How do you Create a material collection that can saved and then used on another computer?

I have saved imaged from the Internet as png and used them as material images to apply on different surfaces. I have created different collections of materials but when i try to save it and try to open them on another computer it does not show?

  • I am trying to create a collection of materials and then be able to save the sketchup file and be able to open that same file on another computer and still have those same materials show up the same way.
  • I believe that the images have to converted into skm so they could be made into a texture? Is there a way to convert png to skm? or am I going about this all wrong?

If you know of anything that might help let me know, thank you!

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I’m not entirely clear about what you are doing but the process I use is to create a local collection of materials which can be done in several ways. If I’m setting out to make a set of materials such as a series of wood grain materials of a given species, I would import the images as textures into SketchUp. Then in the Materials window, go to the Details menu (icon below the eye dropper on the the right) and choose Save collection as… This will create a folder with the SKM files in it.


If I want to use those materials in SketchUp on another computer, I would copy that folder to the other computer and in SketchUp on that computer, go to Materials and in its Details menu choose Open or Create a local collection. Select the folder and open it.

You could also send the SKP file containing the textures to the other computer, open it and again in Materials, go to Details and choose Save collection as…

FWIW, I put my custom materials collections into a folder in App Data>Roaming>SketchUp… I can then copy this entire folder to a memory stick or upload it to Drop Box and then install it in the same location on another computer. Then I select that folder (MaterialsA in my screenshot) to add to Favorites.


Rather annoyingly, this functionality seems to be missing on the Mac version, as it uses the system colour browser (I have checked in SU 2016 - 2019). The only way I could find to export .skm files was by using the Ruby API; Class: Sketchup::Material — SketchUp Ruby API Documentation
or am I missing something?

Seems like it should work. Where is the process breaking down? You say you’ve made a collection. That would be a folder in the designated Materials folder. That folder should have .skm files in it. Copy that folder of the collection to the other computer and put it into the Materials folder for SketchUp. You find the materials folder under Preferences / Files. You have to relaunch SketchUp for the collection to show.
I’ve made collection on the Mac and they all have .skm flles. They are movable like other files.
Yes, not as good as in the Windows version.

Mac’s are odd on this one. Open a Finder window, then hit Go in the menu bar and press the Alt/Option key. Library will show up in the dropdown list. Select Library, then Application Support / Sketchup 20XX / Sketchup / Materials. You can drag and drop your folders of custom materials here, and they will show up in the Materials Browser in SU. Simple and intuitive, no?

Alternatively, in a Sketchup window go to Sketchup / Preferences / Files / Materials and change the location pointing to where you have stashed your custom materials folders.
And they do need to be .skm files to work in the browser.
It only took me about 5 year to figure out this one.

Gary the user is supposed to put their resource files & collections in the user library path not the HD system library path. They will also show up in the various inspector collections when they are in the user library path.

And again (2nd time in one day) the preference file path control what path location that open and save dialogs open in, not from where the inspector browsers enumerate collections.

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the easiest ‘mac’ way to access Materials, is to put the correct User folder in the finder sidebar…




Great. I am game. Where does one find the User Library Path? I am not trying to be a dummy here, really.

your there…

the Go menu takes you to the User Library [ ~/Library/ ]…


This is the default file path in Sketchup. I will admit I am confused here.

John- I am going to have to study up a bit on using the Finder window and sidebar. You are way ahead of me there.

the round trip,



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Are those ‘made for walking’? :slight_smile:
One thing that is completely different as opposed to Windows is that you can not ‘nest’ collections.

Yes, the one that begins "/Users/#{yourname}/" aka "~/" aka HOME

In your image I see files that are kept in the system library on Windows (called %ProgramData% path.)
And I did not see the json files that are supposed to be there, but looking closer, they must be offscreen below the image bottom (alphabetically after “Plugins”.)

I’m the one confused :confused: and confounded :confounded: .

“Alternatively, in a Sketchup window go to Sketchup / Preferences / Files / Materials and change the location pointing to where you have stashed your custom materials folders.”

What I described above seems to work just fine if you want to file your materials in a more easily
accessible location. I do not understand my error.

Mac OS vs. Windows? Lots of potential for befuddlement there.

Okay, I’ll leave off discussin’ Mac.

But, it does not do this on Windows. It only controls where material save dialog opens. It doesn’t change the user Materials collection location, it doesn’t add a favorite collection, etc. Basically if your working a special collection, or a certain subfolder of the user materials, the Files setting just saves repeated navigation in the savepanel. (So it’s like a temporary shortcut setting.)


John- Off topic for this thread, but thanks. I had no idea you could drag a folder to the (Mac) Finder sidebar. Now I can clear my desktop of all the Alias folders cluttering things up. Now I do feel like a dummy.

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Yes, yet another Mac oddity. In the Mac version the file paths set in the preferences pane do populate the materials window. Weirdly, even when set to a custom location as mine is, the stock library location also seems to continue working. ???

On Mac, it looks for the standard set in the resources, then adds the User’s own lists and the path set in the preferences.
So three in total

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