Best way to control linetype, line thickness and color?

What is the best way to control linetype, line thickness and color?

A SketchUp model consists of edges. They basically have no thickness. A mathematical representation is rendered on your screen. I believe that thickness is determined upon launching SketchUp, it checks the screen resolution and scaling and then set the number of pixels in combination with the anti alias setting.
The thickness of the profiles (surrounding objects) and section cuts are multiple’s of them.
Those can best be controlled in the Style panel. All receive the same color which is also set in the Style Panel.
If you want to color individual lines, you must set the color of the edges in that panel to ‘By Material’ You can use the paintbucket tool to color the edges.

The linetype is controlled in the Layer or Tag panel.The ‘default’ is actually none and there are a few dashed linetypes. It is advised to group edges first and assign a Layer or Tag to the group, not the individual edges.


So then there is no way to control the line thickness in SU that seems like a huge omission for a graphic program. There must be a way. I have the line set to by material so i can control the color but i want the thickness too.

also why can i not change the default color in the Tags dialogue. Should that color not be the default line color?

Line thickness can be set in LayOut, if you wish, but it is best controlled in SketchUp. LayOut uses a scale multiplier, so if you have the profiles set to 2 and the section cuts set to 4 and you choose a linethickness in LayOut for a viewport of 0.18mm, the profiles would be 0.4mm and the section cuts 0.7mm.

Only if you set the Style to ‘Color by Layer/Tag’

yikes, you mean it determines line thickness by viewport?
That does nothing for me. I need to be able to control each line by tag or group or something.
Odd way to relate to lines.

In version 2019, yes.
In version 2020.2, you have line control by individual Tags

hmm i have 20.2.172 but I do not see that.
oh and i see color by tag as a universal choice but not by tag.

Check this video:

Sketchup is a 3D CAD modeler not a graphic program, like illustrator or photoshop or pixelmator. You can control the appearance of all edges through styles, you can colorize edges with materials, you can even make dashed edges, but not control individual line weights of edges. Those kind of presentation details are done in Layout which is a graphic program.

Well that is kind of backward.
I can control the scale of a SU line in LO but I can not control it in SU?
How does that help anyone. It just forces me to use an entirely different program.
So that makes the SU lines just suggestions of possible lines but not really lines at all.

Exactly. SU edges are zero dimension representations of where surfaces intersect each other. This is how a surface modeler works. In real life there is no line where the two surfaces of a wall meet, just an edge there. Sketchup is for modeling, layout for presenting, to put the programs together into one would make a bloated over complicated inefficient mess that would not be good at either thing.

I would much rather have a comprehensive program than be forced to switch programs to do simple things. SU is adrift in it’s own world other programs manage that just fine. If they are going to force us to work multiple programs it would be a logical 1st step to at least let me edit through one to the other instead of needing to leave a program, work in a program, save it, go back, refresh the save, and then start working again, right?

Which program are you coming from that is was working like this?

Well AutoCAD for one.

I know exactly how i want that line to look when i draw it.
Why can i not define it then.
LO can reach back and change it why can those setting not be handed up from SU. Same Same.

Layout cannot reach back and change the su model in this sense, but you can draw another line over the top of the viewport, or stack viewports with different styles set. It all works pretty well once understood, but of course nothing is perfect. If you are more comfortable with or understand better the auto cad model and paper space separation I get it. Learning new things can be confusing.

right does not “change” it but does manage the display of it.
Just seems like a ton of extra clicks and not efficient if you work or test different looks.
And what happens if i change the SU the all those LO lines i drew on top need to changed too. That cant be right.

what are you trying to produce with SU and LO…?

Just testing what i can do before I decide.
It is a graphic project so admittedly not SU’s specialty.

It seems best to skip SU al together and just use LO or just a graphic program.

PAC-1.layout (487.6 KB)

Yes it’s a big problem, in comparison to CAD. In the final output, I often draw thicker lines over edges that need emphasis and have to give up the hierarchy of graphics that I use in most drawings.

I often do not do this until working drawings are almost complete, because it does not update with changes. And I have to put up with others looking at drafts in confusion because of the lack of definition.

“Fog” helps and is nice in a way, but control is poor and there seems to be no desire to change that over the years

Gotta love it when the customer says “I want this” and the seller says “no you don’t!”.
In my 14 years of using SketchUp, I’ve developed some workflows for getting from the 3D model to the printed page (or PDF file). Long story short, you need a second program that can translate color to line weight. You export from Sketchup, usually via DWG or DXF format, import to your second program, then select lines by color and set their line weight, output color, &/or dash pattern. You may also find that text does not come out the way you wanted it to, so some tweaking needed there too.
I have high hopes that Layout will do all this for me some day. My drawings are way too complex for Layout to handle, so I use a basic 2D CAD program instead. To reduce the amount of tweaking, I wrote the FlatText and DPLineStyler plugins. I am now working on a line weight solution using Postscript/PDF; I hope to have something ready soon.
I do not think it’s realistic to have one program that “does it all.” Any successful workflow I’ve developed has used multiple apps. The trick is to find apps that play together well and won’t break the bank.
Good luck!