Materials with transparency automatically duplicate when being applied

See video first

I’ve been having this problem in which a material is automatically duplicated when apply. I was able to pin down an replicate the issue after several trials.

First of all, it only happens with materials that have transparency. When a material with transparency is created and applied to surfaces or groups works as expected. But when the file is saved, SketchUp closed and reopened again, if you try to apply the material again to a new surface or group it will automatically create a duplicate of said material and apply this duplicate instead.

Despite not shown in the video I have tried to replicate it with all extensions disabled, also applying from one single face to another single surface. Same thing. It will always happen as long as the material has transparency and you had opened the file after the material was saved previously.

I have been using SketchUp for 13 years now. But I just recently started to use SketchUp on mac because of my new job and I find the material management very poor in general compare to the windows version. Is there any plans to improve it?


Also see this thread:

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Although I can see the similarities with that thread. The issue I’m having is a different one, unrelated. It only happens with transparent materials. And only in materials previously saved in the file.

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This has been happening since v. 2018. I’m on a Mac, everything current, and I tried it with no plugins loaded to no avail. It’s very annoying.

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Im on MAC os 10.13.4 and SU18. This happened to me too! I checked my materials window and I had 10 different but identical glass materials. Every time I apply the material it is duplicated! Super annoying! SU needs to fix this immediately. All my windows are now using a different material when using the eye dropper to match materials. Is there any temporary fix other than copy pasting the geometry?

Hi there Shawn. I have not find any way to fix it. For now I just don’t any transparent materials until I model everything. Then, if I want to show it or render it I make a copy of the file and change the material transparency. It is indeed very annoying.

The very annoying work around I use is to change the color of the duplicate, then use ThomThom’s “Material Replacer” and finally delete the unwanted copy.



Any actual sketchup devs in here? This problem is HUGE. Causing serious problems and causing our office to rethink using sketchup on our 30 machines. This needs to get fixed immediately.


Please resolve this issue!
Very very annoying!

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We’ve been discussing longer term fixes, but some expert users tell us they use TIG’s PurgeAll extension as a workaround, and assign a keyboard shortcut to it to make it easy:

Very annoying! +1 for fixing it, +1 for better material editor. Thanks!


Any update to the pending material issue?

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I just talked to our dev team, and I know they are working on this and that it’s a high priority. There’s no fix yet, though. But it’s high on our attention list.


It’s September 26. Still having this same issue.

Are there any updates and work arounds for this yet?

using 2018 pro on a mac.


same issue here, but we experience the issue with non transparent materials as well. Beyond frustrating. We use sketchup in an architecture office and this bug is a major inefficiency. I would appreciate any update on the issue and timeline for a fix.

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Berry, that is a nice plugin - thanks for sharing, however its not a work around for this issue. The issue duplicates AND assigns the duplicate material to the model. Since both the original and duplicate material are assigned to objects in model they don’t qualify for a purge. If you manually delete the duplicate material, it also removes the it from the model, creating the need to re-assign the original material again, thus repeating the cycle. Kind of like ground hog day.


Sketchup 2019 is here, and this is still happening among many other bugs still not resolved, (I won’t bother name them here, no one is listening), very very disappointed by the lack of follow through from Sketchup team, since version 2016 almost nothing happened on the user experience side.


We’re listening, but do you win every argument you’ve ever had with an architect or an engineer? Does every building you work on get built exactly as you wish? Is every feature in that building exactly as you designed it 5 years ago?

We will attach this forum thread to the bug.


I’ve been experiencing this same behavior in some models and some materials, and not just with transparent materials. I’ve reported it, shown it several times, but it still has not been resolved. I feel like this is a core issue, since it’s a basic function and duplicate materials are not just annoying, but downright disruptive, especially when great lengths are made to keep them efficient and to a minimum.

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Me too!! 13-year veteran user here as well. Just switched to Mac a year ago.

The Materials Picker in Mac is RIDICULOUSLY buggy. Has been ever since I switched. Can’t tell what material I’m applying, difficult to edit, difficult to save… Although this bug explains why it seems I can’t edit any materials, and why my materials libraries are completely out of hand.

I made a video too - at least it’s reassuring that I’m not alone

SKETCH-UP FIX THIS PLEASE. It’s a very disruptive bug. Makes working in certain models almost impossible.