Could LayOut be sold separately?

Well, more of a question really if it could be for those who don’t use it & if so, this should reduce the core cost of the product given there’s no perpetual direction anymore. Just a thought… :thinking:

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A more appropriate question might be … would LayOut sell on it’s own?
In other words, does LayOut have enough merit as a modern 2D drafting and presentation program to sell in the competitive marketplace? Although Trimble has made some minor improvements lately, it is far from the top rated 2D program available. Most people buy SketchUp Pro to get the full featured SketchUp, and just end up with LayOut as part of the package. Would LO be attractive enough on its own to sell? (Check out the many threads on this Forum regarding LayOut’s speed and performance).
What would you pay for LayOut on its own?

LayOut has no value without SketchUp, so maybe it could be considered an add on that you only buy if you want, but it can’t really be considered in the running as a “stand alone” program even if performance were better.

For me, LayOut has definitely been needed to present your work on drawing sheets & add various notes etc. My main issue with layout is that some projects can take an age to regenerate/update when you go back the the SU model & do an amendment. I’ve seen quite a few gripes about LayOut, a short list of these would be good to see with potential suggested fixes.

Could LayOut not be used in the same way, i.e. drawing sheets for other software that doesn’t have a drawing sheet tool ? Just as an image of course.

I know someone who does a lot with just LayOut alone, and for some It may have good enough tools. For CAD work and vector graphics there are many products out there with a much more developed toolset and better navigation and user interface besides.

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For professional users, Layout is essential, which is no doubt why it is not available to non-Pro users and why SU Pro costs more. Not having Layout would be like having to use Autocad in Modelspace without access to Paperspace.

However, the advent of Scale Drawing in Layout does widen its functionality and broaden its appeal. It is just about conceivable that if enough resources were thrown at it, it could evolve into something that might challenge what are currently very much better 2D packages. That could also give developers an incentive to make the very necessary improvements to Layout that are so desperately needed.

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I agree Simon,
In addition to “an incentive”, Adam and his Layout team probably need Trimble to give them a priority budget and team size to get the job done. Improvements are desperately needed, we can only hope LayOut receives the attention it deserves …

You might be refering to me! I’ve been using LayOut as an alone tool since it was introduced!

I’ve just introduced a company building with SIPs to use it to layout their panels, but I’ve just bought a licence for version 2020.2 - the amount of bugs introduced may likely mean this is however an impossability!

I agree though that LayOut would be a golden tool for many as it’s vector editing capabilities is gold!

The sad thing is a huge business opportunity was lost when LAYOUT was developed and stumbled long as an incomplete drafting package… The world took to SU in an instance because of its intuitive simplicity and power. LO was a perverse love-child that seemed to go out of its way to be different from SU.

the world is still crying out for a 2d package similar to SU in ease of use, intuitive and powerful that imports and exports seamlessly all the data from the core software data formats we all have to work

Unfortunately LAYOUT isnt it!

To me it would be a hybrid of VISIO , POWERPOINT and SKETCHUP with strong import / export options including open license file formats.

still missing basic presentation software capabilities
no SVG export / import (must have taken 6 years to get dwg import)
no Gradients (every graphics software)
no Drop shadows (every graphics software)
no Find and Replace (virtual every text editing sftware)
no component capability (sketchup, autocad, coreldraw, visio, affinity designer)
no parametric capability (visio)
no programming capability (a whole army of amazing SU developers twiddling their thumbs)
virtually no text formatting capability (heard of tabs?, indents ?)

sigh… … and you are all excited about “live components”

Personally, Powerpoint is more useful (more capable, faster, better looking, more universal) for me in presenting my projects than LO.

So the short answer is “NO”


Gold?.. have you looked at $50 Affinity Designers vector editing capabilities ? Even PowerPoint is easier and more capable than LO…

eg - Interior elevation drawn today, only in PowerPoint to scale, everything there is vector… with transparency, shadows, glows, textures [with texture scale adjustable)

And really even more importantly, Powerpoint is universally available and understood, so this effort is not down a data deadend… my clients, other team members can easily adapt, edit, or correct this file without having to be an expert in specialist software… Many years ago I hoped that LO would have become universal like this, not the half baked fringe presentation software it is!


