Groups and components


Hi there to the Sketchup comunity.

Once you have created a component and later during your design you discover that it should have been a group, would it be possible to change the component to a group now.

Thanks again


Yes, it’s possible.
Right click to your component > Explode > Immediately after right click again > Make group

Also consider making it ‘unique’ instead of above suggestion, so that object doesn’t act like ‘instance’.
Right click to your component > Make Unique


Hi Filibis

Thanks it worked. Appreciate the time you gave me. Have a great day.



Out of curiosity, what led you to think your component should have been a group?


Like @slbaumgartner, I’m also wondering the same thing. So far, in over 14 years of using SketchUp, I’ve never found a case where I needed to do that.


This could cause it to merge with other geometry.
I’d instead select it, group it, double-click the group, select the component instance inside, and explode it.
The old definition would need purging.


Sorry Guys. I am learning how to work with sketchup. What happend was I copied a component for both sides of the cupboard. Later I had to make a groove for the shelf on the one side. When I altered the side the other side also altered and it was not meant to.


So only one side panel is to get a groove for the shelf? What supports the shelf on the other side?

If they are to be different, you can use Make Unique on one of them. If the copy its to be a mirrored image of the first, leave them as instances of the same component but use Flip Along on one to make a mirrored counterpart.


The cupboard is split in half one half for Shelving and the other packing space.


OK. So Make Unique would be a good way to handle it.

Is there a rabbet along the back edge of the sides for the back? You could leave them as copies of the same component until it’s time to separate them in the machining process. Do the things they have in common before Make Unique.


No there is no rabit. Going to cover the whole back with 6mm board so you cannot see the grooves and then getting mounted against wall. But I have taken note of the Unique thing also mentioned by filibus. I am using sketchup 2014 and don’t seem to get the Unique to work but I will keep trying.


Make Unique is only available if you have multiple instances of the same component in the model space. Otherwise, there’s nothing to make unique. Make Unique doesn’t apply to groups, either.


Ok. You do need different components for the boards with different grooves. But as mentioned above, they can simply be unique components, no need to convert to groups.

Groups are actually a special case of components, mainly with the added behavior that editing a copy automatically makes it unique. But groups also abandon the ability to assign a name to the definition (it’s always group#…) as well as behaviors such as glue to and cut opening.

Like DaveR I rarely use groups, though some people feel the create component dialog slows them down so they prefer groups.


I received the links from DaveR will look at them seems like it would help me a lot. I suppose as i go along I would find out how the groups and components etc work. I will explore the Unique option in more detail. Thanks for the input. Can’t believer how helpfull you guys have been. Thanks


Hi again Dave. You send me those links now I can’t find them as I was responding to another comment. Would you mind sending them again. Going to have a look at the Unique again.


Click on your avatar (the E in the brown circle) in the upper right corner of the screen and look for the envelope icon for messages.


I find groups very useful when you just want to create a temporary container for entities- this is especially true when creating objects programmatically. If you create a group and delete it, the component definition is automatically cleaned up. This is the major reason I find groups helpful. Components keep their definition around, even if they aren’t used. You can purge unused definitions, but sometimes you want a definition in the model and just haven’t placed it, so purging might cause headaches. Make unique also spams the component definition list, so that isn’t always what you want to use either. Groups are the only containers that clean up after themselves.


Taken note Arachnode but at the moment what you are talking about is way out of my abilities. I will get there and especially understand the term used in sketchup. Thanks for you input.


Hi Dave found them thanks again for the assistance.


Behaviors live in the ComponentDefinition class, not the ComponentInstance class. Groups reference a ComponentDefinition just like ComponentInstance objects, the only difference is that the group’s definition isn’t listed in the Component Window. Glue, cut opening, etc and some other behaviors are all able to be set using the ruby console. You can also set the name of the group’s definition, but again there is no UI for it, so you have to use the ruby console. (edited)

Again, the only instance where this would probably be a desirable workflow, is when generating objects programmatically. I just wanted to share that groups do have the same power some of the same power as components if you need them to. One day someone may come across this post and find that information useful, and I just wanted to share because some people may not be aware.