes, that is exactly what I did… I am now in process of re-organizing and naming layers and assigning components to them one by one… it is going to take a while, but my model will be much better organized than it was before, so I am fine with it.

Now I understand how the layers work vis a vis the components and groups, I can see that planning things out early on in the drawing process is pretty important… but I also now know how to fix things before I get one hundred components on the wrong layer or a poorly planned/named layer.


If I can find it I will post a link to the discussion, but one user had a good system whereby with an empty document he created a number of squares/groups and assigned them to an ordered layering system along architectural standards, and all of these were saved as a component. With future drawings he would import that component and the layers panel would populate with all of those predetermined layers, making for a more efficient/consistent system. Any geometry you draw can then easily be assigned to one of those layers so you don’t have to rethink/recreate those layers each time.

That’s interesting. Is that similar to saving layers as part of a template or something else?

This was the topic, (post #59) near the bottom it was BlackdogSUP’s post that describes his process. He didnt mention creating a template, maybe you can? Not sure if a template can have named layers? so he created some minimal geometry and assigned each to a layer. All that geometry was saved as a component that he can import to a new drawing. The final component can be hidden in the model you bring it in to…if you look at the post it describes it in more detail, but its a nice idea.

As far as I know it can. Even though I don’t have a default set myself, my default template used to have “fixings” layer saved into it but I changed things up a little while ago. I have a special script that Steve Baumgartner wrote for me to create custom named layers from the component definitions in the model and assign them when I’m ready to create scenes.

See that here if it’s of interest to anyone, although it’s not really suitable for this case.

I can’t find that particular post, but, sure, I think you can create templates with layers already set up. Also, importing an object with layers can add the layers automatically. Once you do that, you wouldn’t have to hide the object to keep the layers, you could delete the object and the layers are still there. The only danger in the first and last cases is the purge unused command would wipe out all those preset layer names. The only reason I can think of to import and hide an object with preset layers is to protect those layers from the purge unused command. Personally, I hardly ever use the purge unused command on layers. I usually hand pick layers to be deleted if I need to.

Unfortunately I’m a purger, after a while stuff can build up, especially with imported models, so there does come a time when i purge components/layers/materials, that’s why i prefer to hide it. Will try this technique as a template, as I thought templates were limited to styles.