How to Select and Replace SketchUp Components

By Aidan Chopra

On top of all the buttons, menus, and windows you can immediately see in the Select tab of SketchUp’s Components dialog box, you can also find hidden options tucked away on a context menu. The menu pops up when you right-click an In Model collection component:

  • 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 collection and then right-click the component (in the Components dialog box) whose instances you want to select all.

    Choose Select Instances, and your work’s done. This trick can save you tons of time, particularly if you have component instances all over the place. The feature even selects hidden instances and ones on layers that are turned off.

  • Replace Selected: You may 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 better tip? 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 slow down your work), use a smaller, simpler component instead (such as 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. The figure shows the mechanics of this operation, albeit using windows and helicopters.

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