Bitterly, bitterly disappointed by this anaemic version of the old Make

Sketchup Free is missing so many useful features I cannot even begin to list them. There is no possible way I can achieve what I have done for years unless I go Pro and for a retired private individual that a hard hit.

If I subscribe to Sketchup shop I will still have to put up with the un-customisable interface with unsatisfactory keyboard shortcuts, and so many formerly single click tools and views now relegated to fly-outs and panels. I work at about half the speed in the new web interface.

Even with Shop I will still have lost a number of features vital to my workflow such as high resolution 2D export and (unless I am missing something) using sun for shading without shadows.

If Shop were available as a limited downloadable version of Pro, in the way Make was, I would subscribe like a shot!

What a crying shame … I have used Sketchup from it’s absolute first beginnings and was for many years a Pro user. As it I shall just have to hope and pray that my 2017 Make still has some time left to run before OS and hardware changes render it unusable.


Considering there are still many users working with SU8 and earlier, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

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Hey @david_macd: this is Mark from the SketchUp team.

Thanks for this feedback. It sounds like desktop SketchUp is the right choice for you still. As DaveR mentioned, SketchUp Make is still stable and available for download.

Just so you know: when we think about how we to evolve SketchUp, we are definitely not looking for ways to ‘force out’ people who’ve been using our software for years. Rather, we’re working on ways to offer generously priced software for professionals and also create offerings that are affordable for as many people as possible.

SketchUp Shop is our first step in that direction, but we know there are people who have workflows that require our desktop software.

On the whole, our approach – going back to the @Last days – has been to bring SketchUp to market through a lens of generosity. A central reason for leaving SketchUp Make in place is because we know there’s not a generous way to offer what you need from SketchUp…yet.

I get and accept that you are disappointed this most recent update still doesn’t address what you need from SketchUp. I hope you’re not to ‘bitterly disappointed’ to hang in there while we’re still working on a paid offering for you. Of course, that’s up to you.


My concern is of course not the long term viability of Make so much as the longevity of the OS required to run it. As you say say previous versions have fared astonishly well. Fingers crossed.

It’s not just that Sketchup free doesn’t deliver what I need Mark. Needs are personal and you cannot be expected to deliver every user’s personal desires. I accept that of course. My difficulty is that Sketchup Free doesn’t even begin to deliver what I already HAVE. It’s vastly more limited. Since Make’s days are limited and Shop looks as if it will still lack some of Make’s existing features, let alone the slower and rather clunky un-customisable interface, is hard for me not feel that this is a retrogressive step that will leave me anything but dispossessed.


I think you and I are going to have to buy pro. Personally I think retirement is more to blame for our dismay than Trimble.

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Both SketchUp Free and SketchUp Shop are getting updates all the time. By the time you can no longer use Make on your computer, I expect both SU Free and SU Shop will have vastly more features than they have now.


I’ve been playing with this for a while to try and convince myself I am simply being an old codger unable to adapt. In the process I have gone from disappointed to really rather angry.

If I take any of my existing make files and load it into Free, it is displayed quite differently because Free is unable to match the style of the original Make. If I make any kind of alteration in Free and then re-save, it re-opens in Make with styles altered to suit the inadequacies of Free and with a Bloody Great logo in the corner!

The file system is so opaque I still haven’t managed to work out how to work with local files except by means of transferring via the download folder which is outrageously clunky. I do hope this is me being opaque and not Sketchup.

Common fly-out cursors all incorrectly display. Select the orbit tool then select the hand tool and if you are lucky a hand cursor will appear. Often as not however the orbit will stay displayed but will behave as a hand. This applies to all fly-outs. Switching between tools on a fly-out always changes the behaviour to the desired tool but almost never the cursor. Switching from one fly-out to another works fine and will display whatever tool is showing when the fly-out is first selected but selection within the new fly-out won’t work. Having a pipette on screen which fills things instead of sampling them is to to say the least confusing. This really is a nightmare because I simply don’t know what tool is selected.

Drawing tools don’t always draw. I can draw a rectangle - I see the rectangle drawn - I release the mouse button and it promptly disappears. Click with the move tool in the empty space where it was drawn and suddenly it appears. This again, like everything else, is episodic and erratic - sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.

