File won't open - This does not appear to be a sketchup Model

I am not able to open any file that a particular client sends me. I can open files from other clients.

I get the following error when opening from this client.
“This does not appear to be a SketchUp Model.”

I tried to open with Sketchup Web, no luck.
I tried sending him a test file, he can open it, but when he edits it and saves. Then sends it to me I can’t open it on my end.
He can reopen all the files on his end

He is using
SKP Version 20.0.362
with a Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

I am using SKP version 20.2.172 64bit
with a PC windows 10

Attached is a Test file that he saved on his computer but I can’t open on mine or in SketchUp web
Test File.skp (3.2 MB) Test File.skp (3.2 MB)

I can’t open those either. Perhaps @colin may be able to recover something.

I have this topic over here too:

https://forums.sketchup.com/t/not-a-valid-sketchup-file/140554/2

Your file has something in common with my example, in that the text characters in the file are taking one byte per letter, and not two bytes. That suggests some sort of Unicode related issue. I didn’t get any suggestions yet, but I just thought about whether the file was written on Windows 7, and Unicode was different in those days.

I will test that idea.

Didn’t help, Windows 7 was able to write the text with two bytes per character.

Thanks Colin, the files are brand new created by update machines so I’m not sure how windows 7 would play into this.

My clients machine is a Mac, any theories, on why his machine specifically is saving alll his files like this?

Is his system case-sensitive, perhaps?

I don’t know what that means.

It is the way the disc is formatted, you can check with the disk utility app or try to save ‘test file.skp’ in the same folder as ‘Test File.skp’

I’d be surprised if that is the issue, though I can’t categorically rule it out. Issues due to case sensitive file system usually involve crashes when SketchUp can’t find libraries it needs to load because their capitalization differs between what is compiled into SketchUp and how they are named on the disk (and yes I have commented before on how puzzling it is that the developers let this happen). I’ve not heard of file corruption resulting. Again, I can’t prove it’s impossible but it seems unlikely.

If you saw my screenshots you can see that really the text in the files that fail are only using one byte per character, and the files that work are using two bytes per character (where one byte is usually 00). Would case sensitive file paths change the nature of text inside a binary file?

I did find a Windows setting, where you can choose to force apps that don’t support Unicode to use UTF-8, which would then be one byte per character. I tried doing that with the 32 bit version of SketchUp 2014, and it still used two bytes per character.

Thanks Colin for your help, I unfortunately don’t have the knowledge to understand exactly what I was looking at in your screen shots.

I do have an update, I was eventually able to open the files. We typically send files back an forth in emails, and never had a problem until today.

When I downloaded them directly from my client’s Dropbox I was able to open them. However, the same files sent through email, I could not open.

I suspect the skp files are getting corrupted in whatever email encryption software he is using or Gmail is using. So it may be an issue with the email client and not with sketchup itself. That is unless their is something wrong in how sketchup saves files that is making them vulnerable to corruption. But like I said, I don’t have the programming knowledge to really diagnose that theory.

I hope that info helps in figuring out what is going on, if their is something that can be done on sketchup’s end to prevent email clients from corrupting the files.

Thanks Brian

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My comment about the screen shots was for Mike, he will know what I meant.

Thanks for the update about what you discovered. I had another support case where someone had the same problem, I will check if the files were sent by email.

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Tips for sharing. If you do this on a regular base, it might be worth checking out Trimble Connect. You can set up a project and give him access to the files or folders that you choose for him to be visible and upload his stuff, notification mail don’t get messed up by the provider.

I heard back from the other customer, and ZIP compressing the file before sending it as an attachment solved the problem for him too.

Thanks again for figuring that out.

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Thanks, Mike, I took your suggestion and took a deeper dive into Trimble Connect, while it does offer file sharing and syncing abilities, and has a lot of potentials to be super awesome, it’s just not there yet. Hopefully, they will continue to develop it.

