Library components are not treated as different when they are


Hi, I am using the free version of SketchUp 2017 (17.2.2554) and am having a problem with adding components to a local library. I am on a Mac running Sierra 10.12.5.

The basic problem is that if I have two components which appear to be different (or unique), SU does not always “think” they are different when saving them to the local library. I have had several different situations with similar symptoms. Here is an example of how to reproduce the problem.

Open a new SU file and close all other active files. Ensure that there are no components in the model. Draw a rectangle, make it into a component (all five entities) and call it foo. In the Components Window, click the arrow in the upper right corner, which will open the local component library. Drag foo to the library. Open Finder, navigate to the local library and confirm that there is now a file called “foo.skp” there. Open a new SU file window and drag foo into your new model and confirm it is what you expect. So far, so good. Now close all file windows.

Open a new SU window and ensure that there are no components in the model. Open the Outliner Window, then the Components Window and drag foo into your model. Change it in some obvious way such as changing the color of face of the rectangle. Change the name in the Components Property area to “foo2” and confirm that the name change finds its way into the Outliner as well. Now, to all appearances, “foo2” is different from “foo”. When I drag foo2 to the library, SU asks if I want to overwrite the existing file. If I say yes, then the file name stays as “foo.skp” and the time stamp is updated.

Close all SU windows. Open a new SU window. In the components library, there is a component named “foo2”, drag it to your model and you will see that it is the one with the new color.

After all this, the result I wanted was to have two components, foo and foo2 each in a file named with the component name, but that didn’t happen. Any ideas about why this happens and how to overcome it? I have a complex model with similar components in it and I want to save all the components for other uses.


have you tried ‘Right Click’ >> ‘Make Unique’ …

modifying copies is what it’s for…



Hi John,

Good thought, but I have done that and it sort of works, but not completely. I know that I did it because the new component has a unique name in the Component Window and when I change the color on one, it does not change the other.

Open a new file. Make a rectangle component, call it foo1. Drag one from the Components Window, make it unique which makes it foo1#1. Both can be stored in the library. Bring in a copy of foo1#1 (or foo1) from either the Component Window or the library, make it unique and it can’t be stored without the request to overwrite. It seems that once a component gets stored in the library, you can’t make it unique.

This is a problem for my other model since I built many components as variations of a single component. Any other ideas? Do you get the same behavior in your system? The install is recent (I reinstalled due to other issues), so I doubt it has been corrupted.

Just for grins, I pulled out the old Windows PC and installed SU. Same behavior.

Thanks for the quick response.




hi, I have never used your exact workflow and can’t see why you do it that way…

are you wanting to Replace similar or Create new versions

for new I always use R-Click >> Make Unique > Model Info to change name >> R-Click >> Save As to assign to a collection…

to replace I select a component or more in the viewport and in the bowser use Replace selected…

If I want to change Identical but Unique to a single definition, I would write some code…



This is most likely a bug in how libraries work. Making a component unique (or modifying it) gives it a new GUID which SketchUp should interpret as it being a different component. Maybe the library requires unique file paths rather than unique GUIDs to see components as separate. Try right click > Save As and save it to some random location, e.g. your desktop. Then it may work to drag it into the library.


This is strange behavior. I regularly modify existing components to make new ones such as my “adjustable” wood and machine screws. I’ve never had any trouble saving the new version of the component to my Screws library. I am changing the name to reflect the new screw dimensions.


Hi Everyone, Thanks for the replies and assistance! John’s method is different from mine in that I was using drag and drop, he was using “R-Click >> Save As,” which showed me the root cause of this problem. When I followed John’s method, the file name in the Save As box was the original component’s name, not the new component’s name. If I change the file name in the Save As box to something unique, it works fine. So the problem with my method was using the drag and drop method instead of the Save As method. Clearly, making the component unique in a model does not make everything unique. Not a serious problem, just another step in my workflow. I will put in a bug report, but it is a minor one (like all minor software bugs/features, it is frustrating until you find it!).


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