Now I might be interested in trying, with the help of these forums, to resolve these problems if it wasn’t for the fact that Free is so generally unresponsive it appears to be stoned. Long delays before it decides rather sluggishly to get on with whatever it’s been asked to do. I guess it’s going “Wow man! Just look at those wild beachball colours … that’s way cool! … (Drag, Puff) … Now what was it we were supposed to be doing? … Oh yeah … guess we need to get on and rotate that thing …”

I have an eight processor MacPro with 28GB Ram and a high end video card. Even with very large files with dozens of layers and multiple scenes, Sketchup Make just flies!! Ookla shows my connection at a steady stable 87 mbps. Yet load one of the files into Free and, quite aside from all the disfunctionality, even simple navigation is a frustration.

And here we run into the biggest problem with web based apps. It can be the stuff of nightmares to resolve problems because the app provider can say it’s a browser problem and the browser’s tech support can say it’s the app. The ultimate non accountability. I am sure we have all experienced this particular nightmare at some time with one software or another. It can shorten lifespans …

So to those who say ‘wait for Shop to get better and supply all you want’ I can only say that I am unconvinced that waiting for something that looks as if it isn’t going to even work at the most basic level, is a very worthwhile prospect.

So, as I said before, I can only hope and pray that Make goes on working. If not I will have to cough up the best part of 600€ to go Pro … assuming, God forbid, that it hasn’t been moved online as well by then.

Now forgive me if this is mistaken or wrong of me but that feels perilously close to paying a software producer for having let me down. I am nor sure I am entirely comfortable or happy with that.


That’s a good, thorough short-list of issues* we can work on in SketchUp for Web (the modeler in both SketchUp Free and Shop). I can assure you it will be read by product managers and engineers on our team. If our software doesn’t work well on computers and operating used by lots of people, it’s definitely our problem.

The feedback is important, and yes, we are (always) working to improve the performance, stability, and usability of SketchUp for Web.

In my first post, I recommended you use SketchUp Make or Pro. For one thing, you clearly prefer our desktop modeler. But, it’s true that our desktop products better suited for larger, more complex models, and is more configurable in terms of modeling, styling, and organization.

What we see is a very diverse range of users of our products. Many people – but frankly not a majority – use SketchUp in a highly involved way. They are working with large models, lots of extensions, custom-made or imported styles and textures. They have toolbars and shortcuts that are so custom they probably require memory palaces to use. We LOVE this, and will always build desktop software that is as fast, intuitive, and customizable as possible for people who will take SketchUp to new levels. (If you don’t already know it, you are one of these people!)

Candidly: yes, your OS will age out of SketchUp Make at some point. And yes, we are moving towards a balance where the software we offer for free is less capable than our paid offerings. Based on what you seem to need (and get) from SketchUp, we are asking you to consider buying it. But we understand that ‘generous’ and ‘affordable’ are relative ideas based on who you are and where/how you live. So, while SketchUp Make is the right desktop product for you right now, we’ll consider your feedback a vote for the ability to purchase our desktop modeler in a more affordable way.

*Bonus points for the stoner monologue.


Mark, I was very pleased by your reply - its warm tone, its sentiment that user feedback is valued and consumed by the SketchUp team, and especially by the portion I highlighted above. I do hope that a desktop (non-browser) version of SketchUp remains in active development for some years to come.

For what it’s worth I’ve been a SketchUp Pro customer for a few years now (2016, 17, 18), despite being a non-commercial hobbyist user who gives away his models for free. I originally upgraded to Pro for two reasons: for the Generate Report feature, and for the possibility of using Layout. I have not done much with Layout in the past three years, but I have dreams of doing so someday. The Generate Report feature has been helpful in creating a reference spreadsheet of the ~1000 unique components in my on-going modeling project.

I think my overall model currently has around a million faces and two million edges. I have not tried to load it into SketchUp for Web, but I doubt the experience would be satisfactory. Oh, and the model is less than half completed. :slight_smile: Thus, I dearly hope that a capable desktop version of SketchUp remains under development for a few more years at least.


Thank you Mark for your reply.

Whilst I have been self evidently extremely critical I have tried not to do it in a negative way. I think your response recognises that.

The key sentence is “So, while SketchUp Make is the right desktop product for you right now, we’ll consider your feedback a vote for the ability to purchase our desktop modeler in a more affordable way.”.

