Confusing Licenses and Multiple SU Apps - Path Through The Fog?

I use SU pro 2018 and Layout off and on. Now have a need to use the instance on 2nd computer. I read that I should just go and download the SW again and authorize it on the new machine with the old license number. Seemed straightforward until I tried it. Whoops my license number was changed? When Trimble changed SU again?

I am totally confused with the numerous versions of SU. I think mine is “classic” with a yearly support cost. But is that a subscription license? I suppose it is not the Web version because it actually functions offline, I think.

What are pro designers using these days? The Sketchup support material online is totally bizarre with obscured path for communicating with Trimble people directly. Seems like I should be able to see my account with the details of the license eh? They got my credit card renewal money just fine.

I worry that my 2018 SU pro software is being dumbed down to useless… each year further and further away from the feel and functionality of its creators (before Google bought them out, way before Trimble). VR glasses really? Any advice for getting the SU/Layout Pro suite to be there when I need it intermittently? You know, a stable platform for 3D drawing. The Web-anywhere version is surely lacking architectural rendering features eh?

Because you were under support at the time that 2019 was released, you’re entitled to a 2019 license. The $120 you pay for maintenance and support has been referred as a subscription in SketchUp emails, and in a sense it is one. It’s optional whether you pay it, and if you don’t, you don’t get support or updates. If you do pay it, you get both of those things. Your SketchUp license is permanent, using SketchUp will continue to work if you choose not to pay the $120.

Now that there are subscription versions of SketchUp itself, it can get confusing, so now the one that you bought is called SketchUp Classic on the website, and inside the program the license is referred to as a ‘classic license’. Subscribers of the new products (Shop, Pro, and Studio), can only use the application while they have an active subscription.

Meanwhile, to use either 2018 or 2019 on a second machine you would download the installer from here:

then for 2018 you would use the license you were sent a long time ago, where the first letter of the serial number is a T. It came with a specific authorization code.

If you want to install and activate 2019, you would use the serial number that starts with a U, and the authorization code that came with that serial number.

Something to know, you don’t have to uninstall the older version. Also, activating the newer version will prevent the older version from being activated on a new machine. You only have one license, and the version you can activate on a new machine is the latest one that you have activated on any machine.

So, it would be worth installing 2018 on your second machine, and activate it, and then you could install 2019 on both machines, and activate both. Activating 2019 on your first machine before activating 2018 on the second machine would prevent you from being able to activate 2018 on the second machine.

You can get the details of the latest license you are entitled to, by going to this page:

Put in any serial number, the 2018 one for example, and the email associated with the license. You’ll then see what is the latest version you’re entitled to. That’s 2019 in your case. Click on the Email my authorization code link, just below where the serial number is shown. That will send the full license details for 2019 to your email address.

If you can’t find your 2018 license details, I can send it to you.

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When Google released a free version merely named “SketchUp” and the professional version was called “SketchUp Pro”, people naturally started calling the free version “SketchUp free” to distinguishing it from the program family as a whole. Then, many years later, it was renamed “SketchUp Make” (as if you can’t make things in Pro) and some time later a web version named “SketchUp Free” was released, although that name was unofficially still in use for Make. Then a payed web version was released under the name “SketchUp Shop”, which is a bit ironic as a lot of people don’t have an internet connection out in their shop and can’t use it there. Also the name is very easy to interpret as a marketplace for licenses, extensions etc. Then came the subscription license for SketchUp Pro and the old, perpetual license got rebranded as “Classic”, which doesn’t tell anything of what it is unless you were around when it was the only license and are familiar with it already.

It is quite confusing.

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Ah Colin. You made my day. This is the support I was hoping I was paying for annually. Thanks for the extensive response. I will get after my SU mission again in a day or two.

I have two high school students in my home this summer who have the Fountainhead architect thing in their heads. So I am going to give them a making project using Sketchup. Neither have heard of or used it.

I suppose I will show them Pro with Layout and try to get us all up on the Web browser versions. So they can go back to Detroit and use it. Any advice? Does the Web version cook video output from serial Scenes? Getting their work into their phones would be a nice endgame.

Thanks again for the awesome support.

Thanks for the extra info. See my teaching intent this summer? Two visiting high schoolers. Boy and girl.

