Curious: How viable is Layout as a 2D CAD software?

Just curious here. I used AutoCAD for years with construction docs, and recently used DraftSight. Both are about perfect for what I need, which really not feature rich. Tweakbox .that’s a topic for another discussion.

Is anyone using Layout for professional quality Construction Documents? I’ve literally barely even touched Layout, using Sketchup for modeling only. However, so far…I am kind of skeptical. I am not really needing parametric documentation.

Just asking.

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I would give a qualified yes because the answer would be no if you mean LO on its own.

LO’s drawing capabilities have been usefully improved in recent years but they don’t come near proper 2D software. But harnessing the power of SU and using LO as its paperspace is powerful. With some serious limitations that have been well rehearsed in this forum.


it’s not a viable 2d program. It lags and is buggy. Call outs from text bounce randomly. But it is really the slowdowns that kill productivity, deadlines and profitability. It’s still an impressive proof of concept application not ready for anything larger than small residential. Look at some of my drawings if you want to see what can be milked out of it. Most of the work goes on in Sketchup.


Try dealing with the snaps in Layout. It’s a nightmare and needs to be fixed. Combined with the SLOWWWWW performance, simple tasks that take minutes in Autocad or even Sketchup can take hours. Again, Layout is a really great proof of concept but for most of us professional architects, cannot handle the load of a detailed project like Archicad or Revit.

Hi, thanks for the feedback.

What specifically in your opinion would improve LayOut’s snapping behavior? Could you please describe how they would work ideally for you, and/or specific issues you have with how they work currently? This feedback would be very helpful for us in planning any future work we may have revolving around snapping or performance enhancement in general.


You cannot choose your snap point in layout. Here I am trying to “quickly” draw over a scene pulled out of Sketchup. Instead of the rectangle, it makes a triangle… I’ll post a video

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Are you drawing with the Line tool with Fill turned on?

Not sure that is quite accurate. LO has snap points relating to end points etc in a SU window but also creates points of its own when you draw within LO.

What can be frustrating is when you have things like sections from SU and want to be able to dimension it, say, and can find no suitable snap points.

That’s not true and I can demonstrate

What isn’t true? As for demonstrating, go right ahead.

Simon, sorry about the tone. I know you are trying to help. There are a lot of bugs in this software and I find at the end of a project, my profitability goes out the window with crashes and delays.

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I used to find this would happen to me and I discovered it was due to sloppy modelling, eg a floor group would overlap a wall group.

By taking more care of my solids I don’t get this anymore.

For sure, it would be great if you could snap to section linework in Layout.

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Hey William, perhaps you could share a problem project - there are many on the Forum who would be willing to see how they could help.

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Hey Adam,
Nice to hear from you in these discussions!
I notice the tag line after your picture and name in this Forum says “SketchUp Team Member”. I had heard that you are actually the “LayOut Team Leader”, rather than just a SU Team Member, isn’t that true? Or, has there been some reassignment of titles and responsibilities? It would be nice to know …
Regarding potential improvements in LayOut, I notice you couch your words very carefully, saying: “any future work we may have”.
After the recent “LayOut Petition”, I would have thought that the team could get beyond “may have” phrases, and talk about actual, real improvements we can look forward to! Just a little bit of Transparency about what (if anything?) is coming w/ LayOut would be so helpful and refreshing! Can’t you at least tell us something about your priorities and what you are working on, Please?


Hi RoshaBeli,

I use LO for all my communication to my client, builders, subcontractors etc. It fits perfectly in my workflow. The combination of Sketchup and LayOut is epic, it’s the holy grail. It is really a pitty / unbelievable that Trimble is not putting more effort into it to improve it. They are so near to make LO just perfect…some relative simple tweaks and they have done the job.

It’s SO SLOWWWWWWWW. I am moving on because Layout is killing profitability. It’s a joke


It still is the case with good linework

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Some people use it successfully in tandem with SketchUp, but as a standalone 2d product? I can’t say it is that good. It could be that people who think it is defensible as a 2d CAD project, are not professional and haven’t used real CAD in their life. LayOut has it’s place as a portal for SketchUp.

You have the CAD experience yourself. Try it out.

The snaps available in PowerCADD are as follows:

Snapping Indicator 20211012

Axis Align
X intersection
% Percent

In bold is the key depressed to force a snap to happen. The highlighted color indicates what snap is happening. Perhaps since not all snaps are being searched for continuously, all the time, it helps performance to only look for specific ones when forced to find them by the user, but, not being a programmer, I don’t really know. I’d like to make a demonstration video if I can find the time.

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@RTCool RT: just one example of my point. NOT to doubt the use people get from LayOut in combination with SketchUp.