Dashed Lines feature discussion


May be there is something that I don’t understand but how do you call these lines?
I have been using this Didier Bur plugin since V 5 or V 6 as far as I can remember.
Just my two cents.

dashedlines.rb (11.2 KB)
Just want to add this:


The problem with this is that SketchUp doesn’t have what other programs call layers, and no other program (what I know of) has what SketchUp call layers. The SketchUp “layer” feature is really something else, as you can apply it to nested objects individually, and as it doesn’t introduce separate drawing contexts preventing objects from interacting with each other. It’s a good feature but badly named.

That said, I think line style by layer should be kept as an obscure little feature, just like color by layer.


There is nothing wrong with linestyles on a layer, but not having linestyles on an edge is wrong and result in wrongly use of SketchUp and creating unnecessary extra layers. If they didn’t had enough time to do both they had to start with linestyles on an edge and do the linestyle on a layer next release.
Eneroth you can already start to make your first plugin for SU 2020… cleanup layers used for only linestyle and put the linestyle on the edge. Mmmm not easy because how to know on which layer the object should be placed after removing the linestyle layer?


That’s the smallest problem, raw geometry should almost always have Layer0 assigned to it (the exception is really geometry handled entirely by extensions where we know the user wont accidentally merge and morph stuff). The biggest problem i see is to know exactly what layers are only for line style and can be safely purged, and what layers are used to label things in the model (as layers usually are used in SketchUp).


Sorry to play the ugly little duck but am I wrong if I point out that you are discussing about a “new” SketchUp feature…No mean, nothing new.
We are not expecting that sort of baby toy, to really update this software would be “at last” to do something about handling huge files. That’s all we need but I’m afraid I’m dreaming!


I have been using AutoCad since 1986 and conceptually SketchUp layers are identical to AutoCad layers, but with fewer options.


Hi P.elmer,

Can you provide a link to attain this EXTENSION & are ther any YOU-TUBE vids showing use ?


May be there is something that I don’t understand but how do you call these lines?
I have been using this Didier Bur plugin since V 5 or V 6 as far as I can remember.
Just my two cents.


I would call them an array of individual edges, representing a dashed line…

for each dashed line, the SU version uses a single edge, represented in the view by raster images…

this makes a lighter more manageable model in terms of geometry…

they are also applied automatically when importing ‘dashed’ AutoCad files and export as ‘vectors’ to LO and AC…

I believe working with other software [ import/export ] is the primary reason for dashes inclusion in SU v19…



My opinion on this has evolved.
Many of us asked for this or used work arounds.
So they gave use what we asked for! Now we are complaining about how they did it. Few of us are knowledgeable enough to make judgements about what was possible and what was not. So now how to deploy the tool.
On the subject of layers. Now we just have two types of layers One to control linetype and one to control visibility. If the stuff on the linetype layer always resides inside a group or component the visibility will ultimately be controlled by the layer the group or component resides on. So the max number of extra layers would be the Same as the number of different linetype you choose to use inside SU. Not so bad. I still think this should be used sparingly.


Yes, but unfortunately the Didier Bur “dashedlines.rb” which was free is not available anymore. Good old times are gone!
Nevertheless I found these links:


Yes, when specifically talking about AutoCAD the real difference is that SketchUp’s edges and faces automatically interact with each other unless isolated by groups, components, or spatial location, whereas AutoCAD’s geometries don’t interact until you tell them to do so. In both cases it happens or not regardless of layer assignment, layer style, or layer visibility. Adding the dash pattern option to SketchUp’s layers does nothing to change this situation.


To all,
Just upgraded to SU-PRO-2019 & found a use for the new dashed lines feature that I’m pleased about. I use 2D CAD & SU-Pro for 3D Architectural model/elevations & sections etc. This is assisted by importing DWG-CAD into SU-PRO & building the model from that point onwards, usually a building survey or outline design proposal that remnants are kept/adapted for plan representation in SU-LAYTOUT. In the design process, I tend to move demolished items in CAD over to a layer called ‘DEMOLISHED’ for alteration projects, these lines are light dotted lines. So was easy to change this layer to the same in SU-PRO-2019.

