Tags (Layers)

Occasionally you will need to turn off the visibility for some entities you do not want to display in your Scene or to be able to model accurately, snap to the correct elements or improve the performance of your SketchUp file.

There are different ways to manage visibility of elements in your model:

Control visibility of elements with Tags (formerly known as Layers). Logically assign Tags (Layers) to your model parts and toggle visibility using the Tags (Layers) window.

Always model on Untagged (Layer0), Group elements and use the Entity Info window to associate Tags (Layers) with groups or components.

Set up and update scenes for Tags (Layer) combinations as described earlier.


TIP > You can use the Tag (Layer) visibility feature to model various options in your model. Associate each option with its respective Tag (Layer) and record Scenes with the appropriate Tag (Layer) combination.

INFO > Dashed lines is a new feature of SketchUp. Manage line types here in Tags (Layers) interface.

Intro to Layers in SketchUp

7 minutes 40 seconds
video by @SketchUp

Hidden Geometry

If you don’t want to display certain elements use the Hide command from the Edit menu.

You can hide groups, surfaces or just edges. Hidden elements stay invisible in the model, this is different from the delete command!

To see hidden geometry but to keep it hidden go to View > Show Hidden Geometry.

To unhide hidden Geometry go Edit > Unhide > Last or All


INFO > Hidden geometry (similar to Layers) can be set and updated within the Scene settings.

Visibility Aid

To be able to handle complex models you can temporarily hide the rest of the model while editing Groups or Components.

Where to find:

Window>Model Info>Components… Hide Similar Components and / or Rest of Model. 


Another method is to use X-ray command, which turns your model into see-through geometry. In this mode you can see any elements that might be hiding behind solid surfaces in normal display mode.


TIP > Use X-ray to find messy bits in your model to delete them. Remember to keep your model always clean and neat.
It’s handy to set a shortcut key combination for X-ray mode and Hide similar components/ the rest of the model as you will need to toggle between visibility options quite often while modelling complex models in SketchUp.

Where to find:
Menu Bar > View > Face Style > X-ray


Besides grouping to prevent accidental editing, you can lock any group or component.

Where to find:

Menu Bar > Edit > Lock or  context click the selection and choose Lock

Group/Components selection marquee will turn red once locked.

To unlock select relevant group(s) or component(s) and go Edit>Unlock>Selected.


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