Layers into layer?

It’s possible to add one or more layers into an existent layer ? And if it’s possible how to do it ?

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That’s a really good question… I found a paid extension that allows you to put layers in layers.

It’s worth noting that SketchUp’s layers are alphabetized, so you could use words to organize them. For example…
(Category) - (Subcategory)
House - Slab
House - Walls
Landscape - Vegetation
Landscape - Pool

If you want to move the layers around, you can even add numbers prior. For example,
00 Landscape - Vegetation
00 Landscape - Pool
01 House - Slab
01 House - Walls


That extension, which is paid, is based on this extension, which is free:

I use the free one as it’s been arpund longer, though it’s not maintained anymore and probably has different functionality.


Please realize that, internally in SketchUp, all Layers are equal - there can be no hierarchy. The extensions mentioned by previous replies are tools for organizing the management of layers, which (among other things) include the ability to “group” layers so they can be turned on/off together, and groups can include sub-groups creating what looks like a tree structure. This hierarchy is maintained by the extensions and isn’t noticed by the SketchUp.

Functionally, you’re using a layer hierarchy. And it is convenient, even if all you want to do is change the order of the layers in a flat list.

It does seems sad that the hard work billy bob did and then shared for free was taken over an monetized by someone else?
This subject again bangs up against the term “layers” which would far better be described as “Tags” to avoid the obvious confusion as it relates to most other software.

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Most CAD software calls these things “layers”. AutoCad layers have some more options (locking, freezing…)but otherwise they are the same.

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I see no sadness in this as the extension in question (Layers Panel) currently shows (emphasis added):

WARNING : Layers panel is not maintained anymore.
It is now open-source, anyone can contribute and update it, or even make it better and sell it if you want.

As only the original author can (I assume) put this into the extension description in the Extension Warehouse, this shows that jiminy-billy-bob has no problem with others profiting from his work.

I’m not an Autocad user, but from many posts on this forum I’ve gleaned the understanding that Autocad Layers serve to, among other things, isolate geometry, which is not a function of SketchUp Layers. To me, this is a highly significant difference, too much to say “otherwise they are the same”.

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In fact, no. The thing is that AutoCad objects remain separate whatever layer they are on. They never stick to each other if you don’t specifically join them (like joining lines to form a polyline). Sticky and auto-cutting geometry is a SketchUp feature.


I stand corrected.

And the possibility of correction is precisely why my post specified how I arrived at my (now shown to be erroneous) understanding.

… but the word “layer” itself implies separation and users expect and want separation, regardless of the nitty truth of AutoCAD non-sticky geometry. So it doesn’t matter at all to users what Anssi points out (correctly,) they want geometric layer containers most especially because of SketchUp’s sticky geometry.

They also mistakenly think they can move layers in front of other layers. Mainly in an attempt to avoid z-fighting.

A word from a Vectorworks user…
I’ve never used AutoCAD, but my understanding (right or wrong) is that both AC and VW have layers and classes, except they work just about the opposite from each other. In VW, an object with a solid fill in a layer would obscure an object in a layer below it, and you can rearrange the stacking order. Layers serve to contain objects that have a specific spatial relationship to other layers, such as floors of a building. Classes serve to organize similar objects that can exist on any layer, such that you can turn off all plumbing fixtures that are in the plumbing class, regardless of layer. In that way, they’re like SU layers. And like AC, VW has no sticky behavior.

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SketchUp does not have layers no matter what they call it or what is wanted. It is strictly visibility control, selecting what is visible and what is hidden. Arranging of these is best controlled in Scene tabs. There is no stacking as in some graphics programs.

Steven Monrad 510 919-0242


Well you can also do other stuff with layers:

  • color by layer is cool;
  • ruining your model by having/drawing geometry in other layer than Layer0…


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Sounds like you have some real experience! Yes they are essential for many things, like controlling 2D output and even avoiding Layout entirely. Layers also the only hope of getting that floating text to behave itself.

Steven Monrad 510 919-0242

I guess that Tag/Flag/Class/Attribute system that has been discussed on and off is heavily missed.

It should at the very least, be a monthly debate.

Should we debate en masse?

Nah… This is the way to go. Let’s debate if we should debate.