Labeling Items in Your Document

With LayOut’s Label tool (), you create a label entity with a text box, a line (technically called a leader), and an arrow or endpoint that points to a specific item in the drawing area. The following figure illustrates a few ways you can customize labels:

  • Customize the line’s color, width, shape, and style.
  • Choose from a selection of arrow and endpoint styles.
  • Format the label text.
  • Insert Auto-Text tags imported from SketchUp.
  • Type your own text or combine your text with Auto-Text.
In LayOut, you can customize a labels leader line, arrow, and text.

Tip: For details about Auto-Text, see Typing, Importing, or Auto-Inserting Text. LayOut can update a label’s Auto-Text if the referenced SketchUp model changes. You just have to keep the SketchUp model reference up to date in LayOut. See Working with SketchUp Models in LayOut for details about updating SketchUp model entity references.

The following sections explain how to create labels and the many ways you can customize them.

Creating a label

You create a label with the Label tool (), which you find on the default toolbar or by selecting Tools > Label.

Creating a label is pretty easy, but you’ll want to know about a few tricks the Label tool can do each step of the way. Here’s how to create a label:

  1. With the Label tool selected, click to place the leader’s starting point. Or, click and drag to create a curved leader line.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • In SketchUp 2015 or later, click where you want to place an elbow in the leader line and then click again to place the leader line’s end point.
    • Double-click where you want to place the leader’s end point without creating an elbow.
    • If you’re creating a curved line, move the cursor clockwise or counter-clockwise to create the curve and click to place the leader line’s end point.
  3. Type the label text. If your label points to a SketchUp model entity, you can also click the blue down arrow and select content to insert with an Auto-Text tag. You can combine typed text with Auto-Text, as shown in the preceding figure, where a <FaceArea> tag was inserted below the text, Thatched roof.
  4. Click outside the label text box to finish the label.

Tip: To select Auto-Text for the label text box, Object Snap needs to be enabled. (By default, Object Snap is turned on.) To check the status of Object Snap, open the Arrange menu on the menu bar. If you see Object Snap On, the setting is enabled. If you see Object Snap Off, select Arrange > Object Snap Off to toggle the menu item back to Object Snap On.

Selecting a label entity

Before you move or edit a label entity, you need to know that a label entity’s blue selection box has three selection states:

  • Click a label entity, and you see a selection box like Callout 1. In this state, you can apply text and style changes and move certain elements.
  • Double-click a label entity’s leader line to see a selection box like Callout 2. In this state, you can edit the leader line’s properties and move leader line elements.
  • Double-click a leader line and then double-click the leader line again to open a selection box around just the leader line, as shown at Callout 3. In this state, you can move and modify the leader line’s points.

Tip: If you’re moving label entity elements and have trouble bending the leader line the way you’d hoped, check that you single- or double-clicked so that you’re in the right selection state.

In LayOut, a label entity selection box has three different states.

Moving a label or parts of a label

You move a label or parts of a label with the Select tool (). The first time you try moving a label, the leader line may seem to pop and wiggle like a crunk dancer, especially if your leader line has an elbow. To create your desired result, it helps to know just where to click and what changes to watch for in the Select tool cursor.

The following table explains the label entity’s major moves.

To Move This… Mouse Like This… At the Right Spot, the Select Tool Cursor Looks Like This…
The entire label Click the label, and then click and drag the leader line. The Select tools move cursor on a leader line
The label text Click the label, and then click and drag the text box. The leader line moves with the box. The Select tools move cursor on the label text box
The label text and elbow Click the label, and then click and drag the horizontal segment. The Select tools move cursor on a labels horizontal segment
Any point on the leader line, which changes the leader’s shape Double-click the leader line, and then click and drag any point. Hold down Alt (Microsoft Windows) or Option (Mac OS X) to unconstrain a point (or see the next row in this table). The Select tools move cursor on a label leader line point
Points on the leader line without constraint Double-click the leader line and then double-click it again. Click and drag any point. The Select tools move cursor on an unconstrained point
Where the end point snaps to the text box Double-click the leader line, and click and drag the leader line’s end point. The Select tools move cursor where the end point snaps to the text box

You can also move or change the label in a few other ways:

  • Rotate the label. Click the label entity and then click and drag the rotation handle.
  • Change the entity to which the label is connected. Double-click the leader line and move the end point to a different entity. For example, moving the end point from an image to a SketchUp model entity can make Auto-Text options available, because the label entity becomes connected to the model entity.
  • Resize the label text box. Double-click the leader line, and a resize box appears around only the text box. Click and drag the corners or edges of the label text box to resize it.
Note: Resizing a text box can clip the label text, so that not all the label text is visible. By default, a red down arrow appears when text in a label or text box is clipped. You can toggle the display of these warning arrows so that they're hidden by selecting View > Warning Symbols > Clipped Text. When the clipped text warnings are hidden, no check mark appears next to the Clipped Text option on the menu.

Styling the leader line and arrow or endpoints

You can change a leader line’s width, color, style, and end points. Simply click the label entity and use the Shape Style panel to select your options.

You can also change how many segments a leader line has, or turn a line into a curve or vice versa. Simply context-click the label entity and you can select from two of the following options (because the leader line is in one of the three states already:

  • Convert to One-Segment
  • Convert to Two-Segment
  • Convert to Curve

Editing and formatting label text

To change the font, typeface, color, size, or other attributes of label text, use the Text Style panel (Microsoft Windows) or the Fonts dialog box (Mac OS X). See Formatting Text for details.

To change the Auto-Text tag in the label text box, double-click the label text box, and the blue down-arrow reappears. Click it to open a window where you may be able to select other Auto-Text tags for the current entity or a different entity, as shown in the following figure.

In LayOut, double-click a labels text box to edit Auto-Text imported from a SketchUp model entity.

Fixing label connections

When a label is highlighted in red, LayOut is letting you know that the label’s connection to the model viewport might be incorrect.

To fix a label that displays a red alert and needs to be fixed, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the label that displays the alert. A red dot, shown in the following figure, indicates where the label is connected to your model in the model viewport.
  2. Click and drag the red dot away from your model and then back to your desired location in the model viewport.
  3. Click anywhere outside the label to exit the label’s editing mode.
In LayOut, a red label alerts you to a potentially misplaced label

Tip: Alternately, context-click the label and select Reconnect to Model from the context menu that appears. This command also removes the red alert on a label that you know is correct.

What triggers these little red flags? Typically, they appear after you change your model’s geometry in SketchUp and LayOut doesn’t quite know how to handle those changes. Changes that can throw off LayOut label connections include

  • Exploding a component into separate entities
  • Deleting the geometry to which the label is attached
  • Turning geometry into a component and then moving the component before updating the model reference in LayOut