Locking layers or isolated groups in Free

How does one lock a Layer or create a locked group in sketchup free?
for example, i have three models (drawn on layers 2,3,4 and not in situ) for a second floor of a house, or lets say a cushion for a set of chair legs. I wish to place them one after another onto the ground floor , or chair legs , ( on layer1) to get a feel of the ensemble.

In CAD you’d keep each layer’s info ‘isolated’ unto itself and just slide it around and place it where it should go.

As you can imagine in Sketchup, as soon as i slide one layers information over it glues to the info on layer 1 and becomes impossible to tune or move individually afterward.

That’s because SketchUp’s (unfortunately named) layers are not the same as CAD layers. You need to use groups or components to isolate geometry, not layers. SketchUp layers are just visibility switches that can be shared by multiple objects.

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I’m ok with the confusion on the terminology but where are ‘groups’ or ‘components’ in Sketchup Free? How does one, like in any CS program, play with options without getting them all glued together whenever they ‘touch.’

Select the geometry, right click on it and choose Make group or Make component. It’s the same as in the desktop versions. G is the keyboard shortcut for Create component.


This is a fundamental difference between SketchUp (all versions) and traditional CAD or CS apps. In SketchUp, edges and faces always stick to and intersect each other unless they are isolated in separate components or groups. It would probably help if you view the training videos on the Trimble SketchUp web site to get acquainted with SketchUp fundamentals and how they differ from CAD. The GUI on SketchUp Free differs some from the desktop app shown in the videos, but with a bit of poking around you can find all the equivalent tools and menus.


Ok thanks people. hit G = group. thats natural.its starting to happen.
Now…i’ve built up some dry walls but want to get in there and lay the bathroom. I cant seem to copy - paste the walls onto another layer (to eventually turn on and off) or make them temporarily transparent.
Any suggestions?

The first one is to spend some time with the Get Started videos and reading the Help files.


That’s because you don’t copy-paste the walls onto another layer. You change the layer association for groups and components in Entity Info.

Aaah ok. thanks Dave.
layer thing got it. so how do I un-component? or do i even need to…

no really guys, i watched the 4 videos but they’re not friendly for real life set ups. Dude’s like ‘just throw up roofline’ and ‘lets put a door in here’ type thing. Theres a difference with making a drawing that looks likes a ‘house’ and making a plan of a real interior to specs around an existing architecture or other set values.
I get from the forum that i should consider this a different language and I’m giving it my best.

and i really appreciate your input / presence.

Why do you want to “un-component” a component?

There’s more in the link than just those four videos. You need to get through the basics before you get too involved in a complex project. Otherwise you’re going to be working way harder than you need to and will create a model that is, at best, difficult to work with.

What is your end goal for this model you are trying to create?

Well i need to learn sketchup and the model is an real architectural proposition for remodeling an old stone house.

So i’m building a rough model +/- 30 cm to specs. then if we go to construction i’ll tune it and print isometric 2d cuts for the contracter … or redo the the 2d in CAD if i find sketchup too something or other.

so its about having the freedom to model out multiple options that slip in and out over the existing structure.

So first, you need to be using SketchUp Pro, not SketchUp Free. And since the user interface is different, you might as well make the switch immediately.

What is it you want to do that makes you want to “un-component” a component?

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ha! thanks dave
before i go pro i need to see if i can get into the software.
like, i havent touched for all these years because i found it , well, aestheticly condescending. But in ‘straight lines’ isometric its OK.

Anyway, i’m confused. with this group component thing. - I created a ‘component’ from a group of solids that resembles the second floor of a house, so that i can slide it over the first floor without it sticking. I have three second floor options you see.
Now, I want to maybe take off that blue cage each time i click on it…because, it bugs me…
and i’m going into it and transfering wall sectionss to another layer so i can turn them off in order to draw a bathroom…

Well, you seem to be frustrated partly by the user interface. Since it’s different in the pro version than what you are seeing in the web-based version, you’ll just add to your frustration later. And since the free version isn’t licensed for the way you are using it, you need to go to pro.

That “blue cage” indicates you’ve selected a component or group. You can explode the component/group by right clicking on it and selecting Explode but that will make the loose geometry you were trying to avoid. You can open the component for editing by double clicking on it with Select or right clicking and choosing Edit Component. Then you can make modifications to the geometry inside if you want.

great. Thanks Dave for your time and advice. Much appreciated

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