Layers - how to


How do I create layers such as Survey image, Property Line, House, Lawn etc Thanks Raj


Open the Layers window and click the (+) button. Type a new layer name. Press Enter/Return.

Or select things you want to go on a new layer, R-click Entity Info, and type a new layer name there - then press Enter or Return.


You can only make Layers ‘on the fly’ on a MAC.
On a PC you need to use the Layers dialog - via the tray item…
Use the + button to add a new layer.
Then in Entity Info you can assign it to the selected group/component-instance…


OOPS - thanks for the correction, @TIG - it’s been a year and a half since I used SU on Windows, and I’d forgotten that there are a few things on Mac that work more easily, as well as some that don’t work at all, or so well, as on Windows.


Thanks John, I am a first time user. How do I associate the layers with a color? I see an example of a layer name and a color in a box


Also, please learn to use layers properly.
All edges and faces should have Layer0.
Then make containers of those - groups or component-instances - and assign other layers to those as desired.
Layers only control visibility of things associated with them.
They do not separate geometry.


Thanks TIG. I have set up 9 layers in addition to the default layer. I would like to associate a color with each one and then make them visible or not. Then I would like to associate a layer with a pattern…brick for driveway, green for lawn etc…Thanks…Raj


Colo(u)rs are automatically assigned to layers in the Layers dialogue/window, but you can change the colour assignments if you want to.

To see the colours you’ve assigned, you need to select Color by Layer using the blunt arrow top right of the Layers window (on Mac, anyway). That will colour everything in the SU window according to the colours you have set up - automatically or custom.

You can’t associate patterns with layers. What you CAN (and should) do is make components of the different parts of your model, then you can use the Materials window to assign colours or patterns to the components or individual faces of components. (Or groups, but I rarely find a use for groups, even if there’s only one instance of a component in the model).

Please read the help and tutorials about using components, groups and layers in SU.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS leave Layer0 as the active layer while drawing (its radio button selected in the Layers window/tray). Not doing so leads to madness later when things go invisible for reasons you will find hard to fathom.

The normal simple workflow is

  • draw something
  • triple click what you’ve just drawn to select it all
  • press the keyboard letter g to start the Component creation dialogue
  • give the component a meaningful name
  • select the component axis origin if the default (‘bottom left hand corner’) doesn’t suit you
  • check that Replace selection with component is ticked
  • click [Create component]

If you don’t use components or groups, everything you draw will stick together, and editing becomes a nightmare.


Read more about:

There are also many YouTube tutorials. Some are for older versions of SU, but the basics haven’t changed, though the icons and dialogues may have change appearance or added functions.


Thanks John.
Greatly appreciate your help!! Raj


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