That’s pretty slick (powerpoint image)!
As for Vector editors one can always use Inkscape if they need to but yes the $50 Affinity is a bargain for sure. Just not having the ability to insert other vector formats is such a missed opportunity.

Affinity is pulling a lot of people away from Adobe with its pricing and competent and friendly software…I am just sad that “Google” at the time missed a huge opportunity to create a Autocad killer 2d presentation package… millions of users are crying for one… and whoever developed the LO software got it so wrong… Trimble to their credit have “slowly” progressed it to be usable… but it seems like shutting the gate after the horse has bolted

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Competition is always good for the consumers.

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Hi gsharp,

Apart from being slow to regenerate SU updates back in LAYOUT, for architectural plans, I’ve not had many issues with LAYOUT. As I’ve noted before, I use it to present ones work on drawing sheets for pdf export issue, so it works for me when I need it. I’m not too sure if AFFINITY DESIGNER or PUBLISHER can read or export DWG formats. I have both, but never thought they could assist with my CAD plans ?

FORM-Z has a similar LAYOUT product, but AUTODESYS don’t have any recent voideos on its use.

Having said that, I’m using SU & LAYOUT less & less these days, as now opted for a proper architectural parametric CAD programme.

Anything to reduce costs for PRO SU users I thought would assist, hence my original topic subject matter title. As some folks just don’t seem to use LAYOUT, so an optional purchase was my thoughts.

HI CJ… AD still does not have DWG import/ export… I was really referring to its vector editing capabilities for its price and ease of use… neither does Powerpoint… iboth support SVG… which is open license file format… Nevertheless both are more capable of producing 2d vector illustrations than Layout… and with much much better interfaces…and at very good value… ( of course I am not downgrading the unique capability of LO to dynamically link to our SU models) just so frustrated that it does not provide even basic essential graphical presentation capabilities as noted before… as the image shows… I can do that scaled vector elevation in Powerpoint in a couple of hours from scratch, yet virtually all of those tools are missing in LO.

PS, if anyone is interested I will isolate that Powerpoint slide and strip of commercial information so you can pull it apart , it is surprisingly simple!

Another Powerpoint sample, all PPT only, could not do that in LO, though I wish I could!
And export to my team who only have PPT.

I must admit, I love Adobe’s suite of programs, and totally despise PowerPoint in every way!

I do totally love LayOut - As an architectural layout tool it is awesome, though it could use some serious brush ups! From Layout, I can produce 95% of my workflow, albeit I need to update any PDF output in Indesign to ensure it is up to scratch.

Here is a most recent architectural working drawing done exclusively in LayOut. I then export this to SU to finalise the panelisation process.


Here is another work done in LayOut exclusely (with the exception of shadows added in InDesign, gsharp mentioned this as a missing feature).


Both look great Richard, I am sure our requirements are not quite the same and hence we have found workflows that best suit our needs… For example… I work in a bilingual environment, I type in english, but my team translate into or add Vietnamese. They are not necessarily CAD literate, it is very simple for them to open the powerpoint and supplement because the software is pervasive… Similarly, if I make a mistake, or something requires correction (often minutes before a critical client or authority presentation) the task usually trivial… and executable by anyone , I am a big fan of open data access.

looking at your first image I am sure you would appreciate a simple “find and replace” tool in LO :slight_smile:

Interestingly, I present about 85% of my work in PPT and 5% from LO and 10% live via SU or Twinmotion

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BTW, cheers for the tips on Affinity! What a SUPER COOL software!!!

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Hey gsharp,
You mentioned Affinity Designer, and I looked it up. It seems really good, but I can’t tell if it’s possible to import a SketchUp model/scene and then work on it with the Affinity tools … do you know?