Another hat in the ring for Index

Ive searched high and low, and read the search results here, but for a piece of software so heavily boasted for architectural and construction/shop drawings, submitals to customers, I find it absolutely ludicrous that Layout has no simple function for creating a dynamic index page that updates as the document is built.

I sure hope this is at the very top of Sketchups/Layout punch list because submitting large multi-page documents to commercial clients without an index is less than desirable.

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Layout isn’t able to cope well with very large multipage documents. Each page can be very heavy or slow to reload a model, if you have a complex building.

The ideal workflow is, therefore, break the project into several documents. At least that’s how I manage it.

Having an Index, would require associating several documents.

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No one is asking Layout to render each page in an index. Just to have a simple page after the cover sheet that lists the page number and the page title. It wouldn’t seem all that difficult. Layout already does this in the “pages” window in the tray. Layout seems to easily handle 30-40 pages in a presentation.

Presenting a set of shop drawings to a commercial customer that has no index makes you embarrassed to admit your using sketchup and layout when every other bidder supplies an index.

Stop making excuses and fix the problem.

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Yes, a dynamic page index is something the team has been discussing lately.

One of the challenges is auto-generating the content in a way that “most” users will like. If you don’t mind sharing an example of your own work, we’ll do our best to take it into account when/if this feature gets implemented.

Thanks
Marc

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My needs for the index would likely be on the simple list. A single sketchup model, setup with several scenes in preparation for sending to layout. In layout each scene, or sometimes multiple scenes, are on a page. But what is on that page (in my index) would be irrelevant. All I would be looking for is an auto generating/updating index page that simply lists the page number and page title.

Page 1 - Abbreviations
Page 2 - Finishes
Page 3 - Typical Construction Details
etc.

The most basic of indexes. I’m no programmer but layout is already doing this in the pages window and generated tabs. It already adjusts page number autotext, tabs, and so on, as you insert/delete new pages.

I just can’t believe these individuals I see who use layout intensively on huge projects have customers that receive a pdf export with many pages and you have to blindly scroll scroll scroll and hope you spot the pages you are looking for? Perhaps they have work arounds but again it would seem a simple and very necessary feature for anything other than a 3-4 page document.

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@bdbconstruction You sir, have a peculiar attitude that shows a superior mind and way of life.

Thank you.

Please @Marc, consider allowing us to link several files to an index page, so their page numbers add up, from one doc to the next. I’d find it handy on my projects.

Thanks.

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@JQL If I had a superior mind (which I dont, I am just a lowly worker bee), I would come up with some sort of .XLS or other work around for the problem. Because I am a business owner, not a programmer, I spend my money on software to help me. Seeing requests for an index going all the way back to 2014 I can only assume its not so easy or not so important. Im sure many would have very specific, or complex, requirements for an index. I am just hoping for a index on a page very similar to what is seen in the pages window. Fingers crossed.

If you felt very strongly about this issue, you could commission someone to write a program using the LayOut API that would create this table of contents page. I estimate it would take about a day’s work. With any luck, someday we’ll finish implementing Extensions in LayOut, at which point this will get even easier.

-m

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Thanks for the input @Marc. However I posted it in the feature request section for the software I pay for. I realize I could pay more (way more), or less, using other software, but none the less this is the software I have been using since Sketchup in early 2K. Again, there are requests for this feature in this forum, and on the web, dating back years an years. At this point Im not arguing that the request should be satisfied but now its that I should pay to have this feature built in to the functionality of the software? I suppose I can see this in that I pay to have dynamic components built and other functionality, but again, as I already stated, in a piece of software that is being so heavily boasted in the architectural, construction, architectural millwork world, I just dont see what the resistance is to a simple page index. Again, it must be far more difficult than I can imagine.

I can load up word, google docs, sheets, on and on, and generate a simple page index for a document. It would be wonderful to have that functionality in Layout.

