How to Toggle a Layer

Is there any way, like an extension, to make it possible to turn the layer of a selected object on and off via the keyboard? I work in Set Design and I need to control the visibility of the proscenium or stage curtains, etc. very often. Its a pain to pull up the layers window and check the box all the time.

I realize you could only turn the layer off by selecting the object and toggling the shortcut key but you would not be able to turn it back on again as the object is no longer visible. However, if you could assign the visibility of a layer to a key, wouldn’t that be grand! Like a key for “furniture” or a key for “landscaping” or… CLICK, its gone! CLICK, its back again!

Another mission for all of you Sketchup geniuses!

I would create an identical scene tab and have one with the proscenium layer off.
then you click only on the tab to effectively turn it on and off.

Ingenious solution. Although it requires to make two Tabs- one labeled “Proscenium Off” and one labeled “Proscenium On”. But very handy for me, thanks! Of course this means I would have to make two more Scene Tabs for each layer I want to control. Which is possible but it would sure be cool to be able to do it with Keys on the keyboard. Meanwhile, I will use the heck out of your great idea.

There was another solution (workaround for this) if you really need it to be a keystroke, which is to put your proscenium on a “terrain layer” as that layer has the ability to have a keystroke assigned to it.
If you search the forum you can find that idea somewhere. But I think clicking a tab is as easy and less complex.

A little option for keystrokes provided the scenes have been set up, is that you can use “Page Up”/ “Page Down” to toggle scenes.


I don’t think I have a “terrain layer”. I’m using “Make”.

my mistake, I think you’re right. Tabs it is.

Eneroth Swift Layer Visibility Control does just this. There are commands for 1. hide the layer of the selected entities, 2. show all layers used in the active drawing context, and 3. re-hide the layers that were last shown, with the exception of those of the selected entities. Personally I’ve set up Ctrl+L, Shift+L and Ctrl+Shift+L as shortcuts.

After making this extension I use the layer inspector very little, and often even have it closed when working. When I want to hide a layer I just select an entity and hit Ctrl+L. When I want to show a hidden layer I just hit Ctrl+L, select something on that layer and hit Ctrl+Shift+L to re-hide the other layers.

Hope this helps!

Sounds pretty good. I’ll give it a try. I still would love to be able to assign a layer visibility toggle to a key. One step layer on and off would be so great. You could have five or six layers on different keys.

The extension implements a general solution that can be used for any number of layers. As a speicifc solution, If you just need to switch bewteen a handful of layer, say “Design Option A” and “Design Option B”, I would use IanT’s aproach. You can create scenes for specific layer combinations and untick all checkboxes but Layer in the Scenes inspector, and change scene to control visibility without affecting the camera.

While it would be possible to make an extension that toggles the visibility of 6 specific layers with direct key presses it would be a bit unpractical. To start with it would take up 6 shortcuts, and if more layers are added it would scale badly, taking up yet another shortcut per layer. Also it typically wouldn’t work in other models where layers have other names.

For your work, you should be using Pro anyway. Make isn’t licensed for commercial use.


My efforts are completely as an unpaid volunteer with a non-profit community theater.

Does the theater charge for admission? Do the people building sets you design get paid? If you answer yes to these, it’s commercial work, and you should get paid too.

Does Eneroth Swift Layer Visibility Control as well provide a “right-click context menu” to select the options hide/show all, etc?

Like this one would not have to move the mouse from the object selection to the tool bar or use the keyboard.

Nope, it doesn’t. It would be super easy to implement but as I’ve intended for it to be used with shortcuts I haven’t added it. Generally I try to keep the context menu clean but in this case I could add it if people want it, or perhaps make it a user setting.

I feel your pain, not found anything yet on this. My CAD software has a simple ‘MATCH’ button, i.e. just click on an item on screen to instantly make it the active layer or on/off & various other options.

I’ve made an extension for that too. Eneroth Layer Painter lets you pick up a layer with an eyedropper and apply it with a paint brush. With these two extensions I rarely have to open the Layers inspector (only for creating new layers).

Yes, I would very much appreciate it being (optionally) in the context menu.
Right click on an empty area could even bring up the option to show all layers (or a list with available layers to show).

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That would be pretty cool. For me, a right click with the toggle “Layer On/Off” would be the best!

Of course, I realize (now) that “Layer On” would be problematic as there would be no visible layer to toggle “on”. I guess it would have to be with a toggle “All Layers On” and then the desired layer chosen to be made visible from a list. Kind of cumbersome. If there were a way to refer the toggle to a layer that was currently under the cursor but not visible, that would be very cool. Then you could hover over the place where window a window was in your drawing and right click “Hidden Layer On”