Groups randomly changing layers?


Hello Fellow Sketchup Users,

I am having a technical issue I hope you guys can help me with. I have dug and dug through pages of google searches trying to figure this one out but I’m stuck and going bat$h!t crazy.

I am fairly new to Sketchup. Still a newbie. So I can not supply extremely “technical” descriptions or understand extremely “technical” answers such Ruby code lines and what not. But I’ll give you the basics of what’s troubling me.

I have groups, whole and nested portions, randomly changing layers.

I have had most of everything in my model where I wanted it in layers. Then I would notice that some group was suddenly on another layer. I put that layer back where I wanted it using the “put on layer” extension. That happened a few times without further issues. But the problem has increased in frequency and now when I put something back where it should be, it changes another group randomly. Suddenly groups that have no connection or have never been linked to groups on other layers will jump to that layer. And it’s extremely random. It has become a cascading effect. Now I can’t fix one group with out affecting 3 others.

This is driving me nuts. PLEASE HELP ME.

A few things that might be relevant:

  • SketchUp V-15.3.329
  • Mac Book Pro, 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3-RAM, Intel Iris 1536 MB-Graphics Card, OSX 10.10.2
  • Started this model before I had understanding of group/component size relationship so model comes in at a hefty 58MB
  • NOT using any scenes.
  • I AM using “Put on Layer” and “Layers Panel” extensions.

I hope someone out there can help me before I throw my computer out the window. I’m really frustrated and I can’t afford to buy another computer right now :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I know ‘Layer Panels’ is quite buggy on a mac…

If you read through it’s forum thread at SCF, you’ll see it crashes for a lot of mac uses…

Is ‘Put on Layers’ the latest version?



Hey John,

Thanks for the reply. Not sure how up to date “put on layers” is. Not even sure how to find out what version it is. I didn’t get it from the extension warehouse. I found the link posted in another SketchUp forum. I could dig up the page if need be.

As far as “layers panel” goes - yeah I’ve had some other issues with it. It is a bit buggy but nothing I could connect to my randomly changing layer issue. Mostly it has been that when I switch from one file window to another, all the layers in the current window are gone. Nothing in the layers panel window at all. So I have to close the program and open it again for those layers so show up again.


Layers in SU don’t work like layers in most other graphics apps. Notably, they do not isolate geometry.

I suggest you read this article and then reconsider your issue:

Does SketchUp support layers?



Hey Gully,

Thank you for the response and link. I have seen and read this page in my trouble shooting research. I am actually using the techniques outlined and understand the layer to group connections.

My problem is that these group to layer connections are switching randomly. Some times with no prompting from me. As in - I can have my model set up the way I like it. Be opening and closing it without making any changes or saves to it and then the next time I open it a group or groups have been shuffled to different layers.

Now I have the issue where the “shuffling” is happening more then I can fix. Now if I fix one thing, two or three other things suddenly switch layers.


Like John, I have found the Layers Panel extension to be buggy on Mac and do not use it. I have not used the Put on Layer extension, so can’t comment on it.

Some questions to hopefully help drill into what is going on:

  • What did you do just before a Group changed layers? Did you explode any Group(s)?
  • How are you determining the layer a Group is associated with? Entity Info? Toggling visible on and off in the layers panel? Other?
  • When you nest a Group inside another Group, what layers do you associate with them?

In the link Gully suggested, you will read about very confusing behavior that can result if you haven’t used layers the way SketchUp means them.

As a final thought, if you can upload your model to the forum (size limit 3MB), we can inspect it to say more definitely what is going on.


Hey slbaumgartner,

Thanks for the reply. Uploading is not gonna work as my model is 58mb. I found my file size to be a know issue with some crashes I was having trying to use scenes. So I don’t use any scenes but I have been wondering if the size of my file could cause issues like I am experiencing.

