Components - Inserting a library to favourites

Hello all,

I am not sure if I am tapping into something previously discussed but couldn’t find anything.

I have created a “bible” of components for our kitchen cabinets with attributes that help with stock ordering, etc. Each cabinet is its own separate file. Whenever I insert the components into a new drawing, I usually just drag them from the explorer thus creating another component on top of that component (i.e. 200 HL BASE#1), meaning that to successfully create a list of my components using the BIM plugin, I have to explode them every single time. Is there a way to just insert them without having to do this?

Also, I tried adding the whole folder into the Components tab as a favourite, but when I do this, regardless of the naming I gave them as components/files, they all show with the same names?! How did I manage to do this?! Please see images attached.

Would anyone have the experience of working with a library that keeps getting updated and having components as separate files? This happens as the attributes might change if we update our folder, etc.

Many thanks and apologies as I am not a newbie to SketchUp but a newbie when it comes to using components to its maximum capabilities.



You’re almost there with adding the containing folder as a collection to your Favorites. What’s missing is distinctive component names.

I’m not talking about the name of the file containing the saved component, but the component’s internal name. These are two different things!

From the picture you show, you have (at least) 3 different files containing components with the same name (“SLAB - 200 HL BASE”). The components themselves are likely different - after all, that’s why you gave them different file names, but to be distinct within the component selection tray, they must have different names within SketchUp.


They do, that is the thing.

On the left image you can see all the files, which have a distinct name. Inside the files I have the component with its own distinctive name as well. What happens is when I drag them into sketchup, they show up with that name on the right, therefore I need to explode that inserted component to have the “real” component with its own name and attributes. But when I added the folder as favourites, all the components miraculously started showing up with duplicate names, which is not how I have them organised in my bible. I thought I was avoiding that when I added the folder as a favourite.

Question, when you drag a file as a component into a model, is it inserted with the file name? or with the component name? If so, how come I am getting to explode them to get the component in the file?

200 HL BASE.skp (48.9 KB)

I am uploading a file as an example. If you were to drag that into your model, how does it come up?

Thanks for taking the time. I am afraid that I may be complicating things when the solution is quite simple.

Another image, perhaps illustrates it better.

From the discussion so far, I sense some things that may be causing you trouble.

First of all, when you create your components, you should do it this way: Draw the necessary geometry and make it a component in your skp file. Give the component definition a meaningful name in the create component dialog so that you won’t forget later. Then to save as a component in a collection, right-click a component instance and select Save As… from the popup menu. This context menu item only appears if you have a component instance selected when you right-click. SketchUp will propose the definition’s name as the name of the file, but this is not a hard requirement - the definition name is saved in the definition independently of the file name. Conversely, the definition remembers the file where it was loaded/saved so that you can later edit that file and then choose “reload” from the right-click menu to bring the altered definition into a model to replace the old one.

This way of saving is not the same as File->Save As…! File->Save As save the entire file as a SketchUp model that happens to contain an instance of the component along with the definition. When you bring a component saved that way back into a model, it will get an extra layer of component wrapped around it, just as you would if you brought it in using File->Import.

This is not a bug, it is the way it is meant to work. The reasoning is that a model could contain loose geometry as well as groups or components, and you probably don’t want those loose edges and faces to interact with others in your model when you import the file. Having to explode after import is a small price to pay for avoiding possible collisions.

This may not be affecting you, but it confuses many newbies: one should be aware of the difference between the name of a component’s definition and the name of a particular instance of that component. The create component dialog shows only the definition name because that’s what you are creating at that point: the definition. The Entity Info window shows both names, and is where you can assign instance names. That way if, for example, you have twenty instances of a component whose definition is named “Chair”, you can give the instances distinct names such as “My Chair”, “Sam’s Chair”, “Empty Chair”, etc. to keep track of which is which in the model.


In addition to @slbaumgartner : the component which is saved this way might seem to loose its dynamic attributes because the ‘upper’ wrapper might seem to have lost when you open the file, but regains those attributes upon loading them in a new file
For your situation, you can insert the files which you already made in a new file and get rid of all the ‘upper’ wrappers , purge the model and save the collection of all components at once via the detail icon in the components tray, add to favorites and you are able to use all your components.

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Hello, that actually makes sense. I will look into re-doing them like that, as I was saving them as individual files. No particular reason behind it, just thought that it was the way to do it.

After that, hopefully inserting them into the components favourites will be straightforward.

Thanks all for the help, I will update when I get around to this :slight_smile:

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