Construction Documents (NOT an architect)

I am wondering about creating construction documents as a CAD/Drafting/Design Technician and NOT as an architect. Documents including Reflected Ceiling Plans, Door & Window Schedules, Room Finish Schedules, and Exterior Finish Schedules.

(I have read through Nick Sonder’s book and watched several of his videos on YouTube.)

Images of an example schedule plan attached here (done by architect):

20190308_144031 20190308_144051 SAM_0059

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I don’t see anything in here that you can’t do in Layout.

There are just a few items in play here… a Title Block, Tables, Text Boxes, and Viewports.

…and Layout can accommodate all of these.


It will take a little bit of time to build all of these Tables… but the Golden Rule for that is that you Don’t Ever Build Them One At A Time… when you can use the Copy/Paste command to recreate work you’ve already done…

So spend some time and make a few basic table templates… that can be used as a starting point for a majority of the tables you want to create. Just get the basic formatting in place (e.g. merge some cells together, add in a bit of temporary text, format it, center it, etc…)

Most of the commands you need for this are available on the right click context menu.

Specifically… Merged Cells (both horizontal, and vertical are used in a few places).
Rotate TextConvert Text to Full Width

Open the Fonts panel to select the Center Justification button.


the Text Boxes will cover all of the regular text item… adjust the width of the text box so that your column sizes flow properly.

Use >File >Insert to add in new viewport, and that will link any of your SketchUp Drawings to your Layout project.

…the rest will be figuring out how all of this stuff get positioned on your page in layout.


Table samples:


Full%20Width%20Text


Merge%20Cells



Polishing this up… so that your tables have some Bold Lines built into them, which will help Separate the major column blocks from one another…

I don’t think Layout is quite there just yet. Ideally (or traditionally) you’d have a Cell Style Panel which lets you turn on/off different edges so that some are bold and others are not. and frankly that’s always a bit a hassle to do anyhow.

So in place of that consider adding in empty columns to help space columns apart. Or, just draw in a line on top of a finished table to help outline certain areas of it. This won’t be any more of a problem then adjusting cell boarder settings in a more traditional spreadsheet app.

I do notice the you can add in a Solid Fill into a table cell… and that could be well used to help emphasize and create sub-sections within a large table size schedule.

e.g. fill in an entire column, and reduce it’s size down to the minimum allowable.

solid%20cell%20fill

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Having said all that, tables in LO are a bit clunky. They were a welcome addition a year or two back but it would be nice if they could be developed to be a bit more like tables you find in spreadsheets. I believe a lot of people do actually construct them in spreadsheets and then import them into LO.

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Thank you!! But, how about a discussion concerning the following:

Door & Window Schedule Tutorials:




Reflected Ceiling Plan Tutorials:



Generating Different Drawing Types:

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Schedules: I make all my tables and schedules in Excel. I then save the schedule to a .pdf, and insert it into the Layout document. Changes made in the Excel schedule are then saved to the same .pdf name, which overwrites to old file. The schedule automatically then updates in the Layout document whenever references are updated.

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I am manually editing Sonder’s Schedules template in order to use it for a project.
However, adding/having attribute data to groups and components in a skp model; that info should be able to be used to generate a table within LayOut.

You can link a spread sheet using data from SU, but it is no where near as fast as simply manual work like those templates. There are still issues graphically as well in the communication between SU information and Layout with regards to tables. I tried doing this with the SU info tabulated in an excel file, but none of the graphics translated so I would have to go back and recreate the graphics each time. So until this becomes a one step process directly to Layout that allows you to not only control data, but also graphics, I continue to do this manually.

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Hey Nick. In terms of graphics if by graphics you are mainly relying on the red squares to be there, you can simply colour a cell red in an excel file. Excel I think is infinitely better because of the ability to setup rules and formulas, you can do a lot of conditional formatting so that the presentation is nice as well and layout will see most of it. Layout currently doesn’t see excel table colours but you can put your own colours in quite easily. What else than the red squares being graphically pleasing were you referring to?

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Speaking of tables and schedules I was thinking about adding in a shearwall schedule tool into my new shearwall module. Since Layout cannot be automated I would be creating the schedule (table) within SketchUp itself. The plugin automatically draws the table and fills in all of the cells so it is not really editable by the user.

I’m just trying to determine whether this is something people would want or would they prefer to create this type of schedule in Layout or within Excel and then bring it into Layout. My biggest problem with schedule created in the model is that I use 3D text to fill in the cells and the contents is really not editable.

It would be pretty frustrating if all the data was 3d text and really not portable into other software… …

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I’m pushing Door,Window, and Room Finish schedules from SU reports to LO using attributes, report generator, and excel with minimal manual intervention. My door and window labels are hard wired to the component instance and report automatically to the tag in layout. I think sometimes we get to caught up in our desire to fashion our drawings a certain way. The point is to get the information on the drawing quickly, accurately and clearly. Yesterday I pushed 21 sheets out f one layout file. The point is you can get there.

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There is some automation that when you open a document, it checks for the references. If a model, table or excel sheet got altered, it would prompt you to take action (ignore or update).
So automated excel sheets by a SketchUp extension that are inserted properly into a document get the same treatment.

What lacks IMO (amongst other things) is a more convenient way to set this up in SketchUp: automated reporting tools, for instance.

If you create a report and save it to the model, preferably with a user defined naming convention, and if the model is altered, you could be prompted to update the created reports. (or it would be done automatically)

Some ‘Project’ template where you could setup file locations, templates to be used etc. might be of value, too

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@MikeWayzovski it was nice that they added the ability to export and import report styles to external files.

Exactly, that is why I’m not as interested in creating the table/schedule in the model. The data cannot be easily manipulated by the user in any reasonable fashion.

@medeek This is what goes through my mind when it comes to your comments.

Reporting is important, I need to be able to easily somehow report quantities of materials drawn, particularly using your plugins would be ideal.

Constantly striving for more automation. If it’s too much of a hastle in sketchup or layout, do this where you can input data in sketchup and further refine in a well established program like excel or Google sheets and than the user can import into layout manually.

One extremely basic thing sketchup is missing and I find it hard to believe still that doesn’t exist is the ability to add more attributes to any group or component than the current options available in sketchup. I wish I could just set custom defined attributes for the whole model and one by one or tag by tag choose the attributes I wanted and just download that to excel and done. Wishful thinking crazy though for 2020 I guess. Maybe 2025 lol? @MikeWayzovski any plugins you know of that do this kind of thing?

It’s really too bad more development couldn’t be done to the quantifier plugin as it’s almost a useful plugin for me.

Basically, you can add your own ‘dictionaries’ to entities endlessly, but right now, you need to dive into ruby.
In fact, almost every extension adds ‘data’ this way.
There are a few basic dictionaries, Geolocation, 3D warehouse, advanced Attributes and Dynamic Components are the most obvious, there might be more.

Way’s to add data through extensions:

IFC-manager (property sets!)


Quantifier Pro:

Check this thread as well:

Right now, the way to add data through IFC or other classifications (the original tags in SketchUp) only works if you use an extension. To create your own classification is a lot of work and the data does not get transported when exported (thus another extension is needed…)

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EDIT: I was refering to Quantifier, but that adds dictionaries to the Layers in general, though it can add cost data to objects, as well
We need a way to add data to objects for better use in Trimble Connect, for instance.
Natively by uploading the SketchUp model, or through the exporter.
More to come next week.