Going to have them measure something. Model it. Then design something in SU to fit into or on it. Then output to PDF and phone gallery at least. But also hand it to each other for Making the object relying only on SU Output. I have several places to put web content but I want them to have a spot of their own that is not Facebook or other social media channels that dont have protections for intellectual property and are filled with hot air. When they go look for work… I want them to show the SU project along with resume? Hopefully they will throw in other design/making efforts along the way. Ideas?

This sounds like an awesome plan! Be sure to come back and share images with us! We love seeing this sort of thing!

There’s a free Sketchup Viewer for both Android and iOS, downloadable from the Play Store and Appple app store respectively. Put the models in Dropbox, or on Trimble Connect, and you can then download them to the phone, then open it on the phone Viewer.

Works a treat if the models aren’t too large. I frequently use it for models up to a few tens of MB. With some of the larger ones, I get a warning 'That’s a pretty big model you’re loading. Do you really want to open it?" or words to that effect. I say Ok, and it seems to load with no problem after that, but perhaps on a less powerful phone, one with less memory, or with a bigger model, the model wouldn’t load, or freeze. So far, that hasn’t happened to me.

Colin. Trying to put 2019 on the second machine now. Got 2019 pro installed on the machine. To validate it… I am putting my license number (the latest UA- -ALR number) in there under classic. But asking for Authorization Code as well. Dont see that anywhere. Not in help menu in the SU app. Not in recent emails. Help por favor.

Also. Was intending to go back to my mother machine and upgrade to 2019 pro from 2018. In Help Upgrade menu choice it says I have current version. Should I disregard? And just DL the 2019 from you linked page? And start over?


P.S. in regard to my two visiting high schoolers. They have been in YouTube watching the beginner videos this morning. And I have shown them some output on paper, PDF, and website video embeds via Vimeo. They perked up when they saw my wifes new kitchen in this blog:

They have begun measuring up and creating survey note documents of THE BEDROOM they are staying in. After lunch one will draw it with a parallel bar on paper just to give em old school SCALING context. Plan and 4 interior elevations. Then they both will make a common 3D model of the room in SU. Then design improvements including found 3D models of furniture and ceiling fan.

Then we will orchestrate an animation path with SCENES they like and cook a video, as well as save out a JPG or PDF. Then install viewers in their phones and see if email attachments will run the model in the app. Or something like that. No actual building this go-round. Just cyber design only…


Users can create scenes and run animations in SUfWeb.
But, I do not see video export yet as an option.

The SUfWeb Free edition is severely limited with regard to output. (.skp, .stl, & .png)
It’s insert is limited to .skp and images (as either image object or material.)

The SUfWeb Shop edition (~119/yr) has many more insert and export features …
Import: images, .3ds, .dae, .ddf, .dem, .dwg, .dxf, .kmz, .skp
Export: .3ds, .dae, .dwg, .dxf, .fbx, .kmz, .obj, .png, .skp, .stl, .vrml, .xsi

I do not see .pdf output for any edition of SketchUp for Web (at this time.)

@ggibson There is a special Gallery category here for showing off your projects.

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The license manager page I mentioned has an “email my authorization code” link under the license. Click on that and you’re be sent the full license.

When any given version checks for an update, it’s just checking fro an update of that version. 2018 had one in November, and if you have that already it will say you have the latest version. It isn’t checking to see if there is a new major release that is more recent than the one you are in at the time. So yes, download 2019 and install it. You don’t have to remove 2018.

Thanks for the help all. I got my licenses straightened out and got my second and first machine running with 2019 pro.

And I survived my improv sketchup school! My two 14 year olds worked in pro in parallel and made progress on a model of their bedroom after measuring it up. Took about half a day. Unfortunately nothing was completed, much less showable. And when asked if they wanted to finish their models versus doing something else… they chose games on their phones.

Attempts to send around even very simple models/components via email did not work. Most were between 20 and 30 Mbs and were refused. So the new SU viewer app I put in their phones went unused. I moved files with jump drives because I am not networked.

I learned some things and they did too. I showed them how SU Photoshop and AC LT can dance together to make design solutions and working drawings and they learned how to build real things to scale inside a 3D app.

I have some grey hair and am long out of the kid rearing business. So I learned about the steep hill young parents are up against in raising their crop of designers. These two family kids that I love play video games and constantly work their phones. They think they are tech savvy. Their focus and attention span is very poor and they know zero about computers nor how to even write a resume, store the file in a memorable location. And send it to anyone. They are Apple zealots of course.

I know it is partly their age and home culture but if i need to teach this age group again i will do something different for sure. Thanks again for the help.