Is there anyway to Display materials by name on mac?

Hi All,
One detail that is very frustrating using sketchup on a mac is the inability to display the materials by name.

Why is it possible to view components and scenes by list, details or thumbnails and yet materials only via thumbnail? When you have many different materials in a model, and some are very similar, the only way to see the name is to hover over the palette with cursor. On the PC its not a problem, but the mac, for some reason ( i think it has something to do with the way the mac manages colors) its not possible. Has anyone else had this problem as there any kind of plugin that can work around this problem?

Weirdly- when i am switching back and forth between sketchup and Photoshop/Illustrator and or Pages, my color color palette will temporarily gain the “color palettes” icon.

And then i can see a small preview of the material with the name next to it. I have asked sketchup about this, and no one seems to understand why this happens.
I would LOVE to find a solution to this problem. Thanks for looking!

SU material management sucks on the Mac. Something that might make it easier for you is to install TIG’s Materials from List plugin (TIGmatlist):

Best to install it direct from the SketchUcation Plugin Store:

Works like this:

Hi db11-
Thanks for that, TIG plugins are great, and i had that once and forgot about it-
yes this seems to be the best solution for now. It Must be a difficult problem to solve as
Trimble seems in no hurry to solve it and there are no plugins that i know of that address it.
If anyone out there knows of a graphic solution i’d love to hear about it.

Not sure it’s difficult so much as Trimble doesn’t seem to be that interested in maintaining feature/functionality parity between Mac and Windows versions. (it’s gotten worse from 2015-2016). No doubt that they have a compelling business rationale for that, but it is frustrating as a Mac user.

It would be nice to have a plugin that resolved the material management problem (list with graphic texture patches), but I suspect that what’s required to do that isn’t exposed in the SU API.

…oh, and TIG is a master!

Hi db11-
Thanks or your note.
It one of those minor details that annoy me so much that it makes me wonder… sketchup pro? should i be working on a more advanced application? Rhino? But then i think, Nope, they’ll fix it!
Fingers crossed.

The missing element is the ‘Palette’ picker from the ‘standard’ Apple Color Picker…

This is a very good link about Apple Color Picker

It isn’t ‘impossible’ add, but it has a few ‘quirks’ that SU developers ‘possibly’ choose to avoid…

this gif shows that it is possible, and a major quirk…

The SU ‘Colors’ panel, needs to be set to ‘Colors-Named’ on close of SU, for OSX to store that window state to include the ‘Palette’ picker…

If it opens without the ‘Picker’, a restart of SU is needed to load it…

I don’t think this will work on an unmodified SU, but you could try it…


Hi John,
Thanks for your response!
I have spoken to Tribble tech support about this and i thought i was going crazy. I even sent them a screen shot of the Palette Picker active in Sketchup and the tech had no idea what was going on.
I am happy you know what i am talking about.
Usually when sketchup opens and the Palette Picker is available it happens when i have been jumping between other apps that use the Apple Color Picker. The problem is i am unable to reproduce it. Once in a while i get a easter egg and it works.
I followed your instructions and it did not work. What do you mean by “I dont think this will work on an unmodified SU”? Did you modify sketchup in some way?
I would love to be able to use the Palette Picker, and its something i have been obsessed with for a while.


way back in v8 i switched ‘on’ the option in the nib file to see if it worked…

on each upgrade I swap it in to see if it still works and it always has…

I think I updated it for Mavericks, but can’t really remember…

It’s quite easy if you know your way around Xcode…

@bugra or @Barry may know why it’s disabled by default and if the [v8] Feature Request is still active for enabling it…


Hey John,
The color Palatte Picker is back again. Seems to happen when SU crashes, when i re open SU while i have Pages (mac app) open. Sadly not repeatable.
I dont know Xcode however a friend does, he asks, what nib file are you editing, in SU or is it an OS 10 file?