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Tags (or Layers)

SU Fundamentals 9-1 Layers

0:05 The reason this lesson refers to both Tags and Layers, is that a change was made in SketchUp 2020 to re-name Layers to Tags.

0:17 So this lesson has been updated to show Tags,

0:21 but if you are using SketchUp version 2019 or earlier, this lesson still applies to you.

0:29 Just understand that you'll see a Layers menu instead of the Tags menu that I will be showing.

0:37 Part of the reason for this change is that the term: "Layers" can be confusing in SketchUp.

0:44 The reason Tags or Layers can be confusing is that in most programs, such as CAD or Photo editing software,

0:53 Layers actually separate elements or geometry.

0:57 In SketchUp, Layers or Tags do not separate geometry, they simply hide geometry.

1:06 This house will be a good example.

1:09 If I select the walls, and assign them to a 'Wall' Tag and select the floor, assign a 'Floor' Tag, and I'll do the same for the roof.

1:22 This does not actually separate the geometry.

1:26 So when I want to view and edit the floor, I may turn off the walls and roof, but this is only turning off their visibility,

1:36 they are still connected to the floor geometry, so any edits I make will result in warped geometry once I toggle visibility back on.

1:49 The correct way to separate or isolate geometry is to use groups and components.

1:57 I’m going to select all my geometry and re-assign it as 'Untagged',

2:04 or, if you are still using Layers, as 'Layer 0'.

2:14 This time, let's select the roof and make it a group and group the walls together and the floor..

2:24 Now I can assign different tags to these objects to toggle their visibility,

2:31 but if I edit any of these groups, those changes will only happen to geometry inside the group.

2:41 So follow this simple rule for Tags or Layers:

2:46 Always leave the default 'Untagged' or 'Layer 0' active while drawing.

2:54 Basically leave it as the active Tag all the time.

2:59 Then, make groups and components of your geometry, and assign different Tags to those groups or components.

3:11 Using this method will keep your geometry clean and properly organized,

3:17 and also let you toggle parts of the model on and off as your models grow in complexity.

3:25 Now that you understand the underlying work flow of Tags, let’s look at how to assign and manage them.

3:32 If you don’t have them open already, bring up the ‘Tags’, and the ‘Entity Info’ panels and let’s look at our block scene.

3:43 We need to create new Tags, before we can assign them to groups and components.

3:49 Use the plus and minus icons to add or remove Tags from this menu.

3:55 We can also select multiple Tags to delete them all at once.

4:00 Let me create and re-name 3 Tags, to correspond to the colors of these blocks.

4:11 You can re-name a Tag by double clicking on it.

4:18 Even though we create Tags through the Tags dialog box, the best way to assign different Tags is through the 'Entity Info’ box.

4:28 Select one or more of your groups or components, then use this drop-down menu to assign a Tag to those objects.

4:37 I’ll do this first with these Red blocks and then toggle their visibility off.

4:44 I’ll do the same for the green blocks.

4:48 You can also toggle visibility off before assigning any geometry.

4:54 I’ll toggle the Blue Tag off, and then when I select the remaining boxes, as soon as I assign that Tag, they’ll be hidden.

5:04 Now we can easily toggle these blocks on or off.

5:09 To reiterate though, if I edit any of these components, the actual geometry is still Untagged,

5:18 only the component object has been assigned a different Tag.

5:24 As your model grows, you may need to delete a Tag that is assigned to objects in your model.

5:31 When this happens you'll get a warning and the option to move or even delete those objects.

5:38 In the case where you really need to move those objects to a different Tag,

5:43 this is one case where you could make a different Tag the default, temporarily, to move those groups or components to it.

5:55 Just remember to re-activate Untagged as the default immediately afterwards, so we keep up with best practices.

6:06 One final note on Tags.

6:08 If you import CAD data into SketchUp, it will also import whatever layers were part of your CAD drawing.

6:16 We highly suggest cleaning and purging your CAD files of extra information before importing them into SketchUp.

6:26 Any layers that were part of your CAD model will show up as Tags, so you can also purge them through the Tags dialog box.