Mac Material Editing

I’ve been working with Sketch up for over 5 years now and I still haven’t figured out how to edit materials on my Mac with SketchUp. I’ve tried navigating the videos and advice here but still can’t make it work for me.

If I want to edit a material (ie: make wood flooring texture darker or lighter, or more saturated) how do I do that on a Mac? The only editing tool I seem to have access to is “opacity”. I’ve tested the advice found her, to fill in the object with the material and then go to “colors in model” and edit from there. But the same basic editing drop-down options appear every time. “Opacity” only.

I’ve tried the droplet tool, or renaming the material in “colors in model”. No luck. For the past 5 years I’ve been editing materials in photoshop and then reloading them under different names. It’s a huge time waster. I just downloaded SketchUp Pro 2020 and I want to start fresh with newly gained knowledge.

So what is the secret? And why is everyone having such a hard time with it? And those who have cracked the code - why doesn’t it work for me!?

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I investigated a bit further and it looks like this might be the only solution?

It doesn’t look the same for Windows users. Not as straightforward for Mac users but it’s better than what I was doing before…

Name: Enter a new name for a material to change the name of the material being edited.

Edit Texture Image in an External Editor: Click this button and the texture’s image file opens in your default image editor or preview program. Make and save your edits to the file and the changes are reflected in the material.

Texture drop-down menu: The options on this drop-down menu enable you to edit the texture within SketchUp. Choose Load to select a new image file for the texture. Choose Remove to delete the texture image file. (A flat color approximation of the removed image appears when the texture image is removed.) If you’ve colorized the texture, choose Reset Color remove the colorization. Choosing Edit opens the texture image file in your default image editor or preview program. After you apply a texture, you can also adjust how the texture tiles on your model. See the upcoming section, Repositioning textures for details.

Aside from hitting the right combination of steps to do it with the internal tools (for example, select the material, right-click Edit, click on the color wheel, choose another color to colorize the material), you could continue to use Photoshop.

If you right-click choose Edit, then edit texture image in external editor:

make changes in Photoshop, making sure to merge layers before doing a save, that should replace the current material. Sometimes Photoshop doesn’t like to do that, and will insist on saving a new file. If it does, save as PNG or JPEG, then in SketchUp use the Load option to replace the existing material:


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Thank you for clarifying. I see now that this is really the only way. I was hoping to have it all don in one shot like the Windows users are able. But this IS better than what I was doing before.

I will certainly not defend the Mac Material interface, it’s convoluted and baffling at times and could really use some UI attention. Editing in an outside program is often a good choice, note that outside editing can be invoked directly from the surface under right click>texture>edit.

However, once the strange logic of how it works is understood, one can do edits to textures from within the Material Picker interface. Colin outlined the correct steps, One must select the texture from the in model list and chose edit via right click or under the “color” menu. Transparency and size are controlled on the first page, switching the color picker to another kind of color choosing interface across the top gives you ways to alter the color.

Note that altering color via the material editor is non destructive and can be changed again, editing outside re-saves the file and is not reversible (it is in the Undo stack, but not after a save).


This is the ANSWER I was hoping for! I’m thrilled to finally learn this new tool. It will save me so much time. The video was particularly helpful. Brilliant! Thank you!!


While we’re at it what is “auto” for a texture name? I seem to lose the names of some textures and they turn to “auto”. Why does that happen?

what a nightmare. but this is the solution