Outliner for Layout

Could we have an outliner for layout? One that could let us identify all types of objects we have in the file:

  • Viewports;
  • Linework;
  • Grouped Objects;
  • Dimensions;
  • Labels;
  • Multiline Texts;
  • Tables;
  • Images;
  • CAD Imports.
  • Whatnot…

This would allow us to select only the type we need and send it to a layer, change it’s style, isolate it and hide it or fade everything else, delete it, move it, scale it drag to Scrapbooks…

Do stuff and ease our life.


Good suggestion! Have it be like Corel Draw or Xara Designer Pro and, undoubtedly others, where you can see each page, its layers, and the objects on them as well as an enhanced selection command where you can select objects by filters.

I’ve used the outliner in SU from when I started with the program and couldn’t do without it. Adding one to Layout would be helpful to cope with some of its quirks.

Selections and styling in Layout are really unintuitive. They are all hidden under the hood and the last one you used is the one you’ll use again. If you happen to want to change the style in your whole document, you’ll have to pick each element one by one.

Tedious work and very non creative. My solution is to stick to a single style for all my presentations. Not bad, but dull.

AutoCAD has a Quick Select command, a pared down version of, which would do exactly what you want.

I know, I used to use it, but that was 10+years ago. It is very similar indeed, though the UI is a bit different and requires imagination.

Imho, in sketchup (and I think the logic should be mimicked in Layout as they are supposed to be siblings) a model organization is defined mainly in Outliner and so an outliner approach would be more familiar for Sketchup users,

Even if we don’t need using outliner for working in sketchup, all the model organizational structure is there. An outliner for Layout would be mostly the same, but would show all objects in a page, or in the whole file.

It could also open the door for a style manager, as in this outliner we could probably see which would be red and blue. The same logic as you showed, but with a better UI.

That’s why I said pared down. AutoCAD has far more object types and properties to fool around with than SU/Layout.

I think about SU’s outliner every time I see questions where people seem to lose track of where they are with regards to nesting and groups and components. While double clicking through an inserted window component until I finally get to the window sash or trim group to edit is OK, it’s nice to be able to go to the Outliner and see the structure of the component and and just pick the sub-group/component with which I want to work. It’s the same thing with Layout. Clicking through the group levels is OK (and I don’t use that many in Layout anyway) but I’d prefer it to be like SU.

What makes even more sense in a Layout outliner is that it’s really hard to select objects when they are close or on top of each other. I tend to always select what I don’t want. Even there the outliner could help.

Hope. !ives eternal… but as you cannot do that in SU without external extensions and the much promoted but never implimented API for LO never happened for users… nevertheless great suggestion

Hey All,

We have considered adding an outliner to LayOut previously, but we have some uncertainty about how things could/should work.

  1. SketchUp’s outliner contains the group/component hierarchy, not loose geometry. Would that be the expectation for LayOut as well? In my experience, it is much more common to have ungrouped dimensions/labels/rectangles/paths/etc. in LayOut than it is in SketchUp.
  2. A typical dwg import can add 100,000+ path entities to a document. Is that something you want to see in an outliner?
  3. You can’t currently name any of your entities, so you will see a lot of “path” and will have to do a lot of picking to find the path you want.
  4. There are two different ways we organize LayOut entities: by draw order per layer and by group hierarchy. What would the expected visualization be?
  5. Should you be able to reorder entities in the outliner? This would affect draw order. We would either not be able to show group hierarchy or not allow draw order re-ordering.
  6. Should instead the entities be listed in the layer inspector? If this is the case, then you wouldn’t see groups, as groups can contain entities from multiple layers.
  7. Should there be an outliner showing group hierarchy as well as showing the draw order of entities in the layer inspector, or would that be confusing to see the same entity listed in two different locations?

Food for thought,

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I would start with a simple ‘element info’ panel.
You select an item and get info over the position coordinates, size, layer and number of instances.

All editable and a possibility to give it an (auto)text name, which could be used in tables.
Bonus button to select all.

I’m thinking about an outliner like that in Xara Designer Pro. An element info panel like @MikeWayzovski is suggesting would also be good.

Xara Outliner

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As an architect, I can’t see me using an outliner in LO. Typically, I put notes on the Notes layer, Room Names on the Room Names layer and so on. I then lock or turn off layers I’m not working on. I do understand the frustration with selecting the wrong thing. That has happened to me often, so I wish there was a straight forward way to deal with it. Perhaps you could add a key that cycles through things that are on top of each other until you get to the right one. For that to work, as you cycle, you would need to be able to see clearly what is currently selected.

What @RichH said. For tables, texts labels and dims the first letters of the content should show in Outliner.

If Outliner panel would be stretched, the column would stretch and show more of the text content.

For shapes they shouldn’t all be called path, but the tool’s name that created them. Circle, arc, line, rectangle, bulges rectangle, polyline or spline or even path.

Groups and scaled groups should be showing as folders in the image above but with the plus sign as in SketchUp, above and we should be able to name them.

We need components in Layout. Was asked a lot of times before.

A DWG file would be a special scaled group called dwg. The name of the file should show in layout as well as a refresh button.

Viewports should have the name of their original sketchup scene and a refresh button.

Viewports in a page should be grouped by model. So we could reload the model refresh all relates viewports and also refresh single isolated viewports, which would allow us to fine tune what to render and consume less time on changes that we have done to the model.

Relink and edit should be available too.

Images would work the same.

We should be able to change the name of every object, even paths.

As in SketchUp scene manager, advanced properties should be available to a selection: we should then be able to carry style, text style, file color, line color, layer, locking and whatnot to, from multiple objects simultaneously.

Shoot tlus the Outliner and have us test it and we will figure a lot more.

That fails on multiple objects.

For layer management we’ve discussed this, right?

Personally… a simple “find and replace” tool would be a godsend!.. at the next level a “filtered selection” tool … like “Selection Toys” in SU or similar tools in CorelDraw, Autocad etc would be huge assists in data management in LO

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