Can I use layout alone to create plans?

I want to know if layout is just a follow on to using sketchup or can it be used alone?

You could use it standalone, but it would be woefully inefficient.

Thanks Julian. This is disappointing. I have just started my own business and really didn’t want to subscribe to Autocad as it is so expensive. Can you recommend another 2d program that might be a better alternative?


If you are going to be using LayOut, you will have SketchUp. That’s where you would do your modeling. Then you would use LayOut to create the plans from that model.

AutoCad has the concept of Model Space and Paper Space. You model at full scale in the former and output using the latter. That is a very similar concept to Sketchup and Layout, if not quite as well integrated.

Sketchup is a 3D surface modeller so it is not primarily 2D CAD software. However, it is easy to use as such and for simple projects you often don’t need to delve into the 3D world. I, like many here, started in AutoCad and migrated to Sketchup, initially as a fun adjunct and ultimately as the sole means of communicating design ideas. It is surprisingly powerful.


Thanks for the insight Simon. Exactly the reason I want Sketchup to be my only software and its so affordable. I could earn money doing 2d cad too so a little bit of a bumma.

AngelaW I would suggest you look at LayOut as a 2D drafting option. We have over the last few releases added some features for users in your situation. We added the Scaled Drawing capability so you would not need to draw in a model space but directly in LayOut. Assign a scale and draw 1:1 as you would expect. You can always change the scale on your Scaled Drawing and Dimensioning will pick up on the scale as long as it is set to Auto.

Please, kick the tires on LayOut first.


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But AngelaW’s profile says they have 2020…

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Plus, If you don’t have (Heavy) 3D models as references, there shouldn’t be any problem! :wink:
Oh, and check this:

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Is this really the official line? I wonder how many people who have SU Pro actually use Layout directly for their 2D drawings. I wouldn’t. As @Julian_Smith says

I think that’s about right.

Yes, generally I would agree…

But I have drawn up details, block and site plans solely in Layout.

OK. But is that as in “I have tried Marmite and marmalade sandwiches (but I wouldn’t again)”??

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For me, yes, it’s a easier

Thank you, I will. I really want it to meet my needs as I am a newly ‘self employed’ designer and I want to keep my overheads to a minimum. Offering a 2d service alone is a great way for me to make extra income from companies wanting s drafting service. I have used AutoCad for 4 years and do love the software but its too expensive for what I will be producing. Like you say, the 2020 version has improved so I will use it and see how it works - I’m confident it will be enough for what I need.

Hi Mike, I have looked at the ConDoc and I like the look of it. Another £250 a year so I need to think about it. Is this something you use? I also see its compatible with SketchUp.

You don’t have to use ConDoc…

If you have the time and patience you can implement your own system based on the basic principles of the ConDoc method. Watch Mike Brightman’s videos and/or buy his book The SketchUp Workflow for Architecture.


Will do. thanks for info. That sounds like it will be helpful in any case.

Draftsight if you are only doing 2d, $99/year… essentially full Autocad… being using it with no compatabi.ty issues for 8 years

You do realize that Sketchup is going subscription as well. I believe AutoCAD LT is around $420/year versus Sketchup at $300/year. As a user of Layout for many years, I will say if you are only doing 2D drawings, AutoCAD LT is well worth the extra $120. If you are doing 3D modeling, Sketchup is for you.