Labeling within a model

I’d like to apply some text to various elements of my model. For example, I’d like the floor plan for part of my house to read “Master Bedroom” or “Closet” or “Laundry”.

I’ve been playing with the text tools in SketchUp but they seem to be intended to label the entire model (such as for a title block, etc.) not some element within the model. The 3D Text tool does something really weird IMO.

I couldn’t possibly be the first person to need such a facility so I’m guessing this is just a matter of being pointed to the right place. Thanks in advance!

The labeling capabilities in SketchUp are indeed limited, probably because the designers intended you to use LayOut for such things. The built-in text labels either adhere to a location on the screen or to a leader line that points to a place on the model. In both cases, they swing around to face the camera and try to stay on screen as you orbit, which makes them useful only after you have made a scene with a fixed point of view that you won’t change later. The 3D Text tool provides an alternative that actually places text into the model coordinates. You can turn off it’s extrusion so that it is actually flat. However, because of how it works (components containing filled outlines of characters), it tends to bloat a model with a lot of edges and faces if you do more than a few labels. You might have a look at Dave Penny’s Flat Text extension from the Extension Warehouse. It was designed mainly to address the shortcomings of SketchUp’s built-in labels.

Looks like the OP is on SketchUp Shop? So no extension options for text in model. Another serious limitation of 3D text is that it’s not editable. 3D text works great for what it is, but it’s not efficient to label a whole con doc with it. Best option for the OP might be outputting the model to 2D and labeling with an image editor after.

Take a look at this thread about kludging condocs in the SketchUp Free, where I use some basic 3D text to label a model.

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It doesn’t appear that text created with the 3d text tool can be set to face camera. Can anyone tell me otherwise?

Any component can be made to face the camera. 3D text is automatically created as a component but it is also set to glue to surfaces as it is assumed that you will place the text on a surface in the model. To make 3D text face your camera, create the text and place it in your model somewhere. Then open the component browser window and find the component of the 3D text. Select the component then choose edit in the upper part of the window. Change Glue To menu to “none” and check the always face camera box. Then bring in an edited version of the letters from the components window. You will most likely need to change the component axis to get the letters to face the camera the way you want, right click on the the component in the model space and choose change axis.

An alternate (faster?) pathway is to place the 3D text in your model and right click and choose explode to turn it into raw geometry, then while is it all still selected, right click again and choose make component. In the window that pops up choose always face camera and set the axis correctly if it is not already (blue up, red to the right) , then return to make component.