Copied component retains "parent" component's name

I create new component by using Ctrl-C with Move tool. For example, if I create a component named Door, do the Move/Copy step and then rename the new component to “Left Door” the Outliner uses my new name but appends the name of the original component inside Less Than and Greater Than symbols.

It’s not a huge deal, but I’d like the Outliner to look “cleaner”. Is it possible to remove the original name part?



The component name in the less than/greater than brackets is the component’s Definition Name. All instances (copies) of the component will have the same definition name. The name that isn’t in brackets is the instance name. The instance name is optional but there will always be a definition name. If you leave the instance name out, Outliner will be easier (shorter) to read. I actually rarely find it useful in my modeling of furniture to use the instance name but what I do suits my workflow fine.

FWIW the definition names with the # indicate that you’ve copied a component and then used Make Unique.

Thanks DaveR.

Well, I guess I’ll just have to learn to deal with that quirk. My intent was to give each copy a separate name so it would be easier to tell quickly what component represents. In this case, it’s not a huge deal because I only have two doors.

If, however, I am doing a model that will have several doors that are copies of the original it would be a bit tough to figure out which is which in the outliner. How do you handle situations like that?

If they are supposed to be different doors, I would make the copies unique and change their definition names. In most cases I don’t find it important or very useful to separately identify individual doors if they are identical.

If I was going to need 8 identical doors for a project I would be planning to make 8 identical doors and it wouldn’t matter which one goes where. Hinge mortises and other door hardware is sorted out in the shop anyway. If the doors are inset doors I would be building them against the case to make sure each one fits its opening. I might intend for them to all be the same but I would still be chacking against the actual cabinet instead of blindly following the plan.

It may help to think of the ComponentDefinition name as “what” and the ComponentInstance name as “which”. So, for example, all table legs may have the same “what” but the front left leg is a different which from the others.

Naming matters mostly based on how you select objects in the model. If you select WYSIWYG by clicking them in the model view, you likely don’t care at all about the names. Or you at least aren’t using the names for identifying what you want to access. But if you select via the Outliner, you rely on the names to tell you what and which you just accessed.

Groups are problematic in this regard because SketchUp doesn’t support giving them definition names, only instance names. So if you don’t provide instance names, in the outliner you see all of them just as “Group” with no way to tell them apart!

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