2018 Modernisation - When?

I would just like to know why in 2018, does an Application year after year refuse to implement small, but important 3rd Party Extensions directly into its App?

I know that this style of App is great for 3rd Party Developers, but why aren’t the Owners and Developers of this App getting their own people in-house to create or copy similar successful 3rd Party Extensions and implement them straight into the App? Why in 2018 with a modern App do I still have to go looking for a RoundCorners App for Sketchup Pro 2018, when, by now, it should be already built into the App?

I have decades of experience with Graphics Based Apps, and their 3rd Party Extensions have been implemented immediately they become successful and widespread. Why make the customer install an App each year that really looks not much different from the previous year, UNLESS you make that App better and simpler for the end user?

Every year I have to use a new yearly ‘updated?’ Sketchup Pro, only to find that I have to go and find, and reinstall my favourite extensions, which already should be the base set within Sketchup, but aren’t.

Somebody needs to go look at all the basis widespread Extensions outside of Sketchup that end users use, look at them, study them and implement them as their own immediately into the next version of Sketchup. You don’t think Adobe didn’t do this initially to become successful in the early years…Illustrator did it…and Photoshop did it! It’s 2018, and people using Sketchup STILL have to go find find basis Extensions and then sometimes install the tedious and illogical Library Files from 3rd Party Developers and go through the same rubbish time and time again. What other App makes you go and search for basic things that should already be implemented in an App? Half these Extensions aren’t extensions anyway. Is the Extrude action an Extension? No. So why are similar actions left to be standalone Extensions? I want to round a corner OR extrude one shape to a different shape OR render correctly and professionally AND I NEED TO FIND A 3RD PARTY EXTENSION TO DO THAT? That should be part of a modern, progressive App by now. It’s not with Sketchup.

The installation process should be:
(1) The new yearly App starts it’s installation process.
(2) The Installation process looks at the last version of the App, deletes it after keeping all extensions from the previous year.
(3) The Installation process installs all existing Extensions into the new App version.
(4) The Installation process notifies the End User of Extensions that no longer work, or need updating.

Instead, we have to guess at what Extensions from last year are missing in this year’s App and then we have to go and find, (through a process akin to file sharing in the early 90’s!) those Extensions and install them through an archaic process.

Get with the times guys. Sketchup 2018 still feels like Sketchup 2000.

The End User deserves a better Application experience than this. We don’t make the owners of Sketchup jump through difficult hoops just to take our money. Stop making the App so difficult to use with Extensions. Go buy the best ones and stick them directly into Sketchup 2019. Or you are going to be left behind.

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In my opinion extensions are making Sketchup like modern smartphones, You can extend functionality with additional extensions only if You need. Not everyone needs these extensions and that makes Sketchup still clean and easy to use (unlike 3ds max).


Different people need different extensions meaning there are very few, if any, extensions that fits into the program itself.

Keeping the number of features to a minimum is also great for the learning curve. You can learn SketchUp just be testing what each button does. You can’t do that with a program like PhotoShop or Blender that are bloated with functionality. In SketchUp you can wait to add a new layer of functionality until you are comfortable with the basics while many other programs hit you with everything at the same time.

Keeping a limited scope for each project makes it much easier to develop and maintain. The SketchUp team can focus on core functionality and the interfaces while other groups of developer can focus on their thing, e.g. rendering or physic simulations. I don’t want SketchUp’s resources to be spent on a half baked rendering engine when there are plenty of companies and developer teams out there that are solely focused on making great rendering engines.

That said there are feature I’d like to be added to the main program. PushPull could natively support curved surfaces without making it any harder for new users to grasp. Round corners could be useful too but should in my view be in a toolbar that is hidden by default, just like Solid Tools or Sandbox Tools. This way it won’t get in the way of new users understanding how to draw boxes and cylinders.

Lastly, a better Extension management system, that automatically installs the latest version of your old extensions to a new SketchUp version would probably be very appreciated by the community.


Btw, I hate how smart phones come with pre-installed apps. I don’t care how popular pedometers are; I want a fresh clean install without distracting bloatware I wont use anyway. Same goes for my modeling software.


@eneroth3 +1

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you can click on the heart icon below the post for expressing your like, a full quote is in general not required for doing this.


Come on people.
Go to Extension Warehouse and go through all the Extensions and there’s a heck of a lot of Extensions that should come pre-installed into the App as standard.

The excuse that different people need different extensions so let them look for them, is lame.
Open up Photoshop, Illustrator or even Microsoft Word or Excel.
Go through all the Menus. Now, just because YOU don’t use a certain function, action, tool, etc, do you think that that function, action, tool, etc, should be thrown out of that App and left in the hands of 3rdParty Developers and the End User to then (A) Go and find and (B) install themselves? Of course NOT.
The best Apps give you everything possible. Sketchup lives in the Dark Ages.