Yes Mark you have hit the nail bang on the head!

I, and judging from other posts, many other users, would be happy to see an “in between” desktop modeller. A partially disabled Pro, if you will, just in the way Make is now.

When you download Make you download Pro which after the one month trial has certain portions disabled. If you can do that now you can do it in the future. It is easy for us backseat drivers to give advice on coding from a position of total ignorance and what looks easy to ignorant eyes may be a coding nightmare but, in this case, there is precedent. Make is already simply a partial disablement of Pro.

It seems to my naive eyes that that where you draw this line must be reasonably flexible. It follows that where you draw it is probably more a case of commerce than coding. That’s fine. You are a software provider and you expect and need to make a profit. Otherwise we users wouldn’t have any software to use.

But please think of the user too. I think are many of us who would happily purchase (or subscribe to if you insist :wink:) a similarly disabled version of desktop Pro that offers the same flexibility as Make or, even better, the extra goodies of Shop, in a desktop version.

If you have Pro available in a desktop version then, even from the comfort of my armchair ignorance, it cannot be rocket science or brain surgery to release a partially disabled version at a different level whose pricing is adjusted according to where you draw the disablement line. Let’s face it … that’s what you are doing right now with Make - so we all know it is technically feasible and achievable.

In the end it may, just perhaps, come down to how much you respect and value those who have loved and used your software for years … :slightly_smiling_face:


:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

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Thanks for those thoughts, @david_macd and @TDahl. I can tell you the respect (and appreciation) is there. And it’s good pressure for our team to live up to the same commitment you guys have made in SketchUp.

I hope you guys will both consider coming to 3D Basecamp: I’d love to meet in person.

HI Mark

Thank you for listening so patiently to my woes.

To meet at a base camp would be nice but sadly, this time, not possible. However here is a little sample of how I use (or perhaps misuse is a better term :wink:) Sketchup. I have posted this elsewhere in the forums once before.

One of my specialties is the production of illusions in perspective and other Escher like images. The image below was modelled entirely in Sketchup using multiple layers. These layers were then exported in very high resolution as 2D PNG’s with transparency enabled. These are then imported into Photoshop where they are re-assembled and textured. ‘Lighting’ is then added in Photoshop by hand (lighting movie is my profession - just retired this year). Finally figures (in this case my wife and I) are photographed from a precise viewpoint with carefully matched lighting to drop seamlessly into their final destinations. This was our New Year’s card a couple of years back.

Not quite what Sketchup was intended for but it does the job beautifully and far faster and more adaptably than advanced photo-real modellers. And what’s more it’s great fun to do! This will also show you clearly why the new Free or even Shop would not be adequate to my needs.

Thanks again for your patience.


We HAVE to collaborate!!!

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That is fabulous, David!

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I have to say that I fully agree with David. I have used Sketchup for years and this is a HGE DISAPPOINTMENT! I have tried the PRO Version and my PC crashed a few times so i reverted to Make 2015 and extremely happy. I am a hobbyist and draw for fulfillment
Would Trimble not consider a Paid option for Make?? How long before they remove Make? Will we be notified well in advance? Please look into a Paid option of Make for us. Thaking you in advance

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There is a paid version of Make and it’s called Pro. If make runs on your machine but Pro makes it crash then that sounds like you may not have installed it correctly. Make is basically Pro with a few key features removed but it’s generally the same application running in the same way.

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Hi Liam, thank you for your kind response. I may also have been windows 10 that caused my computer to crash im not sure. I had the Pro 2017 Trial version, but i also found it a tad more complicated to use as opposed to Make so i reverted to windows 8.1 and Sketchup Make 2015 where i have no issues at all. Since I am also not that computer literate i would like to rather pay to keep Make 2015? is there any chance I can pay for it when it comes to the time that it is due to be taken down? Do you have any idea whether it could be months before this happens or in the very near future? Last question Liam, would you know if Trimble will allow pensioners to pay off via debit order for the Pro version should i decide to go this route? Please advise if anyone can assist or who would be the best person to speak to regarding this. I would also like to confirm that those of us who are still using Sketchup Make that it must be used OFFLINE? Thank you to everyone who is participating and assisting. Best regards