Freeze or inactivate layer

Something like Freeze or Lock Layer does exist in SketchupPro2016? Not only Visible or Hide? Or how to organize what I don’t need to work with, but need to see, inactive? It is quite confusing to work without this possibility.
thx for any advice

Groups or components can be locked. Layers only control visibility. Objects on invisible layers interact fully with the new things you create. That is why you should never place “raw geometry” on other layers than 0, only groups or components.


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@bluenitepk It is confusing, because SketchUp Layers aren’t actually Layers, they are more like “hiding tags.” Please feel free to offer SketchUp some friendly constructive feedback on how wonderful it would be if they wouldn’t use the word “Layers” when they mean “Visibility Control.”

To organize your model, you actually need to be using Outliner. Layers can’t and shouldn’t be used to organize your model at all, because of the whole “not being true layers” thing.

In Outliner, if you have been naming your groups and components properly, you can see how things are nested, and can lock the desired object(s) easily there. You can also right-click on a group or component to Lock it, as @Anssi mentioned.

I highly recommend you read chapter 7 in Aidan Chopra’s SketchUp book (the 2014 version is still accurate). It has the best explanation I’ve ever seen for proper organizing of a model.

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What is the difference of a “layer” and a visibility control? That is what a layer is in every application that I know of. In other apps, geometry just doesn’t interact the way it does in SketchUp. In Autocad, for instance, you can draw a zillion lines on top of each other and they will not merge, whatever layer they are drawn on.


Good question, @Anssi. In many programs, like Photoshop, or Layout, a Layer is like a transparent piece of paper. If something is on one Layer, it can’t be on another, just like drawing on one piece of paper. The Layer order matters, because things on top cover things below. Layers can nest, like stapling pieces of paper together. It makes perfect sense for a 2D program.
The “layers of transparent paper” metaphor completely loses meaning in 3D sticky SketchUp, however. “Layers” can’t be on top or beneath other “layers”, because objects are literally on top or beneath others. And SketchUp “Layers” don’t nest, because the objects themselves nest. True Layers are like paper, the lines created don’t stick to or modify lines on other layers. In Photoshop, an adjustment will only affect one Layer and any sub layers (I think). But in SketchUp, “Layers” don’t isolate geometry, the Objects isolate their geometry, so it’s impossible to only modify one “layer” and have other “layers” be protected.

I want to nickname SketchUp “Layers” as SLayers. Because they often massacre the first few models people make, until people learn how they work. =)

In other 3D programs like Lumion, Layers only affect visibility, not order, or isolation, and there is no nesting. So the term is like SketchUp uses it. But using the term “layer” in Lumion is harmless, because stuff isn’t sticky. I hope this explains why I don’t think the word “Layer” fits SketchUp.

It’s ultimately just semantics, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” and all that. Words are arbitrary. However, calling a tree a “rose” would confuse people, no matter how long you do it. Asking people to redefine what a word means can only be carried so far, before it’s just easier to give it a new name.
I personally feel like using the term “Layers” in SketchUp is teetering on the border of how far the definition of that word can be stretched. It’s an uncomfortable stretch, at best. I just don’t have an elegant alternative suggestion, because as you say, people associate Layers with Visibility, so SketchUp called it "Layers."
So the other solution is to educate SketchUppers thoroughly in drawing “on” Layer 0. I suppose that does mean some job security for me as a SketchUp Trainer, at least.

Question: do you know anyone who uses SketchUp well who moves the radio button and draws on other “Layers?” I am curious about how users actually interact with the Layers Window.

Sorry for the length, I hope that makes sense. After Basecamp, I caught a cold and the cough syrup is leaving me a little woozy.