2018 SU/LO model link failing

In our office we have all of our files on our server so we can all access them. When one person opens the layout file, makes changes, and closes it and then a different employee opens the same Layout file the link to the model has changed to an ‘autosave’ file. It is doing this quite consistently and it’s annoying. Anyone know why it’s doing this?


Perhaps the access time is too long for LO. If I were going to have multiple users working on the same file, I would have the first person embed the SU file so LO is working only with the internal SU file.

What do you mean by embed?

It is currently one model linked to one layout file. It is just on the server so we both are able to access it but we both can’t be working on it at the same time.

Go to File>Document Setup>References. Select the SKP file and choose Unlink.

And that wouldn’t affect workability for all of us in the office to work on the same SU/LO files? I always thought it had to be linked so when you made changes to the model those changes would then appear in layout.

Embedding the file would result in the SKP file contained in the LO file being the one that gets modified by the user who currently has the LO file.

I was finally able to talk with the other guy in our office who works with SU/LO. We were under the assumption that the SU file would become an in-editable file. We tested it out to make sure we were following what you were saying. We were surprised, to say the least, that it continued to be a working SU file. We saved the LO file with the embedded SU file on our server and I was able to access it and open the SU file, save it, and he could open it, etc.

A few comments/questions:

-We currently have our LO files set up in sections. So the overall drawing set is comprised of several LO files. They did so so one person could be working on the floor plans while another could be working on the elevations. We just make sure that we are not both in the same linked model. They also did this due to the LO file becoming rather large since it had the linked SU file and all of the drawing set pages.
We are picturing the embedded SU file setup not working with multiple LO files. Now I did take our largest LO file, back from when we had all the drawing and SU model in one file, and embed the SU model. The file size was cut in half. So perhaps if it reduces the overall file size then we could go back to having one single LO file. We do still run into the issue of only one person being able to edit the drawing set at a time.

-We also noticed that when I open the SU file from LO since it is embedded and make the change. I save the SU model and when I click out of LO it does not prompt me to save the file. We thought this was weird. Also, it didn’t save the SU changes since I didn’t save the LO changes. I re-opened the LO file, made the same change in SU, saved, and then saved the LO file that the changes were kept.

We also felt a little weird about the idea that the SU model technically doesn’t exist unless you have it open from LO. But you can do a ‘save as’ whenever you want to have a copy of the model on your computer or server.

Overall we are very interested in this and haven’t pushed it aside yet. We were hoping you could see how our test went and give us some more great feedback.


Hi, I was just wondering if you had had a chance to read my latest post? We are intrigued here by this process of embedding the SketchUp file. We would like to hear more about what you think in regards to our questions.



Sorry Ian. I did read it but I wasn’t able to respond at the moment and then didn’t get back to it.

So the LayOut file contains the SketchUp file(s) as a reference although in most cases it will be linked to the SketchUp file you started so when you are editing said SketchUp file, you are editing the original. When you save the LO file the SKP reference file gets updated to reflect the changes you made in the original. When you choose to unlink the LO file from the original SKP file, LO looks inward for the SKP file instead of out to the original. The file still exists. It’s just packed away in the LO file.

As I think we’ve already established, with the viewports referencing only the embedded SKP file, anyone who edits the SKP file will be editing the embedded one, not the original. Think of the LO file as a file folder with the content for the project in it. If you take that folder to your desk, you have all of the references for that file in your possession. If you make changes to it, only the files in that folder get changed. For the most part this works great because when you put the folder back in the file cabinet, I can come along and take it to my desk to work on. Obviously the folder can only be on one desk at a time. If two people want to work on it at the same time, they’ll need to get cosey.

Now there’s a little hitch in this process when you do as you are creating multiple LO files that originally referenced the same SKP file. When you embed the SKP file in one LO file, it is no longer the reference for the other LO files. So you could be working on elevations and change them but the person working on the plans section won’t have your changes. The solution could be for you to open the SKP file from the Elevations file and do a Save as… to save a copy onto your computer. Then open the Plans LO file and relink the SKP file it contains to the one that you just saved. This would replace that files old SKP reference with the newer version.

That process would be workable but you’d need to use caution because if both of you are modifying your versions of the SKP file, at the same time, it gets tricky to combine the updates into a single file. It’s possible to do it but you’ll want to get everyone else out of the room so you can concentrate to make sure everything gets updated.

Exactly what you do with this will take some thought. I believe it is manageable, though.

As for why the LO file didn’t prompt for saving, I can’t say. I haven’t seen that before in my work. If I’ve edited the SKP file and thus changed the LO file, I’ve always been prompted to save on closing. I guess, being a belt and braces kind of guy, I would get in the habit of hit Save before closing the file even if you didn’t make any changes to it.

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