Feature discussion - Toolbars and Palettes

I remember seeing a plugin that would open up a listing of all of your plugins that have toolbars or palettes. Inside that tool you could turn on or turn off the visibility of the selected toolbar/palette.

For the life of me I cannot remember what the plugin is called and where to find it.

I hate using the command bar and going to View/Toolbars and selecting them individually.

I think it would be a good thing to add a palette that we can dock with Tags and the others that we can easily minimize or bring back.

Making custom floating toolbars is not possible on Mac. You can customize the overhead toolbar, right click on it and choose customize. You can drag the icons for extension operations into the toolbar.

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You are missing the point. I want there to be a dialog box that comes up with tick boxes that you can tick on or off for all of the toolbars that you can have on the screen based upon all of your plugins that you have loaded at any one time.

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That’s a fine feature request. I was just pointing out what options are currently available.

I know I have seen this sometime in the recent past, but for the life of me cannot figure out where. It may have been on a Windows version, but not sure.

Do you mean this?

On the Mac, the View->Tool Palettes menu shows all available palettes and their state, but it closes immediately when you click on any palette’s name to enable or disable it. There is no way to act on multiple palettes in a single go. I think that is what the OP is requesting.

I’m not aware of any extension that does that and can’t see anything in the Ruby API that would let you program it. Perhaps some more sophisticated developer knows how…

So Mac doesn’t have this dialog, or similar.

Nope, it doesn’t.

Edit: and this is one of the least explainable (IMO) GUI differences between Windows and Mac SketchUp.


I once attempted to show one of my brothers how to use sketchup, on his Mac. Suffice to say the lesson crashed and burned very quickly.

I admit that I have only dabbled at the surface of Mac and Windows GUI programming, so what I write below can be taken as an ill-informed rant if you so choose. With that caveat…

It has always seemed to me that some of the GUI differences between Windows and Mac SketchUp come down to lack of will to spend the resources to unify them (or historically perhaps sheer lack of resources).

I’m not talking about “the Mac look and feel” vs “the Windows look and feel”, for example how Mac palettes float atop each other rather than snapping together; it’s a question of available functions. I get it that there may be a vendor library on one platform that has no direct equivalent on the other. But that’s a poor excuse to provide a significant capability on one platform and then leave it off the other completely or provide a much different and less capable alternative!

The ability to make custom toolbars is a good example. Windows SketchUp provides a very flexible way to do so - the dialog @Box showed is part of that system. A user can create multiple custom toolbars, each with an arbitrary suite of tools.

On Mac SketchUp, there is a single toolbar stripe across the top of the SketchUp window (not talking about the app menu at the top of the screen - that is indeed a Mac look and feel thing). A user can drag individual command buttons on and off that toolbar stripe. But it is the one and only, is fixed size, and can’t be repositioned anywhere else on the window. This is not standard Mac look and feel. I don’t know of another Mac app that works that way, though some support custom shortcut menus and tabs up there. So, this doesn’t seem like an issue of “the Mac way”. Rather, it seems like they didn’t want to spend the development time to come up with a unified capability across the two platforms.


This is exactly what I want for Mac. Cant one of you guru’s who specialize in writing ruby code for plug-ins, make this a reality? This would help further our cause a great deal. If I had knowledge of Ruby scripting I would do it in a heartbeat. If someone wants to send me the links to learn this coding with the best resources I can try and take a stab at it, but I need your help.

Is what you are showing me a native routine in Windows, or a plug-in? Is there a way to maybe reverse engineer it out of the windows version?

Who do I have to talk with at SketchUp to get this added feature?

Yes it is native to windows.

I changed the category of the topic to Feature Requests, which may lead it to be added to their list. The list is long, though, with no guarantee this will ever percolate to the top.

As I noted earlier, I can’t find any support in the Ruby API that would let a programmer write an extension to do this. But my grasp of the API isn’t perfect, so maybe someone knows?

Some comments on this…

Don’t your Mac palettes snap together? They are supposed to.

Keynote, Pages, Numbers, Xcode, all use the same customize toolbar that SketchUp has. They also use the same color palette (though SketchUp added materials to that), as does TextEdit, Preview, and pretty well all other programs that lets you change the color of things. Not Adobe programs of course.

I think that the problem isn’t that the Windows code can’t be reused on Mac, or vice versa, but that SketchUp uses all of the approaches from Apple on Mac, and all of the approaches from Microsoft on Windows. To have a common interface would involve doing every that is currently being leveraged, in a cross platform way, and hopefully better than Apple or Microsoft did it.

I changed the topic to be different. Hope what I made it be is ok.

Again, be careful about terminology: Inspector Windows such as Entity Info, Tags, etc. vs Tool Palettes. Inspector Windows generally snap together vertically. But Tool Palettes float independently and don’t snap in any direction.

Thanks for that clarification. Note that the Colors palette also doesn’t snap.

Like this?

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color panels :wink: and any other extension panels won’t snap either and have a different styling (eg. rounded corners)