I’m going to keep using Sketchup 2017 eventhough I’ve installed 2018 because I can’t be bothered again, and again, and again to have to find and reinstall basic extensions that should already come within the App.

(And those complaining about ‘Bloatware’ and ‘Phones’ (Phones?)…how are developers expected to cater to you with the exact amount of Apps just to make YOU happy? Good Developers supply a large array of Apps to satisfy everyone) ‘Bloatware on Phones’…get a bigger, better phone. That Bloatware won’t kill your phone. You probably have more pointless photos on your phone you’ll look at once, taking up more room than that one small App!

In this case, Sketchup does not install enough BASIC actions, tools into the App…and a great number of these are sitting in the Extension Warehouse, when they should be in the App.

Now that we have Sketchup Free (online version) this means the Pro version can focus on being more powerful as it doesn’t have to accommodate millions of non-paying newbies/hobbyists/school kids.

There’s a lot already said on this general topic in other forums (inc Feature Requests), but I do think there are some solutions that would please just about everybody:

  1. Include more extensions as core tools, but allow them to be turned on and off in the interface.This will ensure extensions/tools will be more stable & compatible, supported with updates, better integrated into the menus/shell, etc.

  2. “SketchUp” should aim to update with patches/DLCs instead of requiring installation of a new standalone product version every year.

  3. Improve the Extension Manager by allowing it to transfer all extensions/settings between versions and users, allow various workspace profiles with groups of extensions (eg “carpentry” or “landscape design”). This should also allow easier management of licenses/payments, etc.

I personally feel that the management of extensions is holding back SketchUp Pro from being adopted as industry-standard software in many fields. You basically have to be a system administrator/power-user just to set up and maintain SketchUp with dozens of extensions.

I too find it odd that industry-standard products MS Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Design Suite, Google Drive, etc) seem to ADD features to their software to encourage widespread use. It’s the way these features are integrated that makes the difference between confusing bloatware and a versatile, professional feature set.

This comes back to the question I often have: Is SketchUp trying to be the Fischer-Price “My First 3d Modeller” or is it trying to be a class-leading solution in design/architecture/civil/survey/etc?


It would be nice if the Extension Manager can create collections, so that migration to a newer versions of SU, could potentially happen by installing the entire extension collection as a single step process.


You can do that already from the extension warehouse and sketchucation.

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Exactly Sam,
I too feel like I’m using a toy sometimes. I mean, when I install a new yearly version every year (for whatever reason?..money of course) and all I notice is that they’ve changed the cute little person standing there in the workspace, I always feel unlike a professional user of the product.

The more I think about it, the whole interface could do with an overhaul.

And as a passing thought, have you noticed how the really good, fully developed, and evolved Apps/Programs no longer rely on 3rd Party Extensions? Why the heck if I was the Developer/Owner of an Application would I allow anybody else to run their Extensions IN MY PRODUCT? I would produce and implement similar features immediately into my Application and cut out the 3rd Party Extensions creator. Some 3rd Party Extensions charge a price as well…becoming a further leech and strain on the end user. If I was an Application Creator and Owner and somebody was making a 3rd Party Extension to leech off my Software I would halt that process asap. Other App creators and owners when they feel they are missing a Feature or New Tool for the very next version, build it into the App for the betterment of the software and for that company to successfully use to advertise for greater sales, an cement end user loyalty.

You simply don’t get what SketchUp is.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of extensions. Some are useful to a great deal of people, some to just a handful. Which ones do you think should be forced into the installer? I’m sure even the most popular ones are just used by a few percentages of the user base.

No. It is not.

These program are very hard to learn because they are bloated with buttons, menus, panels and controls you have no idea what they are for. You need to use them for years just to know what half of it does. SketchUp has chosen a much better approach where more advanced tools are added as you go and are comfortable knowing what the basic tools do.

I think these tools should be invented and created by hardcore users that know what they need for their work, not by the SketchUp developers. The SketchUp team does not have the insight in how the program is used as the community of users have. There are a number of extensions that adds functionality the SketchUp team couldn’t have imagined before anyone actually made and published it.

The developers have no idea what features I need! That’s the whole point! A good UX designer keeps the noise to a minimum by NOT adding tons of stuff that not many people will find useful. Especially not adding stuff that is outside the scope of what the main software is for.

Well, you can get a bigger, worse, modeling program. Try Blender. It has a rendering engine, animations and probably even a physics engine in it. However it’s extremely hard to use because of how bloated it is with functionality.

