Outliner does not show nested groups

Hi there, I recently upgraded to 2020 and I am completely lost with the new Outliner. I am a HUGE user of nested components and have been using this feature for a while. The issue I’m having is when I open up a group, the outliner does not show me the nested groups underneath them unless I double-click the component in the view port. What are the sub-components/groups not shown in the Outliner? For the group “Raised Walk”, there is another group nested below–but Outliner does not show it in the panel? Am I missing something here?

When I open up the group in the view port, it finally shows up:


Am I doing something wrong? Thanks in advance for any assistance you can be!

Isn’t it named ‘Base’ as your highlighted example…

Here’s the full image—sorry for the first image. Essentially, there are groups underneath “Raised Walk”, but I can’t see them until I actually open up the group manually. And to further the issue–there are two sub-groups underneath “Raised Walk”, but when I open the first “Base” group, it’s the only one showing–not even showing the ones at the same level.


Can you upload the model itself to the forum? That way others can see if the problem is specific to your computer, or a problem on others too.

When you installed SU 2020, did you R-click on the installer and select Run As Administrator? Not doing so often causes problems.

And can you flesh out your profile a little?

What version of Windows?

Is the Graphics card an nVidia GT or GTX 1080? On its own, 1080 isn’t a graphics card.

Hi John—just filled out the profile more–hope that helps.

I did not install with that right-click command. I can try to reinstall.

Attached is the exported portion of the full model (which is too large to upload here). What’s strange is that when I open just this exported component, it works fine in a new instance. When it’s part of the larger model (primarily built in SU 2019), it gets wonky. There is some nesting happening, but not with any new groups…

Genkan 2.skp (5.8 MB)

I see nothing obviously ‘wrong’ in Outliner in this model.

But I have a few comments.

You can most easily see every individual component or group in Outliner by clicking the broad arrow top right, and selecting Expand all

When I do that, I see this (in part):

You have at least two double-nested groups that don’t need to have the second level of nesting - the Plywood group has another group inside it also called Plywood; and the shoe-rack top (called just Group) does the same.

It isn’t a requirement, but it is generally a good idea to give meaningful names to Components as you create them, not just leave them with the default name Component#1, …#2, etc.

And I would almost never use Groups rather than components. If you do, use Entity Info to give them meaningful Instance names, but don’t use Groups if you have numerous identical elements in the model. If you edit one copy of a component, all the others change to match, which is usually useful.

If you want one or more components to differ from the others like them, select one or more, then R-click and Make Unique. Those will all become different components from the original, but all be identical to each other.

For example, your Shoe rack is all loose geometry inside one large component. I would have made a component of one individual shoe pocket, then copy it to all the others (except the bottom one, which seems not to have partitions). You could probably also make the bottom one by Scaling one of the narrow ones by four times along the red axis.

And your shelving at the back has a reversed face, several missing faces, and some unneeded central lines.

The shelving could also be made of components - one component for the top, the bottom, and the middle shelf; then a separate one for all the vertical partitions - they look all the same.

If you still have the problem in Outliner that you originally posted about, in the full model, try uploading it to Dropbox or a similar file sharing service, and share a link here.

Thanks for completing your profile. It’s helpful.

Thanks @john_mcclenahan for taking a look. I appreciate the refresher on groups-vs-components too–I do try to follow the best practices. Components are my best friends when I need lots of something. I use it a lot when doing 3D design for things like the profile for countersunk screws.

I think I got so many nested groups because I couldn’t tell what level I was at. The shoe rack was something I downloaded from the warehouse, so I have no claim over its build. It was more of a placeholder for the overall size.

That’s fine, if it isn’t going to stay in the final model.

As a general rule, it is wise to download a warehouse model into a fresh instance of SU, and examine it before use. Many of the models (not the shoe rack) are grossly over-detailed in curved surfaces, have edges and faces not on Layer0/Untagged, or not enough appropriate use of components, with everything one mass of loose but connected geometry which can be a nightmare to edit.

Small point - why is only the shoe shelves top tagged Genkan? Is the whole of this component the entranceway to a Japanese house (which is what saw when I looked up the word). If so, wouldn’t it all be the same tag?

Good questions. So, the whole area is called the genkan, which historically I used groups for, not tags/layers. I really like nesting stuff, so using groups instead of tags is what I usually do. In this case, I would use the tags for Floor 1/2/etc. so I can use them more easily in layout. I also use tags for components like HVAC stuff so I can hide all of the components across multiple groups.

I’ve just noticed in another model that Outliner entries only show in red if you have a search term entered in the Search box at the top of Outliner.

Otherwise, unless you manually highlighted them in an image editor, I wonder if you did that to get entries in red. But on second thoughts, the Raised Walk has a down arrow, showing it’s expanded, and should have as you say two Base elements inside it.

And in any case, it would be worth reinstalling using Run As Administrator, and using the Repair option.

Hi there John,

I don’t believe there was a search at the time of the screenshot, but I’ve seen that color before and agree there might have been something.

I did the reinstall with elevated privileges (right-click, run as admin) and that worked with the same file. Thanks for your help on this and other issues you found.

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