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SketchUp PRO
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In this lesson I will explain what tags are and what they are for. If you have used any of the previous versions of SketchUp, you surely know what Layers are. They have now been replaced by tags and the entire mechanism of their application has remained largely unchanged. On the other hand, if this is your first encounter with this program, be sure that the correct use of tags will make it much easier for you to work on a new project.

To begin with, I will look for the section related to tags among the items on the right and display its contents with one click. Also, I like this section to be near the top of the list, so I’ll drag it to the top and place it right next to Entity Info.

As I already mentioned, in previous versions of SketchUp, Layers were used to control the display, and they have now been replaced by tags. If you have had the opportunity to use programs such as AutoCAD or Photoshop in your work, you surely expect that in SketchUp Layers/Tags work according to the same principle. Unfortunately, this is only partially true, because in this case, with the help of tags, only the display of individual elements can be controlled without affecting their geometry, because groups and components are used for these purposes in SketchUp.

To make it clearer to you what this is actually about, I’m going to use the empty space next to my model and draw a rectangle on it. After that, I can select it and create a new tag by clicking on the icon located in the upper left corner of this section. For the name, I will enter rectangle, and if after that I select the item of the same name in the Entity Info section, the element that I just drew will get a new characteristic, it will be assigned the appropriate tag.

Now that I’ve successfully completed the first step, I can activate this feature (Rectangle Tag) with one click and continue adding new elements. They will automatically get the same tag, so there is no need to assign it to them later. If at some point I want to temporarily remove everything I’ve drawn from the screen, it’s enough to change the active tag and by selecting the icon in the form of an eye, turn off the one I’ve used so far.

Regardless of the fact that the surface occupied by new elements until recently seems completely free, this does not mean that something new can be drawn in the same place. To prove it to you, I will recreate a rectangle and as soon as I enter its second point, a warning will appear on the screen that there are already some elements in the same place and that they will be merged into a whole. For this very reason, it would be best if, before creating new elements, you activate the Untagged option, which can be achieved by clicking on the icon on the right that has the shape of a pencil.

If this is a problem for you, apply the following technique: as soon as you create an element, be sure to create a new group or component from it and then select it and select the appropriate tag in the Entity Info section. After that, it won’t be difficult for you to turn off its display with one move without affecting the elements that will subsequently appear in the same place.

You must have noticed that there are already several different tags on my project. They belong to objects I downloaded from 3D Warehouse and I will try to remove them from this list. To that end, it is sufficient to right-click on the appropriate item and select the Delete Tag option from the auxiliary menu. Since there are elements on the project that still carry this characteristic, the program will offer me to change their status to Untagged, and I will accept this option and move on to the next item.

If you think that you will no longer need the elements that carry a certain tag, simply select the Delete the entities option and the program will automatically remove them from the project. In this way, you can “clean” a file and reduce its size, but it is safer to first transfer elements from unknown sources to Untagged and delete them yourself. Now that there are no more unknown tags on my project, I’ll use it as an example for the next lesson and show you how to use this feature properly.

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