How to move line/face/solid objects onto a different layer?

I’m using SketchUp Make 2017.

I’m trying to copy and paste a drawing (of a cabinet and tabletop) from one layer (called « Sketch ») to another layer (« Sketch2 »). I thought I pasted the drawing into Sketch2 layer but when I toggled the visibility of the Sketch layer off, the pasted drawing disappeared!

When I « focused » on the drawing (double clicking it to enter the group) of the cabinet and table, the highlighted lines/faces of the drawings are still in the Sketch layer.

In sketchup, you have objects like lines, faces, and solids that can be grouped (the grouping itself is treated as an object, like a jar). I wonder if what I’d done was move the group (i.e., the jar) to Sketch2 layer but the contained objects themselves still resided in the Sketch layer.

I’ve uploaded a video of this issue here (video still being published so you might have to wait for a while for higher resolution to be available):

Can someone explain to me what’s going on?

Your choice of wording suggests that you are using SketchUp Layers (renamed to Tags in recent versions) incorrectly. It would be worthwhile studying the SketchUp Fundamentals course on their website to improve your understanding.

Objects are not « on » or « in » a layer and you can’t cut and paste between layers. Rather, objects refer to a layer to determine their visibility. You use Entity Info to tell them to refer to a different layer. Copy and paste does not change the layer used by an entity regardless of what you have set as the active layer, it just makes a duplicate with the same properties including layer. You can verify this in the Entity Info window. Instead, you should do the copy and then use the Entity Info window to assign a different layer.

But more important, only groups and components should use layers; edges and faces should only use Layer0 (which actually means « no layer assigned »). To assure this, you should always leave Layer0 active while drawing. Confusing issues of visibility and unexpected edge interactions occur when you violate this guidance.

You can find many discussions about this in the forum and also the SketchUp help pages.


Thanks for the update. Indeed, SketchUp Layers being renamed to Tags is news to me. I will review the tutorials.

Got it. Entities are associated with a layer. If that layer is made invisible, the entities associated with that layer is also made invisible.

I do see Entity Info and observe that an Entity can refer to a “Group” (if you click on the group once) or the entities contained in the group (if you double click the group and bring it into focus, which sketchup just calls “Entities”). It looks like my suspicion was right: assigning to a Group a particular layer doesn’t automatically assign to individual entities inside that group the same layer.

This can be tedious if a group consists of a large number of entities. Is there a way to assign to all entities of a group the same layer?

I see. I’ve been using SketchUp a long time for woodworking and have seen/catalogued many tutorial videos but I don’t use SketchUp consistently every month so my knowledge is rusty.
I didn’t know folks assigned all their entities to Layer0 and managed layers for groups. Kind of intuitive but the devs probably had a good reason for it.

As Steve wrote, you assign a layer or tag to a group. The entities inside the group should keep Layer 0 or Untagged. Giving the layer/tag to the group (or component) is enough.

Again, there’s no need to assign a layer/tag to the entities inside the group. Just give the group the layer/tag and leave the geometry inside alone. Also make sure that you leave Layer 0/Untagged as active at all time.

It certainly makes working in SketchUp much easier. If you were to assign layers/tags to the geometry inside the groups or components you would then need to chase the active layer/tag as you work on the model. That opens you up to mistakes that can really cause you problems. Following the “rules” Steve laid out means you don’t even need to know what layer/tag is applied to a component or group in order to edit it. Much simpler work flow with few cats to herd.

Here’s an example showing how that works with the component being tagged while the geometry is untagged.

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