Tilde creep

My goal is to produce a finished drawing with no tildes.

I’m on at least my 7th reworking of a relatively simple woodworking job:

(existing) cabinets portrayed by dimensioned boxes; rectilinear lots of planks of wood—simple boxes all .75” thick; a refrigerator with open door.

An 8” thick wall

A 6” deep floor, partially covered by tile ¾” high

I may import some of the planks of wood (just the major vertical pieces) from my previous efforts and paste it in place, BUT, every entity is measured, if its x, y, or z dimension is preceded by a ~ the piece is either redone from scratch (based on its ~ dimensions, double checked by actually dimensioning the object), or is redone by using the scale tool to redimension it so that measurements no longer display tildes.

Initially I take measurements from a 4”x4” light switch located on the wall at a height of 3’ 8.25” (no ~s). from that switch the doorway is located exactly (4/5”).

EVERY OTHER OBJECT IS LOCATED a measured distance from the light switch or a measured inference point/line; or direct snap-to, an entity that has already been exactly located relative to the light switch.

Every object is located on the original x,y,z axis. Every inference drawn is located using the up (blue), right (red), or left (green) arrow keys, so I’m absolutely sure I’m on axis.

Component issue : Every object is either a Group or a Component (Component groups are created using Drag/Cntl click. Sometimes I create a Single-Component entity (consisting of 2 or more Components that don’t act like components—but appear as a component in the Outliner). I will redo one of these rogue Component groups as many times as it takes to get a component containing multiple Component entities ). image

I use the Outliner as my “layer manager” (apologies to those who don’t like layers).

Tags : Everything is done while image Untagged is highlighted throughout the whole process issue except when it comes to dimensioning because I’ve experienced problems highlighting and deleting dimensions without having to (randomly!) dig into the drawing (dimensions don’t appear in the Outliner).

Is this the way one constructs a tilde-free drawing? Have I left anything out?

Tilde’s are creeping in. There is a Group entity I redid a number of times (Backboard) was alright (exact x, y, z) until I extruded part of the bottom 3/4", throwing all vertical dimensions into tilde-land.

  1. I’m bothered by the fact I can’t check true rectangle rectalinearness by comparing diagonal measurements. All diagonals are ~s, Is there a way to generate/compare diagonal measurements across a rectangle?
  2. Is it true that entities can be snapped to tape measure guidelines generated on a surface, but will not snap to tape-measure guidelines not on a surface. These need to be overdrawn with the pencil tool to cause snap to occur.
  3. Hide: Why is it that if you choose an element and right-mouse click/hide the element seems impossible to get back (Undo works), but if you click on the same entity in the Outliner and click on the eye to hide, getting it back is as easy as clicking again on the eye?
  4. Suddenly the Floor Group is gone! Formerly a Group with subGroup Tile, directly under and extending from the left/right extents of the wall, now toggling Floor eye (or Tile eye) toggles on/off the Tile. Reconstruct Floor and give it back its tile. Restarted computer!
  1. I’m still mystified about how I draw False Components (a number of entities under one Component item as seen in the Outliner) vs True Components (a number of discrete entities named as the same Component as seen in the Outliner). It seems the False Component occurs when I construct a shelf between two vertical members and then label it a Component vs when I create the initial surface of the end of the shelf (.75", X") and make it a component BEFORE I extrude it to the other vertical.
    5a) and now, of course, I’m trying to figure out to redistribute the individual shelf placements without destroying their functionality as Components.

Amazingly, I seem to be creating more objects who’s dimensions do not involve tildes!! (I truly don’t know what I’m doing different.)

Tomorrow, dimensions.

have you modified the precision settings already?

If you draw a rectangle with the rectangle tool you don’t have to check it. It will be a rectangle unless you move an edge out of square afterwards.

Remember, tildes aren’t something being drawn with no accuracy, they are measurements being shown that is smaller than your chosen accuracy can display. Changing your accuracy will allow you to view those smaller measurements.

Also, turn length snapping off. It seems counter intuitive, but length snapping can cause you to place an endpoint where you don’t want it and ruin your efforts at perfect accuracy.


Yes, display precision is 1/64".
I am surprised that I have not yet encountered a ~d dimension that is not that dimension when the tape measure is replaced with an actual dimension. (I would’ve expected that (e.g.,) with a display precision of 1/16" that in some instances the dimension tool would report a figure */- 1/32". )

My biggest problem has been with the construction of False Components. The more I think of it, the more I wonder if bound (snapped to existing entities) entities (snapped to existing objects, as a shelf might be to its vertical members) make it tricky to create True Components (and my illustrated 2-box example is a case in point). All examples I’ve encountered seem to involve discrete objects.

Changing Group object into Component object: A Mid Vertical Group Component member needs to be changed from a Group to a Component (so that when I double its thickness the two boards will act as one). I select it, right click, and find neither Make Unique nor Explode are available. (Make Component will merely make it a subgroup of itself.) How do I release it of its ‘component-ness’ and redefine it as a Component?

SketchUp will not display a smaller unit or finer precision than what the display precision dictates. With display precision set to 1/16", SketchUp will never show anything to n/32" or smaller. A dimension that is, for example, 5/32" in the model will be displayed as either ~1/8" or ~3/16" (I don’t know if SketchUp tends to round up or down) with display precision set to 1/16".

I’m not sure what you mean. Here is a workflow that I typically use) with SketchUp Pro 2018, but it’s similar in all other versions).

