Changes to Layers

Being fairly new to SU, Layers is confusing, I find myself using the circle instead of the square to make a layer visible, then continue to work in that layer which does muck up to model. I would like to see something a little more difficult/complicated to change layers.

In fact, if all work is to be done in Layer0 why allow changing layers at all?

All work should be done on Layer 0. Leave the radio buttons (circles) alone with the Layer 0 button showing the black dot. The squares you refer to control layer visibility. Not which layer is active.

Keep in mind that layers only serve to control visibility of entities in SketchUp. Make every on Layer 0 and change layer associations in Entity Info. It’s pretty easy that way.

I agree that it would be nice to be able to lock Layer 0 as active but the radio buttons are kind of like a scab. When you quit picking at them, they aren’t a problem. :smile:

The obvious answer is that the statement (as underlined above,) is not true.

It is not true no matter how many sages say it, because it is worded incorrectly.

The true “rule of thumb” is that: “All PRIMITIVES should be on Layer0.”

There are times when changing the active layer is desirable. Such as inserting a series of component instances on a specific display layer. It is much easier and faster than selecting them all later and changing their associated layer via the EntityInfo inspector.

But this protocol usually involves the conscious change of active layer, the insertions, and the switching back to Layer0.

It is not the software’s fault if the user doesn’t use it correctly.

Dumbing down the software, and taking power away from users who DO use the software correctly, is not the correct answer.

Besides group and component instances, … dimensions and guide elements (lines and points) can be put on display layers (ie, layers that are not Layer0.)

Things to be wary of:

Images. Images are a special sub-kind of component instance until exploded. If you explode them, take care to move any primitives (edges & faces,) to Layer0.

Intersecting: Some intersect or boolean tools will put the results on the active layer. These results may be primitives. It can be powerful and an advantage to temporarily have these results on a layer other than Layer0. But if they are left in the model after processing, they should be moved to Layer0. (Plugins that use intersect, usually do this, if written well.)


That’s not entirely true.

I’m not sure how adding an extra keystroke, or whatever, takes away that much power.

SketchUp is a great piece of software, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be made better, (specially for newbies), I assume that’s why there’s a Feature Requests section in this forum.

You could look at my Plugin:

It watches for you changing the active-layer away from Layer0, and questions that change.
It also has watches to make sure that new Edges/Faces go onto Layer0, irrespective of the current active-layer, even those resulting from Exploding a Group/Instance, which would otherwise use the container’s Layer for it.
It also adds a context-menu item to reassign Selected Geometry [Edges/Faces] to Layer0 - ignoring any selected ‘containers’…

Thanks Tig, exactly what I was looking for! :smiley: