What's the significance of layer colors?

From the knowledge Base “Each new layer has a different color to help you distinguish layers.” I don’t get it, other than in the Layers Manager where are these colors used?

Thanks, curious minds…


when you assign items to different layers, you can view them using ‘Color by layer’…
it’s very useful for checking your layering choices…

Thanks John for the reply. I guess I must be missing something. Where is the ‘Color by Layer’ command.

I have a project with components/groups assigned to 7 different layers, the Layer Manager lets me make any of them visible or not, can’t figure out the colors.


only one layer in this, but it shows where you activate it on a mac [should be similar on windoze]…

Yep, pretty much the same in widows.
A very handy way of distinguishing separate parts.

John, thank you! That’s what I expected but couldn’t find, yeah!



Many organizations, NCS among them, publish CAD Standards, of which, layer color is a part.
CAD files imported into SketchUp bring along their layer color assignments.

In the image below, SketchUp has Color by Layer and Edge - Color by Material enabled.
The inset image depicts 16 rectangles in one CAD file; each drawn on a different layer.
The CAD file was then imported into SketchUp.
(This import was for demonstration only. Base geometry in SketchUp must reside on Default Layer 0)

In our Skalp for SketchUp plugin we give the user the ability to use a special behavior of the ‘Color by Layer’ option.

With Skalp pattern layers we use the special behavior from the ‘color by layer’ option in combination with the ‘hidden line’ render mode. The ‘hidden line’ render mode normally shows the model fully in white,except when you use the ‘color by layer’ mode and have a texture attached to the layer instead of a color. Then everything is white except the faces which are on the layers with the textures attached. These elements are textured with the attached textures even if they are colored. This option gives you the ability to texture / color your model for you 3D presentation or rendering and make a ‘color by layer’ setup for your architectural drawings.

You can setup a Skalp style to send the section result to special ‘Skalp Pattern Layers’ for use with this method. The only problem is that the SketchUp API has a missing feature to attach a texture to a layer. The following video’s show how you can setup this way of working. With Skalp you can setup a Skalp Style for every scene. This way you can define scenes for use in SketchUp (full colored) and scenes for generating drawings (black and white).

For mac:

For windows: