How do you like to have your Trays arranged (on a PC)?

I am looking for ideas on how to configure the Trays. This is how I set it up:

Left Side:

Right Side:

  • Entity Info
  • Layers
  • Components
  • Scenes
  • Soften Edges
    STYLES Tray
  • Styles
  • Shadows
  • Fog

How are your trays set up? And why do you like them that way?

Hi Kat,

I work on dual monitors and have them set up on display 2 to work like the former sticky dialogs.

That leaves the model space free of auto-hide trays blinking on and off.


Although I have two displays, I keep all SketchUp stuff on a single screen with the windows on the right as the default setup. It’s the same layout I’ve been using since there were first utility windows to display. The added benefit is some additional toolbar real estate above the windows.

1 Like

Some ideas may be in this topic

my setup is exactly the same for the same reason :slight_smile:
great minds think alike!

1 Like

I’m still experimenting with which trays I keep open, which I have auto close, and which trays go where.

Although I have two displays, I’ve recently been using only 1 to prep for Bootcamp and Basecamp when I’ll have only 1 display!

I like the interface redesign of 2016 a lot! It’s really helpful having those trays. This is how I like them arranged.

I find this is the most convenient way. Everything concerning the visual representation is on the right side: Shadows, Fog, Styles and Materials. Everything that has to do with modeling is on the left side: Layers, Components, Soften Edges etc. Most of these tabs have shortcuts assigned to them, so if everything is expanded and I have difficulty searching for the one I need, I call out the tab via the shortcut. The only thing I’d personally add is a fixed ratio viewport. 1:1, 2:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 would be good options to start with.

1 Like

@VahePaulman, I like the logic of your system (although I think of Soften Edges as an Appearance setting).

My setup is partly the way it is because when I look at Outliner or Materials, I need the full vertical screen length… Whereas Entity Info and Layers often don’t take up much space for me, so they can share a tab.
And I tend to use Layers while I’m using Scenes, so I keep those together, even though Scenes tends to take up a lot of length. I actually don’t use the Components window much, unless I’m doing a select/replace, so I don’t care much about where that is. Same with Soften Edges.

I’ll be honest, I use SketchUp since 2010 and I’ve NEVER used Outliner. :smiley: I never felt the need. You’re right, Soften Edges can be seen as an appearance but as it technically changes the geometry, I sent it to the left side. Plus it makes the left and right trays balanced: 5 tabs in each one.

Outliner is great, but only if the groups and components are named. I keep accidentally calling Outliner “Organizer”, because that’s what it does. Layers don’t truly organize, and Layers don’t nest (because they aren’t actually “layers”), but Outliner lets you see exactly how things are nested, and I love the drag and drop reordering. Also, for deeply nested components, it’s nice to be able to skip all of the double-clicking and select something directly from Outliner.
Keeping Outliner open does slow down some operations, though, so I like to be able to hide it alone while using the other trays.


It highly depends on your field and workflow whether you use the Outliner or not.
I personally do not use Outliner either as I don’t find it useful to my own workflow.
I know @VahePaulman works in relatively same field as I do. I believe the reason is the same.

In architectural projects, you can have hundreds, if not thousands of components and groups. Coming up with clever and unique name for each object is very difficult. And hundreds of objects listed by name on a list would be very difficult to go through.

We work visually. Group#4 and Group#5 is fine for me. I can see them in my model.

I actually don’t “create component”. I make them group first (use G for shortcut) and convert them into components. That way, I don’t get questioned (dialogue)for the name and description of the component.

and that too.

However, I know for a fact that in furniture design and woodworking it is essential to work with it since you can name all the parts.

1 Like

I misunderstood for a moment and thought that you didn’t use components at all instead of using them and not naming them. Whew…

I’m keeping the main dialog windows open in the default tray and materials with outliner on auto-hide. If I have to work more with materials or modify nested components, then I turn off auto-hide on one of them. When working on my widescreen monitor I keep all three of them open.

1 Like

Here is my screen print (I hope). One thing I do not like is the Measurement box in the upper right corner. When I attempt to put it in the lower right corner it initiates a second row. That, of course , steals real estate from my design area. :grin:

I don’t have a second row down there. Try turning the Measurment box into a floating window and then click X to close it. It should automatically merge with the bar down there.

1 Like

Perfect!!! Not very intuitive but my Measurement box is now in the lower right corner where it belongs. :grinning:

1 Like

I have 3 monitors. Sometimes I will undock trays or toolbars (depending on work that I’m doing). Although in most cases keeping everything in one window is easier for me, as I don’t get that confused when working with several SketchUp instances. Tried to put trays on other monitors, but gets tricky to understand what tray belongs to what instance of SketchUp.

Abandoned “large tool-set” as putting 2 toolbars vertically side-by-side is easier and looks better.

Depending on the model, Layers tray will be auto-hidden.

Not very intuitive? Really? It’s in the lower right corner by default when you first install SketchUp because the Measurements toolbar is not active. The user must activate the toolbar in order to put it somewhere else. So at some point, you moved it from the lower right corner.

You are exactly correct Dave, It was in the lower right corner. And I am
certain that I did activate the toolbar and move it at some point in time.
The problem was that I did not remember doing this. (Could be age
related.I tend to blame age for a lot of things these days.) I found that
I was able to simply move the tool bar anywhere I wanted, except the lower
right corner, and could even move it into the upper tool bar with no
problem. But when I attempted to move it into the lower right toolbar it
initiated a second toolbar row. It was not intuitive to me that clicking
on the x in the toolbar would cause it to jump into the lower right
toolbar. Apparently this closed the measurement toolbar and caused it to
return to its default position?

This is a few years late, but I keep wanting to send my favorite Tray configuration instructions to people, so here it is! The trick is to have the existing trays be pinned to tab-view when you make a new Tray.
In Default tray is just Entity Info, Layers, Components, in that order because I use Entity Info with Layers a lot, of course.
Styles Tray: Styles, Shadows, Fog, Soften Edges
The left-side Materials, Scenes, and Outliner trays just have those items in them and nothing else - that way they can maximize the vertical space for those things. Also, those are windows I tend to use with the windows in the Default or Styles tray, but not so much with each other, so it’s handy to keep them on the left in case I want to keep a left-side and right-side tray pinned open at once.