To go back to your previous post,

This is a not a good installation process. The old versions shouldn’t be automatically uninstalled as a lot of users rely on them for extensions that have not yet updated, or to fall back to if they encounter a bug in the new version (happens more often than you might think). Some even like to compare the two versions side by side to see what has changed. For extension developers it is required to have several versions to test on.

SketchUp is before its time with the modular approach! It’s time for other programs to catch up! Also there was never a version 2000.



Can’t agree on this. It would easy turn into a dependency hell if one extension needs one patch and another isn’t compatible with it. It would also be very hard to develop and test extensions if all versions were merged together and it would probably be hard to do large refactors to the core, or update the Ruby interpreter, if it has to be compatible with past and future patches. From a swoftware engineering point of view there are a lot of benefits from separate major versions.


It can be used for both. Originally the slogan was “3D for the rest of us”, meaning those that can’t use the unnecessary complex and badly designed modelers of that time. It has certainly grown more powerful since but a lot of it’s strength still lies in its simplicity. At some point the slogan changed to “3D for everyone”.

Even professional users have need for a simple program that they can just start start using right away. SketchUp is very much used for simple volume models to test ideas before drafting in e.g. AutoCad or Revit. SketchUp is also very much used in urban planning where buildings often are represented by boxes. On top of that there are also users who use SketchUp throughout their process, from concept to construction documents.

With its modular architecture SketchUp can be both a simple, easy to use program, and a full stack modeler.


That is just wrong and frankly a bit stupid. Every competent application allows users to make their own additions. There’s no way the publisher could think of everything that any user could need for their specific work. No publisher has the resources or the imagination for that.

It’s good you don’t develop/own an application then.

Have you ever noticed how SketchUp costs a fraction of what other 3d modelers do? It’s because they don’t need to charge for developing and testing every possible thinkable feature. You can spend several times the cost of a SketchUp license solely on extensions and still get away cheeper than you would with Revit or AutoCad. Extensions not only makes SketchUp a better product, it saves the end user money!


I really shouldn’t give you a response when you start a reply with the condescending and insulting phrase “You simply don’t get what SketchUp is”…but here goes.
In my long professional working life and using Sketchup professionally since its inception across many Industries, as well as a myriad other Design based programs, I believe my professional ability and experience would leave you in the dark.

Your ‘mightier than thou’ attitude and response by picking apart every sentence and giving your own opinion in point form doesn’t impress me.

You say, Adobe products are hard to learn because they are bloated? No, learning can be tedious and difficult. Some manage it, some whine like you. Over 90% of the world’s creative professionals use Adobe products. Who are you speaking for? The less than 10% who gave it away as being ‘very hard to learn’?
And if you think Adobe bloats their products, then I feel very sad for you and your simplistic, deluded view of the Design world. Does a Tradesman ever bemoan the fact that he has too many tools?

So an App Designer wants to give me an App with every tool and feature in it, even though I may never use them all? Guess what I then do in my normal and professional life? I tool up that computer or phone to handle the App! Many times you will find that you don’t need a tool, feature or action immediately…only to find you need it on another job. I do not complain that the App isn’t stripped bare just so I can run it? That’s regressive.

You approach everything from the point of theory.
So you pick ‘Blender’ to foolishly slam. Have you seen some of the work people are turning out with Blender?
I have seen rubbish created with Blender and then I have seen absolute Masterpieces. It is not a learning issue. It’s an End User issue.
You cannot give End Users a minimal amount of tools and let other people create other 3rd party great necessary tools and expect the End User to stumble on these other tools when they may as well be in the initial in-house App’s footprint. (My initial point)

“A good UX Designer keeps the noise to a minimum”…HA… and there lies your fundamental flaw.
You have to stop applying rules from ‘Design Theory text book 101’ from within your Ivory Tower.
Everything is Art, Nothing is Art. Sparseness can work, a busy layout can work. You will not know until you try. But being weighed down by a University Design Theory will destroy you.

In reality, ‘A good UX Designer’ should use that program day in, day out, all year, on hundreds of projects, instead of living in fairyland and THINKING this is what the End User wants, because this is their theory or belief system.

You defeated your ENTIRE argument by saying that the current Installation process that keeps multiple installations on your HD is good because “users rely on them for extensions”. Bingo! We get back to square one again. Answer: Most of these Extensions SHOULD BE already consumed or something similar should be embedded in Sketchup’s basis tool set or another inbuilt Menu.

