Groups and outliner


Im trying to get to grips with all the basics as I try and create a model of a theatre.

I have created 3 tags. floor, walls, stage opening.

I am now learning about outliner. All I see are 3 black boxes each with the word GROUP but not the tag name.

Do I really need to rename each tag in outliner or have i missed a step where they should automatically display the name of the tag?

thankjs so much.

This is normal behavior for groups. You can change their names to something useful in Entity Info. (When you create components you are prompted to give the object a name although if you choose not to, SketchUp calls it a Component and appends a number to it so at least they are all different.)

Tags are named in the Tags panel, not in Outliner. Tags do not show in Outliner.

You should create tags for objects. For example you might create a tag for the seats, another for the walls, a third for the stage, etc. You can then use the visibility control in Tags to set visibility of all the objects for a given tag. You can hide objects through Outliner but I think it’s generally better to use tag visibility to control what is displayed in a given scene.

By the way, in addition to components prompting for a name, there are many other advantages to using components over groups. Might be worth giving some thought to that.

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Here’s a quickie example. This model has all components and it’s easy to tell when looking at Outliner which components are what. I’ve set up tags based on the way I would want to control the visibility of the objects.

If I wanted to hide the doors, I could hide them in Outliner with a few clicks. Or I could hide them in Tags with one click.

In this case all of the dress panels (the outer panels on the cases are given one tag so they can all be hidden in a single click in Tags or I could hide just one or a few of them in Outliner.

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Thanks so much Dave.

I have been working on the advice to use components for objects I want to repeat in the future or to make changes to the same object if used multiple times in a drawing.

Once I group something I assign it a tag and I’ve been assuming tags and groups are the same thing!

I could group all the walls for example in a drawing and make them a compnent instead. That would mean the component details and names would show up in Outliner.

thanks again. your example really helped.

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That is a common workflow for many users. In my own workflow, I use only components. I find the consistency helps to prevent errors and makes my modeling much more efficient. There are a lot of features that components have that groups don’t. (A before anyone coming along gets their knickers in a twist, I’m talking about my workflow only.) I often hear complaints from other users who say things like, “I make a group first and if I’m going to copy it, I then make it a component. Sometimes I forget and only discover it when I go to edit the object and the others don’t change with it.” That’s never a problem for me. Starting by making a group and then converting it to a component is extra work, too.

Yeah. Nope. Tags are something you give to objects. A single tag can be given to more than one object.

Yes. You could make the walls a component (as I did in my example) and the component would show in Outliner with the name you give it.

I will try your workflow example. If i right click on the group, it says make component which seems like a very easy way to also assign them as a component ( i may come back to you later about all the other things I can do with them!).

In future examples Do I need to group before going to make component?

This community is great, i hope you dont mind me asking questions…

Ive added a screen grab of the theatre floor (highlighted in blue, which I have as a group as a component with its own tag) and next to it a sheet of ply painted black ( component).

Is there a efficient way of repeating the play sheet across the floor and keeping it within the floor space?

No. You can select the geometry and immediately create a component. To me the instruction from some people to make a group and then make it a component is like saying I know I’m going to paint this car yellow but first I’ll paint it black. If you know it’s going to be a component, make it a component from the beginning. Save yourself some steps and potential errors.

You can use Move/Copy to make an array across the space. Might be a good idea to go through the fundamentals at to see how to do these basic things.

I think it hasn’t been said quite forcefully enough yet in the discussion: tags simultaneously control the visibility (and a few other properties) of an arbitrary collection of objects in a model. That is the only sense in which they “organize” a model. They don’t create any sort of assembly or collection. In fact, other than toggling a tag’s visibility on and off while watching to see what is affected or by turning off all other tags, there is no way to identify all the objects using a particular tag! They are for use in structuring the visual presentation of a model, not in structuring the model itself.


Maybe with the possible exception being with Selection Toys.

You are right, though at the time I was thinking of built-in facilities.

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There’s also Eneroth’s Layer Usage Inspector, but it’s limited in really revealing what there is.

One thing i did to get myself used to components… i set the hotkey ctrl+g as make component.

Now, anytime im making a complicated part, or anypart for that matter, i select what i eant and hit the hotkey.

I use components all the time. So much easier to deal with than groups haha

Why did you do that? The default keyboard shortcut for creating components is g. No need for a two finger stretch to make a component.

Because mine was never setup. I have hit g so many times and it never created a component. Alot of my hot keys in 2018 never worked and i had to assign them. Now im on 2020 pro and g does work.

but i chose ctrl+g because i was so used to that from other software before i used sketchup.

Actually, it is built in. (Rightclick, Select, All on same Tag)

But an understanding of how contexts work is needed.

Either way, it is also dependant off what you are drawing. Is it preliminary? Concept stage? What level of detail do you need? etc.
It is nice to see that ‘you can draw anything’ but some tasks need other approaches. After all, even a high detailed model is still just a representation of the ‘real thing’.

That context menu comes from the Selection Toys extension, it is not built in! Try disabling Selection Toys, restart SketchUp, and you will see it is gone.

Must have been incorrectly installed. Try resetting shortcuts. Does it come back?

It is in the web version.
All same

In SU2021:

No Selection Toys loaded.

From Selection Toys:
Screenshot - 1_10_2021 , 7_01_11 AM

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Selection toys would call them layers.