Dimensions: LayOut or SketchUp?

Continuing the discussion from Request for new dimension tool features in Sketchup Pro:
Since some of the posts are flagged as ‘off-topic’, I will continue in this new one :slight_smile:

We now have three apps in the SketchUp Universe where dimensioning can be done: SketchUp, LayOut and Trimble Connect.

I prefer to do all my dimensions in LayOut, but for simple models on the fly, still use SketchUp.
I woud love to see some automation (Live LayOut API), but I think I would still rely on myself doing it manually for two reasons:
Control and control.

If you manually drill through the drawing, each dimension is ‘checked’ (most of the time unconsious) It provides me a way of digitally ‘Building It Manually’ (BIM), before someone else has to do it in the real world.


Jack, I presume this post is to start a discussion about whether to dimension in SU or LO?

Obviously, you have to have LO to use it but that is where most of us would put dimensions as well as text or other non-model environment stuff.

Dimensioning in SU can be handy if you are dimensioning in 3D and, as you say, works well for simple drawings.


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For me, the end product determines whether to add dimensions in LO or SU.For a simple project for myself, I’ll create plan and elevation views in SU and add just enough dimensions to get started. For more complex projects or work for a client, I’ll do all the dimensioning and labeling in LO. (I just wish I had more work for clients.)

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I use LO for my construction documentation and dimension in that.

I used to dimension in SU prior to export to LO but I found it too unwieldy and only dimension now in SU for quick conceptual communication with my clients.


This is choice that should be left to users and the demands of their individual workflow — and not based on built-in constraints / missing features of the app(s).

The other thread had a very simple and reasonable feature request for more capable SU dimensioning, but the response echoed “you’re holding it wrong”.

At this point it has become pretty clear that there is very little that will budge the dev team from their conception of what SU is, and how it should be used — and no amount of user feedback is going to change that.

While I find this frustrating, I have come to accept it. I still love SU and the output that can be achieved with LO. The endless work-arounds, performance issues, missing tools/features, and UI issues/incompatibles are just the on-going cost of remaining a SU user.

It’s still the best option all-in-all —at least for me— even if it could be so much better.


I think the best way is to use su and sent the dimensions with vbo dimensions plugin to lo.
It happens to me that the su saved jpg with dimensions just isnt good resolution and the dimensions are blur .
Check it out


Humans comprehend an active 3D model far better and faster than static views on paper.
While the information one can readily extract from an active model is essentially limitless.

Creating detailed paper plans is tedious, time consuming and expensive.
And even the most detailed paper plans convey only a fraction of the information accessible in a model.

Dimensioned orthogonal views are helpful and often necessary to the building process.
To be cost effective, that means they need to be in the model, where the builder can also measure anything in addition to what the designer deemed adequate at the time.

When I worked for this company 15 years ago, everything was drawn in AutoCAD, printed on paper and then handed to production. The Océ plotter in the Engineering Dept. never got a chance to rest.

Given the cost/benefit chasm between paper and model, it seems to me the end of static, dimensioned paper space drawings is much nearer than one might think.

What it comes down to is the cost of conveying information to the skilled hands that do the building. Compare the old paper approach with what you see on every workbench in their modern new facility.

New Glenn Rieder Facilities in West Allis, Milwaukee, WI … Built from scratch in 2017


@Geo, at 2:08 the guy forgot his mask, :thinking:

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Mondkapje verplicht

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While that segment of the video is of the plant in Mexico, I agree.
I also notice he forgot his hearing protection.

During my tenure in the old Milwaukee plant, dust masks were optional.
But hearing protection was required and we were given a hearing test every year.

Mr Dwain Paper has responded by saying that reports of his death have been exaggerated.

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Yes, it might take a while and for small enterprise, it will probably never go away. I myself use round shaped papers for conceptual drawings, but they tend to get wet at the end of the evening… :beers:

Midsized companies that have to collaborate with even larger companies will be paperless sooner. Who would want to dimension and draw large projects manually, anyway? The future of architects lies in human interactions, while technology takes over the drawing/executional part.
We need architects to build that technology (Many extension developers are in fact)


I’m sure this is true and much effort is being expended towards achieving this. However, I find it hard to believe this will reach the “shop floor” of building any time soon. That is partly because of the skills of those on the tools and partly to do with robustness of display equipment (and even the ability to read a screen in daylight). Builders often work with A1 sheets of paper. Although they are easily defaced, crumpled, dirtied, torn, etc., they have quite a few advantages. It’s difficult to handle an A1 tablet (even if it existed), and paper can be folded, readily drawn upon, and needs no power supply. Plus you can use it to eat fish and chips out of once finished with.

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Maybe I’m wrong, then.

Mind you, no mention of fish and chips in the vid.

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could not disagree more

[pupoksveta] - Why can’t I find that in extension warehouse?

You ping someone with @
(eg. @4_spam )
Developer choose not to sell through Extension Warehouse, so it is not there. Use the link in the post.

I have mixed feelings about this question, I prefer to dimension in Layout, but with hidden geometry turned on sometimes it’s more accurate in SU.

If there are any radii in a model, even with a clean top or side view in raster and parallel projection on, it’s nearly impossible to hit the end points. You have a better shot at in in vector, but don’t count on it.

I wish Trimble would make a more reasonable translation of dimensions from SketchUp to LayOut. The way they come out now makes no sense. I don’t use LayOut much, but when I do, the dimensions translated into LayOut have no reasonable relation to what was drawn and displayed in SketchUp. I realize there is no exact translation, but what it does now is pretty absurd.