I wonder in the future if more line types in SU-PRO will become available like CAD or if a tool will be available to create your own ? I can see another extension already :smile:

Ps. & door swings as well, all generally for 2D stuff in plan representation.


I to was thinking they would be great for demolition plans.

Ok finally had time to actually load 2019 and play with the dashed lines. I’m just going to say I love it!!! And I don’t care about the extra layers. One layer assigns the linetypes and another the visibility. So all my objects in groups will be on ether a line type layer or 0. I am naming all the line type layers beginning with a Z to push them down to the bottom of the list.


I can’t think of a common use-case for having Dashed lines as a style which requires a separate layer (one layer for every type of dash, btw).

The only places i would use dashed lines are:
1)For hidden edges, eg when doing cross sections or elevations, all lines not in the View/Section Plane would be dashed (eg hidden - similar to wireframe or xray but more "cad-like))
2) for symbolic items like window openings, door swings, etc, which are annoying to have on a separate layer, and are better just to draw a series of small edges

Does anyone else have a use for them beyond these two examples?

We have to keep in mind the purpose of Sketchup as a modeller, and the purpose of layout as a drafting tool but if people want to draft in Sketchup we need much better drafting tools, not just lines.

Maybe Trimble expect an extension developer to add a suite of drafting tools and these line styles are just an enabler for that? Im fine with that approach btw.

  1. showing furniture / items not in contract (as a reference) without it obscuring anything else

  1. Site Plans: Property Lines, Easements and Setbacks
  2. In Elevation: door/cabinet/window swings/hinge points
  3. In Plan: double acting doors, projections above the cutting plane, foundation footings


These are probably the only two things I’ve draw in SU with line styles. However I’ve worked a bit with imported 2D drawings in SketchUp and would benefit from just seeing these drawing as they are supposed to look. I wouldn’t draft my own such drawings inside SU though.

For that it would have been much better with line styles applied to DrawingElements than to Layers. As an extension developer I don’t want my extensions to clutter other interfaces, especially not with stuff I don’t want the user to edit manually from outside of the extension.


Yes that’s a good one…forgot about that.


4. Yes, to a degree - . Having dashed lines like this in a model does give some time savings. Coloured edges could also be used (and we would use Edge Style = Colour by Material) for these.
5 & 6 I think are the same as my point 2. for these items its probably better to just draw dashed lines within the component (as a series of small edges) because we don’t really want to create extra layers such as:

What complicated things is that Sketchup’s Layer Manager has limited ability to break the model into architectural Construction Phases, or Contracted Works vs out of scope, or Floor Plans, etc.
Configurable columns would be amazing - we could create a column called “phase” or “level 3” or “site” and sort the layers, apply filters to them, group them, etc, based on our own way to organise the model.

As an aside, I will be interested to see how Sketchup’s new edge styles work with Layer Organizer extension and other such extensions.


AK_SAM you mention you’re keen to avoid adding a layer for each of the doors plan dashes and Windows dashes etc…

Out of curiosity do you find you need to control the visibility if these separately in your drawings?

One recommendation we make is to group components in a way that you can turn off doors or windows (will also turn off the swings) and to turn off 2D focused linework. The component / group structure might look like follows.

Floor 1 group (Floor 1 layer)

  • door group (Window layer)
    — door swing (2D dashes layer)
  • window group (Window layer)
    — window swing (2D dashes layer)

By combining group structures and layers applied to entities, what we can do for the window swing on floor 1 is.

Turning off floor 1 will hide everything in that floor in one click.
Turning off windows will turn off all windows across all floors
Turning off all 2D dashes will hide all the geometry for Windows and doors for clean 3D viewing.

This method has some limitations, which perhaps you’re running into.