Select and Replace Components in Google SketchUp

Google SketchUp has some hidden options that most people don't find until they go looking for them — among them, nifty ways to select and replace components.

Amid all the buttons, menus, and windows you can immediately see in the Select pane of the Components dialog box, look for the context menu that pops up when you right-click a component in your In Model library:

  • Select Instances: Perhaps you have 15 instances (copies) of the same component in your model and you want to select them all. Just make sure that you're viewing your In Model library, and then right-click the component (in the Components dialog box) of your desire. Choose Select Instances, and your work is done. This can save you tons of time, particularly if you have component instances all over the place.
  • Replace Selected: Now you might want to swap in a different component for one that's in your model. Simply select the component instances (in your modeling window) that you want to replace, and then right-click the component (in the Components dialog box) that you want to use instead. Choose Replace Selected from the context menu to perform the swap.

Ready for an even niftier trick? Use Select Instances and Replace Selected together to help you work more efficiently. Instead of placing 20 big, heavy tree components in your model (which can seriously slow things down), use a smaller, simpler component instead (like a stick). When you're finished modeling, use Select Instances to select all the stand-in components at once, and then use Replace Selected to swap in the real component.

Can't find the Components dialog box? You can find it on the Window menu; and if you're using a Mac, it's on the SketchUp menu.

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