Quick Overview

Minh Tran from Architecture Inspirations did an excellent job explaining how to use ComponentFinder.

ComponentFinder in Detail

ComponentFinder is a tool for quickly filtering and managing your components without going outside of SketchUp.  So first things first, you need to choose which components from your hard disc you're going to work with and add them into the ComponentFinder viewer.

Add Folder

Add Folders Button

Choose a folder or a few folders from your hard disk.  Each folder will appear as a separate ComponentFinder tab showing all the components of that folder.

📌 To open multiple folders at once, hold Ctrl or Shift button when selecting.

ComponentFinder screenshot

Search and Find

Search Icon

Enter a keyword or a phrase to search through the open tabs.  Matching components will pop up as you type.

Place Components

Click on any component and place it into your model.

Zoom In / Out

Zoom In and Out Icon

Make the thumbnails larger or smaller.

Show Options

File Attributes Icon

Show or hide file names and their sizes.

Folder Tab View

In each folder tab you have two ways to view the components:

Navigate Flat View Icon

Flat View  (Default)

See all the components in the current folder and in all of it's sub folders and in their sub folders... (5 levels deep).

Navigate Nav View Icon

Nav View

The familiar browsing view of folders and components.  Go in and out of folders.

Save Selected Component into Current Folder

Save - Add Component Icon

Let's say you've made some changes to a component and you want to save it for later use.  Select the component, decide on the folder and click on the blue [+] button.

Create Toolbar

Create Toolbar Icon

Make a toolbar from any folder in one click.

Create Components Toolbar

Component toolbars can be docked anywhere on the screen (top, bottom, left, right) and will stay in place from session to session until they're closed - just like regular Sketchup toolbars.

📌  If you've created a components toolbar and then made changes to the components in the original folder - the toolbar will be updated with the correct components only after restarting Sketchup.

Sort Components

Sort Icon

Sort components by their name or size.

Open Source Folder

Drive - Source Folder Icon

Click to open the original folder in Windows Explorer / Mac Finder that the current folder tab is referring to.

Refresh Folder

Refresh Icon

If you've made file and/or folder changes in Windows Explorer / Mac Finder, you may need to refresh ComponentFinder's folder tabs.  Click to refresh.

Right Click Options

Open containing folder in a new folder tab

This will open a new folder tab pointing to a folder where the right clicked component is located.

 

Use case example:

Let's say you have a folder called People.  In that folder you have another folder called People-3D and a lot of other folders with all sorts of people.  You open a ComponentFinder folder tab that is pointed at People.  It's set to Flat File View since you want to see all your people in one place.  What you want to do is save a 3D dude from your currently open model into the People-3D folder.

If you were to click on the blue [+] button, the save dialog would open into the root folder (People) - Probably not where you want to save your lovely 3D dude to.  Instead,

  1. Right click on another 3D dude that is already in the currently open folder tab > Open containing folder in a new folder tab =>  Voila, the People-3D folder is open!  Now you have a better view of where you're saving to.
  2. Click on the [+] button on the newly opened folder tab to save the component.

 

 

Rename

Rename the component for easy searching.

 

 

Overwrite with selected instance

This saves a component you've selected in the model, over the component you just right clicked on.  (Model => ComponentFinder)

 

Use case example #1:

Let's say you have a component in your library that you want to make changes to, and then save it back.

  1. Pull it in.  Make your changes.
  2. Right click on the original in the ComponentFinder folder tab >  Replace with selected instance => The component in the library is updated.

 

Use case example #2:

This is also a great way to quickly update component thumbnails.

  1. Pull in a component
  2. Change the  camera view
  3. Right click on the component > Replace with selected instance => Thumbnail updated.

 

 

Delete

Say Bye Bye 👋 to a component!

In-Model Components

In Model Icon

Click on the 'Home' button (or double click below the search field) to open the 'In-Model' components tab.

In-Model Tab Views

The In-Model tab shows you components and groups that are currently in your model.

It also has 2 different viewing modes, but they are a bit different from the regular folder tab views mentioned above.

Navigate Flat View Icon

Top-Level View  (Default)

See all the components that are in the Top-Level, i.e., that are not contained within any other components.

Navigate Nav View Icon

View All

To view all components, and all sub-components and groups that are in the model.

📌 Note that when this view is enabled - it can take quite a long time to fetch all the components and it can make Sketchup tremendously slow until it's done.

📌 On the bright side - You can stop the 'Fetching' any time by pressing on the button again to see Top-Level components only.

📌 Once the fetching is done, the component thumbnails are cached in memory so the next time you open the In Model components they will load a lot faster!

Refresh The In-Model Tab

Refresh Icon

Usually the In-Model views will refresh automatically when new components are created/added/deleted...  If for some reason something is missing, or you purged the model and the changes aren't visible, click to refresh, and you will see all the components as you would expect.

 

Right Click Options

Select Instances

Select all the instances of the component definition in the current model context.

Save as

Save the component out into Window Explorer / Mac Finder.

Delete

Deletes the component definition and all of it's instances in the model.

 

Faster In-Model Searching

When you need to search through a lot of In-Model components.  Consider maximizing the In-Model tab window all the way to the bottom.  This can dramatically enhance search speeds.

📌 You can also double-click on the divider between the In-Model tab and the folder tabs to quickly maximize the In-Model tab.