Find "hidden" materials

I have a model where I have purged the unused materials, yet I still have some colors showing “In Model” that I can’t actually see. When I go to delete them, a dialog box claims they are being used in my model, but I can’t see them. Is there a way to select the color and find out where it is being used? Once I managed to find one after exploding a component, but I don’t want to have to explode everything.

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they could be applied to a component or group, that has faces painted a second colour…

you can delete them from the materials browser, one at a time and see if you see them disappear…


To expand on what John pointed out: objects (faces, surfaces, groups, or component instances) nested inside a group or component can have a material applied to them, and this will dominate any material applied to the containing group or component instance. The result will be that you don’t see anything that appears to be painted with the container’s material.

Another possibility is that the material may be applied to the back side of faces, which you can’t see unless you orbit or perhaps go “inside” a solid by zooming in perspective or using a section cut.

Hi folks.

They may also be used by hidden geometries, hidden group or hidden components.

Just ideas.


Also Edges themselves can have materials !
And you can’t see those unless the Style allows it.
Making it even more awkward…

But there are methods to ‘clean-up’…

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In my previous job I’d run into models like this often - edges would have material applied, even if none of the styles in the model was set to Display By Material for the edge style.

That’s one of the many reasons I wrote CleanUp - to automate the removal of edge materials:³

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Hence my ‘clean-up’ hint :wink: