Dark mode for SketchUp

if the viewport background occupies 90% of your screen, just adjust the viewport background

Couple of hopefully helpful comments…

With forum posts you tend to get a lot of replies who don’t agree with what you suggested. You may get a few posts from people who completely agree with you. There are a lot of people who are fine with the suggestion, but don’t feel strongly enough to add a comment. I’m pretty sure most people would be fine with Dark Mode options.

On the question of whether someone at SketchUp could implement the idea, different people at SketchUp are responsible for different things. Most requested features won’t compete with Dark Mode. Something that would compete is that Tags that are turned off are hard to read, but the majority of feature requests don’t take up any of the time that the UX person needs. @kathy_davies should take a look at the Dark Mode request.


Would you please share your list of things you care that most about?

That is great to know :+1:

These things have been discussed and logged many times in the appropriate places and I won’t be posting about any of them here.

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Well, I don’t have time to look for them. Unless they are listed in one post, I will be interested to check it out.

Is there a specific section in the forum for features request?

This reply is not specific to this thread and is basically off topic.

This seems to be the root of all your requests for changes, you are a relative beginner to Sketchup and you are coming from other software with specific expectations. So you are wanting to bend Sketchup to your will rather than working with the tools available, until such time as you have enough experience to make a more informed analysis. This obviously doesn’t apply to Dark Mode, that is simply a visual choice.

But the point is there are many Feature Requests going back many years, mostly posted in this forum category, that have yet to be addressed even though they come up time and time again. There are bugs, known bugs, that have persisted for more than a decade still to be fixed. There are suggestions for better tools and workflow options, there are ideas for making the software work faster or more consistently or behave similarly when in LO as well as SU, ideas for a 2d format within SU…
I could go on and on, suffice to say that as you gain experience with the software you will find things that actually need fixing rather than things that don’t work the way you want them to.
I always recommend that an extension should only be used once you know how to do what it does manually. Almost everything is doable manually, extensions just automate the process and to that end Sketchup has kept to a lean format.
Rather than building in every conceivable possibility of tool they supply the software as a core which lets you add the tools that are useful to you. So the trick is to work with the fundamentals to fully understand them and then add functionality via the extensive Extension community.
I’ve rambled even further off topic now. Oh well.


A true ‘Dark-mode’ by now in my opinion is way overdue & would be great to see,… :eyes:… so yes, if an option, I’d use it for sure, most programmes on my PC have this option. Although I did think at one point, WINDOWS-OS would also be able to create a sudo ‘Dark-mode’ for all programmes ?.. :thinking:

I used a programme called WINDOW-BLINDS (Stardock WindowBlinds: Skin and Theme your Windows Desktop) in the meantime, but since a PC upgrade, I’ve not yet re-installed it, so might revisit this. Some YOU-TUBE videos below on this.

Funny. I have seen the time in DOS days when dark mode was all that there was, and the arrival of a light background was greeted as a great way to reduce eyestrain, especially after CRT monitors were replaced by flat screens that don’t flicker.


As a designer that has actually designed the dark modes for software product user interfaces, I can say that it is not a monumental task. Operating systems have tools in place to help integrate the look, and the reskin isn’t a major overhaul from a design perspective. We actually had the whole visual graphic set redrawn pretty quickly by just a couple people, and it was a comparable toolset size.

I would volunteer to help with sketchup on this, it sounds kinda fun. A lot of work was done on the web interface that I think could be leveraged too, in good ways.


I would like to mention that the Sketchup team has more resources than ever before given most of us are now on subscription… Or so they would have us believe. Therefore, I do not feel it is unreasonable for the developers to work on both long standing bugs, requests and UI/UX improvements at the same time. I have always understood Dark mode was quite a long standing request… Good that this thread is giving some life back into the idea.

Obviously stability and performance are two of the most important areas for any software in active development and advances in these areas should always be prioritised above all else, as at the end of the day any gain in productivity is beneficial to all.

However, being a daily professional user of SU for many years, I feel rather strongly about how my software looks when I use it. This is especially important in the evenings when it is not always possible to keep the lights on (thanks to covid and now working from home). Ergonomics is very important and I would argue that this is exactly that. It is a highly personal preference, but I really don’t see why people feel strongly against it when it was clearly stated to be kept as an option.

I would also support an interim option of opening up the UI code so that developers could create something if it really is that time-consuming for the SU team to do it themselves.


I also have this and it caused problems with SU. It seems that the UI is so deeply rooted into windows system colours that even Windows BLinds had some issues changing the backgrounds of certain boxes, like the layer box for example. When I tried changing certain settings and text colours, some text didn’t change no matter what I used and was therefore unreadable. Opening SU for the first time meant I had to reapply the WB theme otherwise the open file dialogue had some crazy stuff going on with it that made it unusable, along with the dynamic component settings etc.

I too now have a new computer and have not reinstalled it as yet, so perhaps some of these things are fixed in SU 2021?


I guess I’ll have to pay for an upgrade as its been so long since not reinstalling this programme. I also recall some minor UI issues on some programmes including SUPro. But as WindowBlinds has so many SKINS to choose from & just one click or so to install & the same to revert back, I found it not too much of an issue. There are quite a few default skins & many others to load for free, but some you do have to pay a small amount to the author.

Instead of the boring grey theme, why not a nice cool muted blue, to match the 2020 Trimble icons?

Lately a lot of people are working different hours (not just 8 to 5) and working at home more (im currently “working” at home, at 12:24am)

I definitely believe a Dark Mode would inprove my eye health…(which has suffered a lot in recent years)… And it would definitely allow me to be less “wired” before heading to bed (which I plan to do shortly).

I do use Window’s settings to adjust overall screen brightness, I have UV filtering eye glasses (expensive!) and have my monitor set to a warmer (non blue) hue. And good lighting and all that…

We all get a LOT of screen time these days (too much, really), espcecially in winter (darker and more time indoors). I’ve had 25 years of staring at pixels far too closely and for too long…can’t help it!

So, yeah…dark mode in 2021 seems like a “it’s about time!” sort of update.

Cool people will remember this:

It has 65,000 interface “skins” which are saved here.
& this was over 20 years ago.

Personally though I’d still like to see a much more customisable UI. SketchUp Pro with a lot of extensions becomes a pretty ugly mess of non-integrated trays, icons and popups, a lot of which are badly formatted.

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