Materials Browser controls (Mac OS X)

Materials Browser controls (Mac OS X)

Use Materials Browser controls to select and edit colors and materials.

Note: The materials browser contains five color pickers, only one of which, called the materials picker, allows you to pick materials. The remaining four color pickers are just for selecting color.


The toolbar at the top of the Materials Browser contains icons representing each of the available color pickers. Switch between these color pickers by clicking one on of these icons. The controls available in the middle of the Materials Browser differ depending on the currently selected color picker. For example, clicking on the Materials Picker displays several new controls for materials handling.

The following controls are available for all color pickers. Refer Color Picker Types in this article for further information on specific picker controls.

Screen Picker tool

The Screen Picker tool, represented as a magnifying glass, is used to choose a color from any element currently visible on the screen.

Active Color Well

The Active Color Well, below the toolbar, contains the current color selection. You can drag and drop color swatches from this color well into your model or into any other visible color well.

The contents of the Active Color Well are maintained as you switch between color pickers, allowing you to use different pickers to create your colors.

Note: Ensure that the Shaded or Shaded with Textures display style is selected to ensure applied colors and materials are displayed.

Color picker controls

The Color picker controls, below the active color well, differ for each color picker. See the Color Pickers section of this topic for additional information.

Opacity slider

SketchUp supports adjustable (by material) transparency. The Opacity slider, below the color picker controls, is used to adjust the opacity level. Type an opacity value in the text field to the right of the slider if you prefer to set opacity levels more precisely.

Be sure to activate SketchUp's material transparency within the Edit tab of the Styles Browser before experimenting with the Opacity Slider.

User palette

The User Palette, at the bottom of the color pickers, is an expandable palette of small color wells. To use the User Palette:

  • Drag and drop a color or texture swatch from any visible color well, including the Active Color Well, and drop it over a User pallet well to add a color to the User Palette.
  • Drag and drop a new swatch in the place of another color swatch to replace a swatch in the User Palette.
  • Drag and drop an empty swatch onto a color to remove a color from the User Palette.
  • Click and drag down on the size handle (a small circle) in the middle of the bottom edge of the palette to see more wells.
Note: The colors and materials in the User Palette are saved in SketchUp and can be used between multiple modeling sessions.

Note: Ensure that the Shaded or Shaded with Textures display style is selected to see the colors that you have applied to entities.