But to answer your questions -

  • other then my current escalating issue of changing the layer of one group and having another switch I am usually not doing anything other then toggling the visibility of a layer on and off. My model is complete so I am not making any changes or doing anything I would think could affect it like this.

  • My main method of determining the layer/group association has turned into a purely visual inspection at this point. As I toggle a layer on and off I see what disappears. I used to be more diligent about using entity info before I started using “put on layer” but after I started using that extension it was working so well for me that I gradually stopped checking the “EI”. I would just send a whole group to a layer. So I might think maybe thats the problem, nested items are locked to other layers or what not - BUT- I build my groups and group of nested groups outside my model so they are always on layer 0. Then I copy them into my model on layer 0 and then put them or associate them with a specific layer I want to control. So there should be no hidden or forgotten associations with other layers. But the groups and nested portions of groups are shuffling to layers they have no business being on.


Alas, that is the most common way to encounter confusion when layers weren’t used the way SketchUp intended. Maybe you could dropbox or otherwise share your model on somewhere with a more generous file limit?


do you know how to disable ‘Layer Panels’?
try that first, and check if the SU ‘Layers’ panel reflects the correct choices…

Copy the file in ‘Finder’ open that one and Purge it…

how much smaller is the file, does it all work?

It’s a long time since i looked at the LP code but, maybe @jiminybillybob will pop in and offer some advice…



Indeed I’ve given up on Layers Panel, it’s a nightmare (I think impossible) to make it work 100% perfectly with the current state of the API. Maybe I’ll get back to it in the future if things get better…
On top of that, I don’t own a mac and could never really test LP on this platform.

Despite all that, I really doubt this issue can be caused by Layers Panel. It is buggy in the way that it can loose some of its own data, or not reflect what’s happening in the model, or not mirror user actions in other tools/windows. But it never interacts with geometry/groups/comps. It has only one method to put geometry on a highlighted layer, but in the code that method is seperated from the rest. I really don’t see how it could cause the issue you’re experiencing.

But like John said, try to disable it and see what happens.

You shouldn’t trust this method. As you seem to know, you can have a parent group/comp on a layer, and children groups/comps on different layers (and have many nested levels like this). If you hide the parent’s layer, you hide all its content, but not the other way around.


Hey Guys -

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m not sure how to disable the layers panel so I am just going to uninstall it and see how that goes. Its seems like everyone has some problem with it.

I’d like to try John suggestion of coping the file and purging it but I’m not sure what sort of purge you mean. Is it the purge option in the SU layers window or is there a more all encompassing purge function?

Also does anyone have a recommendation for a layers extension that IS good for organizing layers into folders? That’s the only reason I have the layers panel to begin with. just to organize my layers.


SU [menu] >> Window >> Model Info >> Statistics >> Purge Unused…


The built-in purge is in Window->Model Info->Statistics. There are also extensions/plugins from several authors that do similar things. (John beat me to it!)

I don’t know of another layers manager that tries to do the hierarchical/folders type of organization. JBB did a heroic effort and still ran into issues, so…


The whole reason I started to create Layers Panel is because there was nothing like it… So sadly no, there isn’t a better alternative. (Now I understand why…)


Oh Wow. Jiminy, I didn’t realize you made the extension. That’s d@mn cool. Sorry it seems to have some issues. I don’t know if you’re working on a fix but it’d be great to have a new version if you make one. It was the first extension I saw that I had get.

So just a quick update: I figured out the disable part and turned off Layers Panel. I also did a copy and purge. I went in using the SU layers window and put everything where I wanted it without any issues. Nothing else seems to have shuffled. But this is only my observation over my lunch break. I’ll post again if I continue to have the problem.

Thanks so much everyone!!! You guys are awesome for offering up so much help.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


there are a couple of Scene managers that function well on a mac…

this is SU’s traditional way of handling layers and can be very useful for complex models…

SceneMachineMac was my favourite, although a bit left field and I’m not even sure if it will run on v14+…

[Vismap2.1][1] is also popular if you can cope with the look of it…