Some philosophers say that naming something is the first step toward figuring out what makes that thing different from all the other things in the world. In a SketchUp 3D model, this idea isn’t some wishy-washy concept. When you use the Classifier to embed data into groups or or components, those groups or components become objects. When objects have names, descriptions, and so on, you can manage the details about all the classified objects.
In SketchUp, you can use Tags to organize objects and control their visibility. By hiding tagged objects in one click, you can hide large chunks of your model to find things faster, and even speed up SketchUp a bit too. Especially on large projects, you don’t need to see everything in your model all at once, but SketchUp tracks everything displayed in a model as you work. So, use tag visibility both to set up scenes in SketchUp, but also to set up your model for efficient operation.
2020 Attention: SketchUp 2020 has changed some words, whenever you see us refer to “objects” that can be either Groups or Components, they still work the same but it’s easier to talk about the two things with clarity now. In SketchUp, the Outliner enables you to view a model's objects (groups, components, and section planes) as a hierarchical tree. With the Outliner, you can:
As you create 3D models in SketchUp, you create an entity whenever you draw a line or face. Combining lines and faces into a group or component creates a special group or component entity. Each entity in a model has attributes, such as its measurement, the layer it's on, and more. If an entity is a component, then it has an instance and might be a solid (or not) or have other attributes, such as an IFC type. Depending on what you're doing in SketchUp, you might need to know or change an entity's attributes. To do so, look in the Entity Info panel:
SketchUp components enable you to reuse objects. For example, pretty much every building has at least one door and window. Instead of modeling these common objects, you can insert a component that someone else has already made. Like all geometry in SketchUp, a component is still made of edges and faces. The edges and faces are simply part of a special component group. (You can also create components to reuse your own geometry, but that’s covered in Developing Components and Dynamic Components.)
Can you imagine Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, learning how to create 3D models in SketchUp? Hopefully, he’d like the way SketchUp advances his groundbreaking invention — especially the text that moves and (in some cases) updates as you work on your model. In SketchUp, you can add four types of text, each depicted in the following figure:
With SketchUp’s Solid tools, you can create new shapes by combining or cutting one shape with another, making it easy to model an outer shell or joinery.