Mac Material Editor

Is there a way to have Sketchup for Mac 2024 material editor jump to the material to edit. The PC version does this fast and I have multiple materials that need tweaking on the fly. On the Mac version I need to first select and then hunt for the material in the palette. Also, the selected material is super hard to see as it is outlined a very faint blue color. Can we make this selection red? Or some other readable color? When you have hundreds of materials this really slows me down!


well it does.

using the material tool, pressing command will bring the eyedrop. clicking on a material with the eyedrop will select it in the list and show it there. all you have to do is double click on the material to open the edit thing.

nope. My contrast colour is red however in the material panel it’s this greyish blue.
since it’s been using Apple’s colour panel since the beggining, I’m guessing it was coded to use the default parameter, and wasn’t changed later to accommodate the custom contrast colours.

It’s unlikely we’ll see any change on that side before the UI complete overhaul with QT.


It seems not to scroll to the picked color if that was the currently selected color, or if you had just switched to the Color in Model set. Also, I have seen times when the highlighting isn’t very clear. When that happens you can click on the swatch thumbnail in the lower left of the palette, and then the color becomes more noticeably selected.

So, picking up a color you’re not interesting in, then the one you want, is likely to scroll to the right one, and be easier to see that it’s selected.


The Material palette needs an overhaul, no matter how you look at it.

We are doing more and more things with material in Sketchup. Materials take on so many properties beyond just color. From tools like OpenCutList, Curic Section Cut, Enscape, VRay - so many extensions are connecting properties to materials. It would be wonderful to somehow manage that a bit better.

It would be awesome to have a more straightforward way to manage custom material definitions. Setting up Material properties in one file is easy peasy (if you can pick the correct one, as mentioned above). But getting that data from one file to the other is a bit harder - more tricky. Actually seeing what additional properties are connected to materials - I wouldn’t know how. And managing this across a team - basically impossible.

What @hbackman is describing is really just the tip of the iceberg. What I learned from my years with SolidWorks, IMOS and Vectorworks - materials are so crucial once you enter a semi-professional workflow, that ANY improvements on that front makes huge differences and how much resetup you need to do from project to project and how many mistakes you and your team make.

Since Sketchups mission is to stay simple (which I support), it would be awesome if they would be able to provide a hub for accessing and managing material information, that extensions could hook into. Something that would allow for an easy editing, import and export of all material properties to use swap between users or files.

Definitely something more advanced than the Mac color palette.


While it is tempting or more intuitive to make the panel larger to look for the selected material, try it with only one or two rows visible.


Thank you for today’s valuable lesson. :+1:

On the same issue, how are the material thumbnails sorted? It would be so much easier to find what I need if they had alphanumeric sorting as thumbnails or a written list. At present it looks like materials are just added together as a random collection possibly based on date/time added.

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chronologically, plus you can move them.

I’ll add that all the things we point go in favour of basically porting the PC UI to mac.

I’ve seen times when the material in the model isn’t in the palette at all. Have you ever seen this?


I don’t know whether it was ever fixed, but as of 2021 there was a bug in which if you sampled a texture from a material and later unlocked and deleted the underlying image, it would persist painting the original face but would not appear in the Materials editor nor in the model’s Materials list. The only way I know to get rid of these is to unzip and edit the skp file, which is not for the faint of heart!

I seem to get the missing material issue if I copy and paste an element between SKP files. It will appear in the list if you sample the material with command as mentioned above, this places it in the lower left thumbnail. If you then apply the material / colour with the paint bucket it will appear in the list.

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Exactly. If I paste in a piece of furniture, there’s no guarantee the material pops up on the palette. Closing and reopening the model helps … I think.

Also material editing. There’s no clear indication of when you enter or exit editing, or which material is being edited. It’s quite beta feeling still in this regard.

Before 2024 there were things you could do where you had apparently edited a library material (one that may not yet be in the model), and reopening that later would show that it hadn’t really been changed.

With 2024 you now get a message to say that you can only edit materials that are in the Colors in Model set. It was effectively already like that on Windows, because the edit options for a material not yet in model would be grayed out.

Thanks for the video. I will try that but it seems the pc version is immediate and intentional. I always seem to fumble over and over on this process on the Mac

If you placed an image within a group, exit the group and use the sample tool on the image you can use the image to paint objects, but the material will not be in the material browser. The material will also show in Hidden Lines display mode. I have not tested if this still applies to the newest versions of SketchUp.

I started a feature request thread over a year ago on this very matter, but hardly anyone took notice. Materials interface on Mac needs improvement


Do you know if there is a way to create an extension to use the eyedropper that will bring you immediately to the materials editor? Would that be easy to create?

no idea, I’m not a dev, I barely do some html/css :wink:

but since it’s using Apple’s own material panel, and knowing how closed Apple is with their tech, I wouldn’t hold my breath on this one.

you could ask in the Extensions section, maybe someone is more familiar with the question there ?

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I will try this one called ‘Material Isolator’ and see if it works.

I recently started doing this, I want to try it