Duplicate Layer ( and contents) functionality

H there,
Is there any way to duplicate a layer and its content, the same way is possible for example in Photoshop?
Lets’ say I’m designing a Kitchen. I have the floor cabinets in one layer and the wall (upper) cabinets in a separate layer (ex: layer “Upper Cabinet VS1.0).
Then let’s say I want to produce a couple of more upper cabinets designs starting from the first one.
Now the only way (that i know) is to select and copy all the objects that I need to duplicate ( making sure not to copy some adjacent objects) , create a new layer, physically moving away all the original objects in the source layer (for example 200" along one of the axis), paste in place, selecting and move all the objects in the new layer (Upper Cabinet VS2.0).
At this point I have a copy of all my upper cabinet in a new layer and I can start to modify to my likely.
Then again I have to put back in the original position the contents of Upper Cabinet VS1.0 layer, so then I will be able to compare the 2 design just switching the views in between layers VS1.0 and VS2.0.

It maybe exist a simpler way to do that, but wouldn’t be nicer to simply have a right click function; “duplicate layer”, on the layer window?
Thank you.

Not sure why you are ‘physically moving away’ anything, just turn their layer off.

What you describe is correct. Copy components/groups, create new layer, paste them and assign them to the new layer, commence editing.

I do agree that a quick duplicate layer would be very beneficial. I go through the same exercise of creating individual design vriations regularly, and this basic, simple function would save time.

Either that or the ability to paste into a specific layer. Right now paste is into the same layer of origin (as far as I can tell), regardless of layer visibility. The ability to quickly paste into a specific layer would speed up this process of creating variations of a model section.

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Because to my knowledge ( I may be wrong) once I paste in place there is not way to have those duplicate objects in new separate layer. So then how am I able to select the duplicate objects to move them in a separate layer? They are superimposed on the same layer if I don’t move them away before I paste the duplicate. …

There is. Immediately after pasting them, they are still selected: go to Entity Info and from the layer drop down pick the new layer you’ve created. Done. Got it?

That’s exactly my point in simple words, thank you. ( I knew I’m verbose) . I’m surprise nobody ever ask for something like that.

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Thank you monospaced, that works. I just tried, even though some of the group objects are only partially in the new layer…meaning if an object is a group of different objects, even though the group is in the new layer, the inside hierarchy retain the original layer belongings so they are not visible. But that I think is another issue…

Yes it is. I think it’s because you have loose geometry on layers beside Layer0. Keep it all on layer0 and only assign groups and components to other layers. You still have to be diligent and work the way sketchup works in this regard.

Yes I know, only that I often create different layers for different reasons and sometimes when the scene is complex with a lot of objects, duplicates, layers and so on…
Thank you for your help.

I use layers in Adobe products too, and the emphasis on using Layer 0 in Sketchup as a work around to the general issue of all geometry touching each other seems like the wrong solution to the problem.


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You can also do effectively the same thing the other way around. The results are the same, but it can be visually more obvious:

  • Make the selection
  • Copy
  • Move the selection to the new layer
  • Turn off the new layer if you like (optional, but gives you visual confirmation)
  • Paste in place

@romi63, whatever method you use, don’t forget to make the components in your selection unique after copying them (assigned to whatever layer) before starting to change them. You’ll probably already guess why.

I think I might have figured out a workaround… slightly time-consuming but still easier than making all new layers… and you might be able to utilize the template we’ll create on future jobs. I am working in Sketchup 2021…so if you are in an older version these steps may not work.
Step 1: Save-as your drawing that has all the Layers you want to duplicate.
Step 2: Turn on all layers.
Step 3: Delete any entities, scenes, materials, that you don’t want to duplicate.
Step 4: Once you have cleaned up your drawing, follow these instructions to purge your drawing and get rid of any lingering layers, materials, entities from the drawing.
(click on Window Tab, Model Info, Statistics, Purge Unused).
Step 5 (optional): If you do not want to keep any of the entities that your layers are on and you only want to duplicate the layers, then delete all entities from the drawing.
Step 6: My purpose of duplicating my layers is because I want to have three different bathroom designs, so I renamed every layer I want to duplicate to have a -2 at the end of each layer name. This way when I import my newly created Bathroom Layer Template I will have my original layers in my drawing and the new layers I bring in. This way the new layers are duplicates but different so I can still turn on/off both bathroom designs. I eventually duplicated this template and changed all the layers to have a -3 at the end of each name, because I want three different bathroom designs.
Step 7: Turn on Axes by going to View Tab and checking Axes.
Step 8: Draw a 12" (or whatever size) line starting at the axes point.
Step 9: go back to Window Tab, Model Info, Statistics and see the total number of Tags you have, remember that number.
Step 10: Select the new 12" line, use the move command, click CRTL button on keyboard, move curser in a straight line and type 12", click enter, then type the number of total tags you have with the letter x after the number, click enter. This will copy your 12" line 12" apart and give you the same number of lines as you have tag names. (note: if this step is confusing… this link is a nice tutorial on how to copy multiples in a linear array https://help.sketchup.com/en/sketchup/copying-what-youve-already-drawn)
Step 11: Click on each 12" line one at a time and place each line on each of your tag names. I went in order as they appear in my layer list.
Here is a screenshot of my layer template drawing. I choose to keep my entities in as well. (I’m not sure how to paste images into these comments, so the image below might not show up, sorry)

Step 12: I saved my drawing like normal, naming it Bathroom Layer Template. This way I can easily access the drawing on my server in a normal documents folder if I want to make edits to it.
Step 13: When you are all done renaming your layers and attaching each layer to a 12" line, Go to File Save As Template, Name your Template, and uncheck the box that says make template default.
Step 14: Close out of template drawing. Open the drawing you want to duplicate the layers in.
Step 15: Go to File, Import and you will find your drawing template at this file path…
C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\SketchUp\SketchUp 2021\SketchUp\Templates
Step 16: Your curser will have the template on it at the 0,0,0 axes point, paste at the 0,0,0 axes point or where ever you want. Now your drawing has all your duplicated layers in it. My template drawing had all my layers organized in layer folders but when you import the template into your drawing the folders do not import so you will still need to either move the new duplicated layers into your current drawing layer folders or create new folders and organize the newly imported layers.

I know this workaround is still time-consuming but the next time I am designing a bathroom I will already have all my layers created and can import this Bathroom Layer Template into all future drawings :heart_eyes:
I hope this helps!