Reducing Clicks for Ergonomics

I think Dave’s suggestion to use Outliner is a great native SketchUp solution to the OP’s situation. I always leave Outliner open on a second monitor, which helps me keep my model contents logically organized.

Most in this forum probably know this related tip: Group instances can be named in the Entity Information or Outliner dialogs. Having descriptive names for all groups as well as components makes the Outliner an even more valuable tool, IMHO.


I agree wholeheartedly. Leaving all the groups called Group makes Outliner practically useless. It’s like naming all your kids Billy.


Oh, how about that. Return is as good as Enter for this operation. That’s good, because on a Macbook Pro, the only way to type Enter (as distinct from Return) is the “fn” key in the bottom left corner and the “return” key on the right side, which takes two hands, but that’s not a problem with a full size keyboard.

For exiting groups, Escape will go the other way from Enter. That’s why I made F1 and F2 the selection tool and Select None. When done inside a nested group or component, it’s F2, F1, Esc, Esc, Esc, … till totally backed out. Sometimes there’s no good blank space to click on for backing out anyway.

You can always use a bit of code to back out of everything with a context menu or keyboard shortcut.
@DanRathbun posted an example .rb for this many years back.

Backout plugin - Deep nest • sketchUcation • 1

I was thinking of this more useful one.

Using the outliner:

As a designer having designed many home projects, I’ve so far never once used or needed the outliner for anything, EVER. From my understanding - if one wants to use the outliner to navigate objects easily, it matters largely on the naming of groups and components. Unless groups and components are being used for BIM or for quantification, the outliner to a designer is usless and a huge waste of time in other scenarios, hence never having used it myself. The methods I use for quantifying mean that I don’t have to waste my time navigating the outliner or naming many groups and compoents, so I save a lot of time not needing it. If anyone is considering using the outliner I would just consider the points I’ve just made. Maybe someone has some good ways in seeing how I could use it more effectively, but to this day I’ve never had the need to waste my time naming objects to use the outliner, because I’ve never used the outliner. My personal view on this outliner thing. Hopefully that helps someone. The natural development for me in just about anything is that I’ve made things way too complicated initially as I’ve learned something and than the goal is to take what I’ve made too complicated, learn from it and simplify the heck out of it… Sometimes, like now, I do wonder why I’ve never used the outliner, therefore I wonder really what it’s use is. Maybe I am missing something fundamental, but currently the way I see it, is that it definitely doesn’t save me time and adds no value to my process in any way, even after watching many in depth tutorials about it in the past years…

Interesting post. I suppose we all find the workflows for SketchUp which work best for us. I use Outliner for absolutely everything as you can see from the attached screenshot. In fact I do not use Tags at all. I find Outliner incredibly useful for creating the scenes I need to produce the detail drawings I require for our glass and metalwork structures, not to mention the various set-out, overview and elevation drawings. By grouping glass and metalwork together I can turn either on or off with a single click and control the visibility of nested groups. Personally, I cannot imagine using SketchUp without the Outliner. Cheers all.


Holy smokes! Dang that’s pretty cool Kevin! Some questions… So you make drawings from your sketchup stuff, as I do. So if you turn objects off via the outliner by toggling group or component visibility, you’re essentially hiding objects in scenes “hidden objects” via scenes panel and not using tags as a result of doing it that way. The only issue with that, is because a model like yours probably has hundreds if not thousands of objects at times, there would be no easy way of having a set way of toggling visibility of objects without first naming all new model objects for every project, and than setting up their visibilty in each scene every time for every project. If not using tags, this means that every project would have to have each scene reworked and every object would have to be named appropriately first as well. It’s essentially like recreating every single scene and toggling it’s settings for every project, there would be no easy way to make a template… Whereas with tags, you can create scenes that you setup once for every single project…?

Sorry - I’m not sure I got the gist of all that? I have never used tags so I can’t really comment on what they do. I simply rename the groups as I create them with fairly standard names and I group certain types of materials together for ease of changing the visibity. If I am detailing, say the glass, I will set a scene up with just 1 glass panel visible, then for the next scene which needs another panel visible I will hide the visible panel and unhide the adjacent panel I need to detail and save that as a new scene. Hope that helps.

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