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What I would like to see is the possibility to add user-defined attributes to about everything in LayOut and SketchUp, and to be able to put filtered schedules of these on LayOut pages. For pages, for instance, I would like to add attributes for drawing number, scale, revision ID, etc.

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@Anssi Whether or not Im understanding it correctly what I see in that request is us sitting at Sketchup being the 3-5 thousand dollars per seat level lol.

Im just asking for a simple index so my customers can get to the pages that are pertinent to them lol.

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It’s a good idea.

I get round this issue by making an index page after the title page by hand and updating it manually as I add new drawings, but this is a bit tedious and an auto update feature that could be added to certain text boxes on a page that then linked through to the relevant field in the index page would be great and not too hard to program?

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Lol Anssi, I was waiting for that the instant I hit send. It reads as if to merely add an index feature we are to be sitting at 3-5k a seat lol. Of course that’s not the case. The other options (at that price) I mentioned are very specific to a given field and therefore have a very small customer base and a high price tag. Offering an index in a program that routinely generates multi page documents is the least of what they do.

As marc said, a paid solution sounds like its possible in a days worth of time by his estimation. Not sure why it can’t be implemented.

Is what it is. As I keep saying, fingers crossed.

This is the same situation as for a lot of software, such as those sponsored or produced by Google. The developers are computer people, not trained or experienced in some fields the software can be used for - in this case architectural/engineering drawings.
For A&E, and fabrication drawings, a sheet index with version date history is the FIRST thing a professional uses to organize and present drawings.
Being ‘factory’ trained in both, I do know the history of SU users dislike of the complexities, etc. of Autocad, but here’s how this topic is viewed there.

Our experience is that designers with degrees in A&E, though now using SU commonly due to it’s advantages, have Autocad as their basic skillset, so flatten their SU work to 2D exported into Autocad for finished sheet sets, rather than learning the anomalies of Layout.

Hi,
After reading this, I have my developer doing a preliminary assessment on making a Layout extension.
I have some questions for you and will feed the answers into this feasibility - so this is a good chance to specify what you would like it to ‘look like’.
I’d appreciate a description of:
-how you think it should function - ’ I would like it to do t’his’ when ‘this’ happens and ‘that’ when ‘that’ happens.
-what you think some issues and challenges are - eg. when layout drawings are made from different models for the same document set, and any ideas you have for overcoming such challenges
-core features for threshold usability, and ‘wish’ list features - just the main few for version 1

Also, does US$15-20 or sound attractive for you to pay for this extension? ( I am not a hobbyist coder - I will be paying US$ to a skilled US developer for it and hope to at least recover my outlay.)
Cheers,

George

Other extensions of ours at lasuapps.com

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I agree we just need a simple set of properties so we can create a basic table on a page we name "Index page"
Typically:


&
< file name/version>
etc

…revisions are something layout doesnt do too well however…

The day required to write this extension has now grown into nearly two months. Obviously, this isn’t as important to Trimble as it is to their customers. And yet, there is no solution?

My current project has had, since March, more than a dozen indexes, each created and modified manually, as there is no other way, and just today, 24 hours from release deadline, a consultant changed his pages. ARRRGH.

Now that SketchUp 2018 has a LayOut API, I’ve developed an extension to auto-generate a drawing index for any LayOut file. You can try it out here:
https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/sheet-list-generator-layout

If anyone has feedback I’d be glad to hear it.

Thanks,
Andrew

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Both tools look useful.
I don’t really understand how these are sketchup plugins but they are actually functions that work in layout.

Are your licenses are per user or are free for me to copy & use for multiple installs?

Thanks

As of now, with the way the LayOut/SketchUp APIs work, there is no option to open a LayOut-focused extension from within LayOut. Extensions can only be accessed by the user from within SketchUp. So, in essence, it’s a SketchUp plugin, but immediately after you open the tool, you’ll be asked to identify a *.layout file that you want to generate a sheet list for.

Licenses are per user/machine…in other words, each instance of the extension requires its own license/product key. You can use the tool free for 10 days without a key.

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