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Grouping Geometry

In SketchUp, groups help you organize your model because

  • Groups hold other entities. In a 3D model of a house, for example, you can put all the house geometry into a group.
  • You can nest groups within groups. For your house model, this means that the first floor, second floor, and roof can each be a group within the house group. In each of your floor groups, you can nest furniture, which may be groups or components.
  • Grouped entities don’t stick to entities outside their own group. This means you can edit each group independently of other groups, even if the groups are stacked on top of each other. For example, if you need to change footprint of a house, you can change the floor first and then edit the roof to match. Without these groups, the walls in the house would stick to the roof, and all the geometry can quickly become distorted.
  • You can lock groups to prevent editing. A locked group can't be moved or edited and is a great way to have boundaries for convenient snapping without accidentally modifying your geometry.

Tip: When you need to see how groups or components are nested, look no further than the Outliner. Working with Hierarchies in the Outliner explains everything you can do with this handy feature.

To create and work with groups in a 3D model, here’s what you need to know:

  • To select a group, click it with the Select tool. The group's bounding box becomes highlighted, as shown in Callout 1.
  • To open a group’s context so that you can edit the entities within the group, double-click the group with the Select tool. The dotted box indicates the group’s context is open and you can edit the entities. (See Callout 2.) To leave the group’s context, click an empty part of the drawing area, or choose Edit > Close Group/Component.
  • To create a group, select all the geometry you want to include in the group. (Selecting Geometry offers lots of tips for making selections.) Then, from the menu bar, choose Edit > Make Group. Alternatively, context-click the selection and choose Make Group.
  • To break up the group, click to select it and choose Edit > Group > Explode.
  • To lock a group so it can’t be edited, context-click it and select Lock. After you lock a group, the menu item changes to Unlock, so you can reverse the change. Lock a group to prevent it from being edited accidentally as you work on nearby parts of a model.