Newly Created Components are Hidden and Unselectable

I am new to Sketchup and I am using Sketchup Web (free) while I learn to use it and try to decide if I want to pay for one of the better versions.

When I create a component, it buries the component underneath the original sketch (I’m not sure what the terminology is). So, instead of replacing the original selection with the new component, it creates the component underneath the original sketch. Once it is in place, it is unselectable because the original sketch is on top of it. So I can only click on the original sketch, which is exploded in individual lines and faces and is not connected as a component.

I can see the newly created component in the components tab on the right, but all it lets me do is copy/paste a new version of the component. Even if I copy a 2nd version of the component directly on top of the original sketch, it still sticks it underneath the original sketch so that the only thing I can click on is the original sketch while an infinite number of cloned components are hidden and unavailable underneath.

While searching for a solution, I see that in the pay versions, when you create a component you are supposed to select “replace selection with component.” However, on the free web version, no such option exists. Also, there is no option during the initial creation to attach a tag the component. You can only tag the component once it has been created and can click on it to edit it. But I can’t get to the component to edit it and add a tag! If I could tie a tag to the component while making the component, I could toggle tags to manually replace the sketch selection with the component.

I appreciate your help!

It would help if you’d share the .skp file so we can see what you have going on. You can download it to your computer through the hamburger menu at the top left corner of the screen.

There’s something odd going on with what you describe. I get exactly the opposite: there is no option NOT to replace the selection with the component. In the animation, I create a simple box, make it a component, then show that is what entity info has selected and also that moving it aside doesn’t leave loose edges or faces behind.

make component

Component Problems.skp (94.5 KB)

I created a new project that is very simple to make it easier to diagnose. Here, I made the perimeter of the larger square a component. I don’t want any of the faces or interior square to be part of the component. However, after it is created, it is hidden under the original square and I can only select individual sides. If I delete one of the sides, it reveals the component underneath.

One difference between your gif and my situation, is that you were able to select the ENTIRE object and make it a component. In my situation, I am selecting part of an existing sketch and only trying to make part of it a component instead of the entire thing.

To provide some context, I am working on floor plans. I cannot simply create the external perimeter first and make that a component, because I am using interior spaces and dimensions to adjust the exterior perimeter as I go. Then, once I am happy with the floor plan, I am trying to make the exterior walls and interior walls separate components.

That’s why I created and attached the simple square within a square .skp file as it is analogous to what I’m trying to do in the floorplan…make the bigger square perimeter a component while leaving the interior stuff alone.

Not exactly in answer to your original question, but worth knowing:

You can inference off of things even if they are in a group. Grouping the external perimeter to make sure it doesn’t mix with the interior would not stop you from taking inference from parts of the grouped exterior.

A select drag from left to right only picks up what is completely inside the selection area. Dragging from right to left picks up everything that crosses the area. That can be useful for selecting what is between two edges and not the edges themselves.

@DaveR, @slbaumgartner, @colin

I just did an experiment that may shed some light. It appears the issue I am having only occurs with perimeter or individual lines. It does not occur when selecting entire objects or when selecting face surfaces in conjunction with the perimeter lines.

Here are two scenarios where creating components DID work properly and I was able to select and edit the components without any problems after they were created:

  • I create a cube, then select the entire cube and make the entire cube a component
  • I create a cube, then select only one face of the cube, including the square perimeter of that face, as well as the face surface inside the square perimeter

This following scenario is the one that isn’t working for me and is behaving differently than the above working scenarios. In this scenario, the component stays hidden and is not selectable after it is made (note it is very similar to the second example above, but the small difference between the two makes it not work):

  • I create a cube, then select only one face, but this time, I select just the square perimeter of that face, and I don’t select the face surface inside the square, only the square perimeter

This above scenario that doesn’t work is very similar to the second example of scenarios that did work. The only difference is that the scenario that worked included the entire side (the square perimeter and the interior face surface). The scenario that did not work included only the square perimeter without the interior face surface selected.

When I look at the components in the tray, I can see the square perimeter component, but I cannot select it in the drawing. When I go to click on the perimeter of the square of the face, it selects individual lines instead of the entire square perimeter component. If I delete one of those individual lines, the component is underneath it and I can then select it. This does not happen in the first two scenarios that worked and which I can click and select the component immediately.

I am including a .skp file of this experiment so you can see which components are selectable and which aren’t. On the larger cube, I colored one of the walls to show you where the problem component is. The perimeter of that wall is hidden and can only be accessed if you delete the perimeter lines blocking it. The same is true for the perimeter of the flat square.

Component Problems (2).skp (131.9 KB)

A SketchUp face cannot exist without its edges, and both must be in the same context (model, group, or component). When you make a group of just the bounding edges you force SketchUp to create duplicates so the face can continue to exist in the original context. The resulting exact overlay makes it very difficult to select correctly.

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If that is the case, what is the best way make my floor plan perimeter walls (bounding edges) it’s own group or component then? Would I have to either delete the interior face/floor so that only the edges exist without the face? Or would I have to include the interior face/floor with the perimeter walls when I make the selection and just make sure that the interior walls and features aren’t selected along with the interior face/floor?

Sketchup is used for floor plans all the time, so there must be a “right way” that people do this on a regular basis and I am just making it harder on myself.

In general, people consider the bottom face of a wall to be part of the wall, not just the edges. The entire wall is made a group. Then they use section cuts through the building after pulling the floor plan up to height to show wall outlines.

Ok, thank you. I see now that a major problem was that I had not yet offset the perimeter lines to make them “walls.” Originally, I was wanting to use lines only to make the perimeter, then make that a component, then offset to make walls. I guess I felt that it would be easier to edit lines instead of offset “walls” while I was still pushing and prodding and sussing out the perimeter.

But, making the line-only perimeter a component was problematic because Sketchup was creating the duplicate overlays that wouldn’t let me access and select the component. I see now that if I had offset the perimeter lines into walls first and then made that a component, I wouldn’t have had this issue.

Thanks for the help!

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