Creating Components in Layout



We love SketchUp and especially love the component feature where you can copy elements and change them all simultaneously. Is there any way to do this in Layout?


Uh, no. There isn’t.


If Trimble expects Sketchup / Layout to truly be a tool for the creation of construction documents, having the ability to create objects similar to components in Layout is essential. For example, I currently want to create a block of “Drawing Notes” that occurs several (but not all) sheets and has the ability to be located in various places on the sheet.

I wonder - is it possible to create a custom Extension that could do this? (can Extensions even be used in Layout?)


I can see the benefit of having component-like entities in LO but…

This can already be done if the drawing notes are created as an RTF file.


Good suggestion, DaveR. I’ll do that even though it’s annoying to have to open a different program to modify the notes.


You can open the RTF file in the editor directly from LayOut, make the changes, hit Save and go back to LO. The updates will automatically show up. Personally I’d rather leave the text editing to a separate program.


Hi all-

The LayOut team would love to add support for component-like behavior. Feel free to brainstorm how you’d use the feature in this thread, and we’ll stay tuned.



Hi Marc,

At this point I would settle for basic Sketchup cpmponents / Autocad block / Revit detail family functionality.

I think the workflow could be similar to the sketchup create group or component:

1 - Draw 2D lines, text etc on layout page
2 - Select items
3 - Right click > create group (normal layout group) OR create component (like sketchup component)
4 - Save to scrapbook if desired
5 - Place multiple copies of component object (for example a custom lighting symbol)
6 - If a universal change is required: double click symbol > edit symbol as required > click outside selection box = Updates all symbol components in layout file
7 - If a change to a single symbol is required: right click > explode/ungroup to break connection > edit symbol > right click > create new group/component if required > Save etc.

This simple addition will make Layout much more drafting friendly.
As well as changing from an Adobe Illustrator type line function (boxes around elements) to a Sketchup/Autocad type line function where you can click and drag line end points etc.

My 2 cents.

Looking forward to watch Sketchup and layout take over the architectural world.


I would also love to see something like this. In addition to the functionality of groups and components, I think it would be great if when clicked into a group one were able to draw new objects and use the other tools as well such as slice, join, etc. Drawings can get very complicated when many objects of different types and groupings begin to populate a page. Being able to edit items and draw new geometry while in a group is one of my favorite features of SU and it would be awesome if LO behaved similarly.


Another possibility is using Text and Labeling as a type of component. It works in sketchup. I do this in Revit on my elevations and sections. Then I copy through to all my other views. If I need to change the text updates through the documentation… keeps everything accurate and its quick and easy.


I strongly agree with all of the comments and suggestions above requesting the capability to use components in Layout. If SU can add this functionality to Layout it would really help us to promote it as a professional tool in the architecture world.

@stephen -“In addition to the functionality of groups and components, I think it would be great if when clicked into a group one were able to draw new objects and use the other tools as well such as slice, join, etc.”

@benoldays describes it pretty simply and straightforward.

The most straightforward example of how I will use components in Layout is for view titles on sheets; If I add a sheet A1.1 for example, and every view title on another sheet is already labeled A1.1 and needs to be changed to A1.2, I need to click into my view title groups until I get to that text and change it. It would be amazing if aside from changing that text all as a component, there was a way that it was automatic and each new view title would label itself (A1.1:A, A1.1:B, A1.1C, etc.)

Also the RTF never really works for me. When I insert the RTF I made in Word 2011 for Mac the text formatting goes crazy as soon as I scale it or change the shape/size of the inserted RTF…

My three cents… Thanks SU in advance!


Other component ideas / suggestions for Layout for those of us that are struggling through Layout as a production / shop drawing too:

  • Section Line graphics that are easy to stretch to fit a certain drawing size but keep the graphic lines a certain distance from the arrow/markers and that keep the graphic circle/arrow the same size no matter how far it stretches up or across the page;
  • ability to create 2d dynamic components that will maintain their sub-component size definitions (think scaling a drawing of a picture frame with the frame will always hold a defined size
  • drawing name/title components that can stretch horizontally as a group to accommodate text length but not distort the drawing designation graphic on the leading end
  • MUST HAVE: a dynamic revision cloud graphic that can be drawn with a pencil tool, rectangle tool, etc, including a linked/attached revision number designation (typically a triangle in architectural,etc)
  • a drawing scale title/name that is linked to an inserted scene
  • a smart text type “tool” that will allow a user to add/update through a button/click/command a Revision Date (which calls for “today’s date” on a page. If a user changes something on a drawing and only wants the revision date to appear on the page the change occurs, it has to be entered manually. Current auto text categories don’t actually work well for Revision dates because of the need for a page by page callout, and the fact that saving, printing, etc does not mean the correct date of the revision)


I have a feature request and it’s something related to this topic.
I’m sure that most of Layout users have a problem when they create architectural drawings details .

Usually to create architectural drawings details we add some scrapbooks tags on the plan and section and after that they create different pages contain these details, and when the user want edit a detail in a sections or a plans , he have to read the number of this detail in the sections or a plans and then browse through “Pages Window” , and if the page contain a lot Drawing Details, that will lead for more time to find that detail.

My suggestion is link Tags group with Groups or components, that could be achieved by having this:
Their will be an Entity window ( similar to SketchUp Window) and will contain a drop-down menu to select the Group we want link the selected tag with (maybe could be searchable).

Then when we select the Tag in the Section or the plan and right click on it and choose “Go to Linked Group”, that will open the page for the"Linked Group" in a new tap and will be already entered the edit Mode of the group so the we could see and edit the detail quickly:

And if the “Linked Group” is on two pages, then two pages tabs will be opened and so on, and if the group is not linked to any group or the “Linked Group” has been deleted, then “Go to Linked Group” from the Context menu will not show up.

That will make everything connected and save a lot of times.

Looking forward to hear members thoughts,

Mousa Abu Doush


Other possibility:
Draw a P&ID diagram, with pump symbols, valve symbols, transmitter symbol and so on.
Every symbol with a tag and other values
Then extract a table with a list for each elements