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Download & Install

1. Register & Download - After registering, you will receive an RBZ file and a unique license key.

2. Install

 Window > Extension Manager > Install Extension > Choose the downloaded RBZ file.

A new toolbar called FlexTools will appear.

📌  If you have the latest FlexPack installed, you already have ComponentFinder!

3. Activate with your license key.

Activate ComponentFinder

How to use

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

The Toolbar

If the FlexTools toolbar disappeared, to open it again:

View > Toolbars... > Toolbars Tab > FlexTools

The FlexTools toolbar with ComponentFinder

The Toolbar when only ComponentFinder is installed.

FlexTools toolbar with ComponentFinder

The Toolbar when ComponentFinder is installed along with FlexPack & WallCutter.

Add a new Tab

1.

ComponentFinder Button

Open the Component Finder window.

ComponentFinder Window

2.

Open folders

Choose a folder from your hard disk.  A new tab will be created showing you all the components in that folder.

📌 Select multiple folders at once, and multiple tabs will be opened!

Place components

Click on any component thumbnail and place it into your model.

Tab Views

In each Tab, you have two ways to find the components you need:

Flat File 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).

Folder Tree View Icon

Nav View

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

Powerful Search

Search

Enter a search phrase.  Components matching your phrase will be filtered as you type.

Zoom In / Out

Zoom in and out

Show smaller and larger thumbnails.

Save Components back into ComponentFinder

Save to tab

If you've made some changes to a component and you want to save it for later use.  Select the component and click on the blue [+] button to save it into any of the open tabs.

Show original folder in Windows Explorer / Mac Finder

Show file

Click to show the original folder the current tab is pointing to.

Refresh Tabs

Refresh Tabs

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

Right Click

Open containing folder in a new tab

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

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 tab that is pointed at People.  It's set to Flat File View since you want to see ALL your people in one place.  You mission now, is to 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, right click on another 3D dude that is already in the currently open tab.  Choose to 'open it's containing folder' in a new tab.  Voilla, the People-3D folder is open!   Now you have a better view of where you're saving to... Click on the [+] button on the newly opened tab to save the component.

 

Rename

Rename the component for easy searching.

 

Replace 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: Let's say you have a component in your library that you want to make changes to, and then save it back.  Pull it in.  Make your changes.  Right click on the original in the ComponentFinder tab > Replace with selected instance => The component in the library is updated.

📌 This is also a great way to quickly update component thumbnails.  Pull in a component > change the camera view > replace with selected instance => Thumbnail updated

 

Delete

Say Bye Bye to a component!

Transitioning from the FlexTools Favorites Library

This chapter is relevant to those who have saved components into their Favorites Library.

Relocating your favorite components

If you wish to transfer saved components from your FlexTools Favorites library to be easily accessed in ComponentFinder you have 2 options:

1.

Save to tab

Copy from Favorites into a model and back into ComponentFinder

Pull in each and every component from the Favorites library into an open Sketchup model, and then click on the blue [+] icon in ComponentFinder to add the selected file to a specific tab you've chosen.

2.  Transfer files from folders

Go to:
C:\%ProgramData%\F3d_FlexTools\presets\

on Mac
$HOME/Library/Application Support/F3d_FlexTools/presets

Copy each of the Sketchup component files you find in there to a folder you can easily find later, i.e.  wherever you usually save all of your components.  Later you can point to that folder from within ComponentFinder.

📌 There is no need to transfer icon files, or to replicate the folders structure.

Hiding the Favorites buttons

FlexTools Toolbar 'Manager Window' Button

Once you're done with the relocation you can hide the Favorites Library buttons from the toolbar.  Open the FlexTools Manager and disable their visibility.  In the example below it is shown how to hide any tool or component from the toolbar.

Hiding FlexTools toolbar items