Stop auto fill

Hello to All,
My last encounter with mechanical drawing/drafting was one semester in high school in the early 70’s (drafting board, T-Square, triangles etc.). I am now almost 50 years older and need some help. I know what I am trying to draw (a bench with four drawers) When I try to draw the runners it auto-fills so nothing can be seen. Am I doing something wrong? (apparently).
Example: I have a 1 x 3 recessed into the legs of the bench 1" (flush) When I draw the first, all’s well. When I draw the opposite side, the area grays out.
I want to upgrade, but not until I am comfortable with this software offering first.

Upload your model so we can see what’s happening.

It’s probably under 15MB so you should be able to drag and drop it into your next post on this forum.

To download it from your free Web version, go to the three line menu top left and choose Download/SKP. That should download your model to the Downloads folder on your own computer.

Drag and drop it from Windows Explorer/Downloads into your next post.

off feed table.skp (136.5 KB)
John, some of the 1x’s extend past the frame. That was me just trying to “fix it”

You haven’t used any components or groups, which makes editing your model much more difficult, tangles all the geometry into one set of edges and faces, and leads to faces closing when you don’t want them to.

Each time you draw a ‘piece of wood’, using the rectangle tool, and push-pull tool, triple click on it to select all the faces and edges, and press the g key to bring up the Make Component dialogue.

Give it a name. Make sure the check box ‘Replace selection with component’ is checked, then click OK to create a component of the piece. For another component of the same size, copy the component using Move tool and tapping Ctrl so you make a copy and move the copy.

View the YouTube tutorials at, and the Square One series on the Sketchup YouTube channel.

You also have several blue ‘reversed faces’ in your model.

These are ‘inside out’ faces. You need to have white (or light buff in the style you are using) faces showing ‘outside’ of your drawing elements. R-click on each blue face, and choose ‘Reverse faces’.

I haven’t time to fix the model now, but will have a go later tonight or tomorrow.


Such a better explanation than what I found online! Thank you so much! I’ll work on it so I get the hang of some of the things you mentioned. Thanks again.

See how this works when made with components, pairs or fours of them identical, but half of them are mirrored (use Flip along… to create these).

Your original model in the background. Mine constructed from components in the foreground, with half lap joints built in.

I’ve realigned the drawer runners for ease of construction, but that may not be what you intend.

off feed table JWM.skp (197.4 KB)

I drew each piece, one at a time, starting with a top rail, taking the size from your model.

Made each piece into a component, then Move/copied into position and flipped it front to back, or end to end, or top to bottom, to orient it correctly. Then made the half lap joints, only needing to do it once for each different component - edit one, and you edit all the copies simultaneously.

In real life, take care to mark out the mirrored pieces separately from the originals - you can flip them in the model, but you can’t do the same with a wooden piece!

I’ve given each piece a meaningful name (even if not what you want to call them). You can rename them as you wish in Entity Info, or in the Component Browser.

I’ve also reoriented the model to follow the convention of having the longest dimension along the red (X) axis. That’s not necessary, but often makes things a bit simpler.

To get my version of the model into the Web Free version, first download it to your Downloads folder on your computer, then in the Web browser app, use the top left menu and Import it.

PS. I think I now see that your top left end piece is 1 1/2" thick, but I’ve drawn it only as 3/4". If you want the other end to remain at 3/4" thick as drawn, first R-click on the left one, and Make Unique.
However, if you want both of them to be 1 1/2" thick, skip this step, open either of them for editing (double click on it, or R-click and choose Edit), and push-pull the inner face 3/4" to the full thickness. Edit one corner piece to remove the excess overlap thus created, and the others will change to match.

PPs. Was it your intention to make the gaps between the verticals of two different sizes? If you made them all the same, you could put in four drawers all the same size. As it is, you need two pairs of different sized drawers - which may well be intentional, though.

Go to The Learning Center and to The SketchUp You Tube Channel. Both are sponsored by the SketchUp Crew and well worth the time spent there…

I would still like to know how to stop SU from creating surfaces every time I create a space. It seems to like to pick the front surface which blocks everthing else from view until I select/delete new surface.

Simply put: You can’t…
But if you use @john_mcclenahan method to create geometry, all the faces automatically created will be needed for the component you’re creating.

You may want to work in ‘Face style’ > ‘X-ray’ or if that isn’t enough, try ‘Wire Frame’.
It will not prevent SketchUp from creating faces when closing a loop of coplanar edges, but at least you will see all edges behind these faces.
In the end delete the faces you don’t need.

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What version of SketchUp are you using? Please complete your profile.

What is it you are doing that you don’t want faces?

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version is 2017. I have new “trial” version but it does some wonky things when it opens.

What I am trying to do is a rough layout of a simple set of shelves. I drew a 16"x80" upright, copied and pasted it, then measured 12" increments for the shelves. Selected “rectangle”, clicked on back corner of right side then the front corner of the left side and a rectangle for the shelf appeared but the area between the new shelf and the one below it was also covered as a “Face” which I have to delete so I can work on the shelf. May not be the “best” way to draw, but I’ve done too much T-square and triangle work for a newer workflow to work (I’m 73, been drawing since I was a teenager)

How about sharing your SketchUp file so we can see what you’ve got? I’m guessing that all you need is the right workflow.

So not SketchUp Shop which is what the thread and this category is about.

Trial of SketchUp 2017? What wonky things does it do when it opens?

I’m curious at which point your face is getting in the way?


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