I think I finally understand why I should group things

My second project I made was my own house. I never used groups or components. But now I am trying to build a veranda and want to copy some woods (which I modelled myself) as I need many of them. Now I tried to double click or triple and only one some parts is getting blue highlighted or the whole project is blue highlighted. Is this because I never made groups?Otherwise if everything was in groups I could click a couple times and the whole wooden beam I made would only get highlighted?

More or less right.

If you don’t use components or groups all your geometry is one great mass/mess. If you move one thing, it is connected to everything else and will distort if you try to move any of it.

You MUST use groups or components (I much prefer components, as you can name them as you create them).

And you should ALWAYS draw all your geometry on Layer0 or Untagged in SU 2020 onwards. Leave the pencil icon showing the default tag in the Tags window ALWAYS at Untagged.

Layers do NOT separately geometry, only govern visibility. ONLY apply a layer or tag to groups or components, or to dimensions or text later, NOT to edges (lines) or faces.

If you have already done this, and you haven’t got too many layers/tags, you could just go to the Tags window (Window/Tags), click the (-) icon at the top, and delete each layer in turn, and choose Move to default tag. Or if you want to group or make components out of parts of the geometry you have directly assigned Tags to, turn off all tags except the one that shows the part you want to make, then select all the visible geometry, assign the Untagged tag to it in Entity Info, then click in the model window, and type the letter g to make a component out of it. You can now assign the layer to the component, not its geometry inside it which should have Untagged showing when you open the component for editing, and Select All. If Entity info is blank, that shows you have different tags assigned to different parts of the geometry. Change that to Untagged.

Depending on how consistently you (mis)used layers, it may be quicker to redraw the geometry in a new component.

Repeat for each layer.

If you haven’t already, view the Sketchup Fundamentals on learn.sketchup.com.

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The fundamental differences between Raw Geometry, Groups and Components.


When I started using Sketchup about 15 years ago, it was a bit of a gimmick for me. I used it just to create the occasional 3D view of something, either for presentation purposes or to help explain something that was difficult to show in 2D. But most of my drawings were still in traditional 2D CAD format.

It was only when I started using SU as my main drawing package (about 6 years ago) that I began to understand the importance of grouping. So you have come to the realization a lot quicker than I did!

If I were writing a manual on Sketchup, I think almost the two first things I would tell people are contained in @john_mcclenahan’s pots above, ie.:

  1. Draw all raw geometry on Layer0/Untagged (never move the pencil icon from Layer0);

  2. Group things as soon as you make a distinct item and, preferably, name them. After a while you get into the habit of doing this automatically.


Well, since the OP is on 2020.1, there is a much quicker way to deal with grouping:
Use ‘Make Group’ before starting to draw something (a beam, a floor, a wall, a table etc.) Think things not lines.

While right-clicking on a spot in the ‘empty space’ pops up the context menu, It is much easier to create a shortcut for this to work (the standard shortcut for ‘Make Component’ is ‘G’, but I have set that to ‘Alt G’)
Here is how to set the shortcut:
Open the Preferences Shortcuts tab ( Mac: [menu]SketchUp->Preferences-Shortcuts Windows: [menu]Window->Preferences->Shortcuts,)
Begin typing ‘Make Gr…’ in the search bar and when found, select it.
On Mac, type the character at the Bottom ( I have set it to ‘G’) and leave the input field (Do not click on ‘Enter’ or anything else!)
On Windows, Type the character and click on the ‘+’ button.

Now, back in the modelling viewport, to start a new group, just type the shortcut and then activate the appropiate tool (Rectangle, Circle, Line, etc.)
Once done, click outside or click Esc.
Saves a lot of (triple)clicking .
I am in the habit of returning to the select tool whenever I finished a (serie of) action(s) by pressing the spacebar. If you want to edit the created group or component, select it and press Enter or double click would get you in the right editing context.

Depending the Model Info->Components settings, editing or now also creating an Object will hide the rest of the model. It might be wise to have a shortcut for that, as well

I was there in the mass mess of geometry a few weeks ago as a noob to sketchup. Groups and components are something i caught onto as a must know. Lifes more simple now knowing it. and thanks to all here for sharing your tips.