Editing, Exploding, and Locking Component Instances in SketchUp

By Aidan Chopra

Right-clicking a component instance in your SketchUp modeling window opens a context menu that offers lots of useful choices. Here’s what some of them let you do:

  • Edit Component: To edit all instances of a component at once, right-click any instance and choose Edit Component from the context menu. The rest of your model fades back, and you see a dashed bounding box around your component. When you’re done, click somewhere outside the bounding box to finish editing; your changes have been made in every instance of that component in your model.

  • Make Unique: Sometimes you want to make changes to only one or a few of the instances of a component in your model. In this case, select the instance(s) you want to edit, right-click one of them, and choose Make Unique from the context menu. This option turns the instances you selected into a separate component. Now edit any of them; only those instances you made unique reflect your changes.

  • Explode: When you explode a component instance, you’re effectively turning it back into regular ol’ geometry. Explode is a lot like Ungroup in other software programs (in SketchUp, you use Explode to disassemble both components and groups).

  • Lock: Locking a group or a component instance means that nobody — including you — can mess with it until it’s unlocked. You should use this on parts of your model you don’t want to change accidentally. To unlock something, right-click it and choose Unlock.