  1. Draw some geometry, say the side-board of a shelving unit, by drawing a horizontally-oriented rectangle and Push-Pulling it up to the height of the shelving unit.
  2. Triple-click on that geometry (to select it all) and make it a group or component.
  3. Make sure that the new group or component editing context is closed. (When any part of the group or component is clicked, SketchUp should show a blue bounding box around the whole thing.)
  4. Draw some related geometry, such as a shelf board, by hovering the cursor over an edge of a vertical face (or better a corner) of the side-board component. Observe that SketchUp shows an inference “match” (a green dot if on an end-point of the side-board, a cyan dot if on the mid-point of the edge, or an “on face” tool-tip if somewhere on a face of the side-board). Click to start a rectangle that will form the end of the shelf-board, move the mouse toward the opposite corner of the shelf-board end (and optionally type in exact width and height dimensions of the shelf-board) and click again to create the end rectangle. Push-pull the rectangle out sideways to form the length of the shelf-board (again typing an exact dimension if desired).
  5. Triple-click on the shelf-board geometry to select all of it, and make it a group or component.
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If you have a group object and want to turn it into a (new) component, first select the group. SketchUp should show a blue bounding-box around the whole group, and the Entity Info window should show that a group is selected. If instead, SketchUp shows a light-blue-speckled face/surface or a blue edge, and the Entity Info window shows that a face, surface, or edge is selected, then you are probably in the editing context of the group. You would need to close the group’s editing context (by pressing ESCape when the Select tool is active, or by clicking somewhere outside the gray-dotted-line bounding box of the open group). Then select the group object (and observe the blue bounding box).

When you have the group object selected, then you should be able to Explode the group and (before de-selecting anything) use Make Component.

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Why are you checking diagonal measurements at all?
If you want to model accurately, make sure to do so while you’re modeling. If you want something to be exactly 3/4" thick, then type 3/4 when you draw that dimension, and so on. As long as you keep modeling with the correct measurements in each drawing and movement, then there should be no concern.

I think you’re overthinking groups and components waaaaaaaaay too much. You’ve overcomplicated their concept and use to the point that you seem frustrated. A group is just a container around geometry. A component is the same as a group, except it has a specific name and each one is a symbol of the original. To edit a group or component, double click on it. To exit, click out. Anything beyond this that you perceive happening simply isn’t. To avoid issues, please avoid trying to nest your groups and components more than is 100% necessary.

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No. If you want to test it, go ahead. I draw guidelines floating in space all the time and snap to them while I model.

Because “undo” isn’t an unhide, it is just undoing the last thing you did. To unhide something, use the Unhide command. Using the eye in Outliner works because that’s it’s function, to hide and unhide.

Components made these two ways should be identical. There is no such thing as a true or false component. A component just allows you to make copies of it, so that when you update one, you update all instances of it. Not complicated.

You don’t “label” something a component, you Make it a component.


Ok let me put it another way.
The illustration shows two instances:

  • (Orange) Test vertical1 and Test Horizontal1, Test Horizontal1 conform to the way you describe and to the way I’d like to always create Components.
  • (Yellow) Test Vertical2 and Test Horizontal2 (containing 2 h-entities, created the same way the other 2 horizontal entities were created) is wrong. (You can see, to the right, how the Outliner shows the two horizontals as a single Component.)
  • Have you ever created a Group/Component set like the #2 set?
  • How do I avoid doing causing Group/Components resulting in the #2 set relationship?
  • Is the #2 set particularly useful?

For Test Horizontal1, you created a single component called Test Horizontal1 and then made a copy of it. That’s why they have the same name and a indicating they are two instances of the same component.

You did not make Test Vertical1 and 2 the same way. They are different components, clearly, with different names. If they were copies of the same component, they would have the same name/definition.

Wow! I never imagined the problem was with the vertical members.

  • Test Vertical1 and Test Vertical2 were each created by drawing a rectangle (.75") on the floor and Pulling them up.
  • Test Horizontal1 and Test Horizontal2 were each created by drawing a 3/4" rectangle on the rightmost vertical member, pulling it, and Drag/Cntl-click duplicating the second horizontal.

It doesn’t matter how you created them. At all.

When you create any component, you are asked to give it a name. If you name one Component1 and another Component2, they are separate components. If you draw Component 3, and then make a copy of it, they are both Component3 instances. It’s not complicated.

Thanks. I’ve never used Entity Info to monitor what is being selected in the selected element. Looking at the illustration, is it selected the way you describe, and, if so, why isn’t Explode available?

As you say, “test shelf component”(s) were not separately named.

However the two elements Test horizontal2 were not separately/differently named either.

I keep the Entity Info window open 100% of the time in SketchUp. I use it as a sanity-check that I have selected 7 edges as I intended, or to change the number of segments in an arc or the radius of a circle, etc.

No. The blue stippling or speckling across the faces shows that edges and faces are selected (18 of them in total, as summarized by the Entity Info window in the upper left). You were within the editing context of the group/component when that screen capture was made. The light gray bounding box around the geometry is another clue that you were within the editing context of the object.

Close the editing context, then click once on any part of those bits and pieces (to select the group or component) and see what Entity Info shows. It should show that a Group or Component (or Solid Group or Solid Component) is selected. A blue bounding box should surround the geometry of the group or component, with no blue stippling.

In that state, the Explode function should be offered.

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Because you opened the component for editing, by double clicking it. Notice that entity info says 18 entities. That is the individual faces and edges the make up the component.

Test Horizontal2 is actually a single component containing two shelves. The way you made that was by double clicking the component. Then triple clicking the shelf, after which you copied the individual entities that made up the shelf rather than copying the shelf component.

A gif might explain it better.

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Also note that you can tell the difference between groups and components by the icon in the outliner.