And don’t give me that ‘bloated program’ garbage theory anymore. I feel like I’m talking to somebody from the mid 1990’s. Oh, they also loved 3rd Party Extensions and they also thought creative professionals used Windows.


You’re not wrong about 90% of that stuff, except I do think that SU has made huge advances in terms of getting people to use and understand 3d modelling software, whereas products like 3DS Max has been around for eons and never really took off.

The fact that an urban planner, or a carpenter or a stage designer can use 3d modelling software , and ultimately expand their capability into something really quite powerful, is a fantastic thing.

There has to be a point of difference between SketchUp and, for example, Solidworks, or Cinema4D. If you want to specialize heavily in an area then there are better products to use. SketchUp’s advantage is it’s cross-platform and multi-disciplinary simplicity…a SKP is becoming a bit like the DXF was to 2d files.


The argument about trying to keep one Application from merging into another’s space, or, from taking elements from one Application has already been fought and lost in the early years of Graphics and Page Formatting software when the likes of Illustrator and Microsoft Word tried to stand their ground and stay apart in their own areas UNTIL the end users of Illustrator wanted to be able to do Page Layout, Paragraph formatting and Booklet and Brochure Layups and the end users of Microsoft Word want to trick up their Letters and Documents with Images, WordArt, Drop Shadows, Transparencies, Effects and Ribbon Menus. In the end, both Applications took what they needed from the other. Both are better Applications because of that.

You cannot isolate an Application and stop it from evolving.
An Application living in a vacuum soon dies or is overtaken by a similar App that adapts, grows and expands.

‘A Point of Difference’ is soon adopted by other Applications if it’s any good. ‘A Point of Difference’ not admire, copied and re-used by others is no longer ‘A Point of Difference’…it’s a liability. Only the gullible still think it is ‘A Point of Difference’.

Yes. Only some manage it. I’ve gotten somewhat used to it but it wasn’t pleasant. I know Adobe is the standard tool set in graphic design, and I know the tools are very powerful, but they could reach a much wider audience if they weren’t as complex. Not the same audience but a wider audience, the hardcore graphic designers would still use it because of its raw power.

No. It is based on my experience as a hobby user, then professional user and also a teacher and developer.

I’ve never said great work can’t be done in Blender. It is an incredible powerful software. But there is a reason why so few people use it. It’s interface is bloated and the learning experience is awful. I would say SketchUp is superior but in the end they are just different programs with different purposes.

Yes you can.

Again, this is not some theory I’ve learned from a text book. This is what I’ve learned from experience.

This is what I’ve done.

Have you ever locked at the amount of extension there are out there? Forcing all of it into SketchUp would mean each cycle takes maybe 50 years instead of 1. Forcing 5% of it into that program itself would still be a huge workload for the the SketchUp team (several times larger than it is today) and not be sufficient for a lot of users. Every truly advanced SketchUp users use some really specialized extension that they know the vast majority of users would have no use for, e.g. a code unit tester or a way to export perspective views to a given scale (at a given plane). Or a energy usage analyses tool. The list doesn’t end.

As I said, even without extensions a lot of users need multiple versions because they might run into a bug in the latest version and need an older one to get around it.

Again, you haven’t understood what SketchUp is about. If you want a program that does everything out of the box, you are free to use Blender. You could also use Rhino which is more powerful than SketchUp, no question about it. Or maybe Maya. (Oh, wait, these have plugins too!)

SketchUp never was about raw power. SketchUp is about being simple enough for most people to be able to pick it up, yet powerful enough for most people to use.


You’ve lost me now…sorry. :thinking::confounded:

You made this comment…“There has to be a point of difference between SketchUp and, for example, Solidworks, or Cinema4D”

“I made this comment…The argument about trying to keep one Application from merging into another’s space, or, from taking elements from one Application has already been fought and lost in the early years of Graphics and Page Formatting software when the likes of Illustrator and Microsoft Word tried to stand their ground and stay apart in their own areas UNTIL the end users of Illustrator wanted to be able to do Page Layout, Paragraph formatting and Booklet and Brochure Layups and the end users of Microsoft Word want to trick up their Letters and Documents with Images, WordArt, Drop Shadows, Transparencies, Effects and Ribbon Menus. In the end, both Applications took what they needed from the other. Both are better Applications because of that”

In essence, my point, against yours…You cannot keep ‘A Point of Difference’ between one App and another for very long. That’s not how Apps evolve. You steal from other Apps, or if your Features are great, other Apps steal your look, feel and functionality. If you’re a garbage App…you’re left alone.


Sorry, I can’t read this tedious, point form manifesto style of reply. It does my head in.
It’s like arguing with a teenager.

Deal with the major gist of the initial point.