What was missing, then? Trimble Connect is sort of ‘Tekla-based’ and specific SketchUp workflows won’t work but it would be interesting to know yours and where it ‘clashes’ (pun intended:)

Thanks, Mike,
One huge thing is getting collaborators to buy into using it. It needs to be easy to use with a no-nonsense workflow. Looking at it, it looks like it wants to be a collaboration tool, but in reality, it acts more like a file transfer/cloud storage tool. Dropbox is way easier to use. I may be missing something, but I don’t see enough advantages to using it to convince anyone to change over to use it.

If I were to pitch to my various collaborators to start using it it would need to be much more robust in file management, staying organized and a no nonscence way to keep everything synced.
Here would be my starting wish list for me to give it a serious try.

  1. File management: mainly the folder tree structure.
    a. As it is now, the file structure is a first-level “Project” folder that you can create “subfolders” to save stuff to for that project.
    My fear is that the more I use Trimble Connect, keeping all this organized will be a mess. Example: Which firm does that master bath design project belong to?
    I would recommend they change the file structure to the main folder being “The Client folder” then have the ability to create separate project folders inside the Clients folder. Then those project folders would have all files for those projects in it.
    i. You could then control the start/end dates and sharing permissions separately for each project since each project could have different subcontractors working on it.
    ii. If someone doesn’t want to organize by client, don’t force it; let them just create projects.

  2. Moving between project folders is currently locked down
    a. Client budget constraints and Scope creep often causes a single project to be divided into phases. If I want to start a new project, i.e., “Phase 2,” and separate those files into its own project folder, it doesn’t appear that I can move files from one project folder to another project folder. I can only transfer files to another folder within the same project.
    i. Staying organized is huge.
    b. If someone I collaborate with creates a new project and shares it with me, I want the ability to have some file management controls to stay organized and move the shared file so it resides in the appropriate client’s folder.

  3. Collaboration
    a. To my knowledge, it doesn’t look like I can publish a layout file to Trimble Connect. This would be huge. I collaborate with several other people, and it would be great if I can publish a layout file to Trimble Connect right from layout, just like in SketchUp.
    i. It would also be huge if it would automatically upload all supporting files.
    ii. For example: if I have embedded an Excel table, a text file, and pictures. All those files would get upload automatically or with permissions, in a way that my fellow collaborator can download on their side with ease. Then they can edit it, and it syncs back to the cloud when they are done.

  4. Sync
    a. It looks like to sync the file; I have to re-open Trimble connect and sync it. It would be great if when I closed out of the file, a box popped up that said, “Do you want to sync this file to Trimble Connect before closing? (Yes)(No)”
    i. Again, a huge time saver; this also prevents me from forgetting to sync.
    b. To make a collaboration work well. It would be good to have a “file check out” system or some form of tracking what changes are being made. So if two people are editing the same file, then go to sync it; at the very least, Trimble knows that those recent files came from 2 different places from the same original file and label them as such. Then give some kind of notification that that happened so I can work out with my collaborators what we need to do to get synced back up on the same file.
    i. Some kind of dialog box that pops up that says, “another member on your team is currently editing this file. Saving it could create a duplicate. Do you want to continue(Y)(N)”
    c. Some kind of automatic Sync system would be good at the file level to ensure that every file stays up-to-date across all users’ computers.
    i. For example, a dialog box that pops up with a warning that says, "there is a more updated version on Trimble Connect. Do you want to sync it with this file? That would solve a lot of sync issues. (This may already be a thing, I didn’t dive that deep, but seems necessary for successful collaborations)

  5. Publishing a new SKP
    a. When I publish a new SKP, I can only upload it to an existing project. It would be a huge time saver to have the ability to add a new client/new project/and new folder right from the publish upload dialog box. Please don’t make me launch Trimble separately to start a new project/add a new client. Let me start it with the first model I publish for that client/project.
    i. I know this sounds like a small thing, but I don’t get paid by the hour; most of my projects are hard bids, so efficiency is where the money is made.
    ii. This is also the beauty and roots of SketchUp. You have a new idea! Open SketchUp! Draw it with ease! Hit publish to share it! But that last one has a roadblock in it. You have to open a separate thing to set up the project.

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