How to open a SketchUp file in a new tab instead of a new window?

If I click for a new tab in a LayOut window, a dialog box opens to select a file to open for that tab. I can’t figure out how to do this in SketchUp. It will just open my default template. Opening a new file opens a new window. This is more of a minor housekeeping annoyance than a big issue, but if anybody know how to do this I would appreciate it. I often have two Sketchup files open and two or three LayOut documents open, so my desktop gets kind of messy. I am a Mac user. Thanks for your help.

That’s because it isn’t an option in SketchUp.

Well, that answers that! Thanks

Sometimes the answers are simple. :wink:

In macOS Sierra the can click the + button to make a new document as a tab. If you do File/New, you can drag the tab area of the new window into an existing window, to make it be a tab.

@colin to get this started I think you have to open a second model window and then use the menu Window->Merge All Windows. Prior to that, there are no tabs and no + button in SketchUp’s UI. That’s what Apple’s documentation says to do for apps that haven’t explicitly programmed support for tabs.

Both techniques worked for me. The Window->Merge All Windows method is pretty direct and simple.
Thanks for the replies.

Merge all windows does work, but so does the + button and also drag and drop. There is a tab area in the first window you get when opening SketchUp. Even in SketchUp 2016.

I don’t see any + button on my SU 2017 (macOS 10.12.3) when I first open it. Can you please post a screenshot of where you are seeing this, maybe I’m just not looking in the right place?

I found the answer to my own question: you have to select View->Show Tab Bar to cause that bar to appear when only a single tab exists.

Ah, good point. I must have done that a while ago.

I would love to have multiple windows in a tab format similar to AutoCAD on Windows. Hopefully there could be some features like that included in SketchUp 2019. I have to navigate through multiple files on the taskbar.

At least I have dual monitors in the meantime.

Personally I don’t see much use in tabbed interfaces. The exception is web browser where I can have 70 tabs open at once, some that I actively switch between right in this moment, some I need to get back to later, some that I use more or less on a daily basis, but maybe not right now etc, some articles I plan to read when I get the time. I never do that with other documents.

In SketchUp I often have a few models open at the same time, but never more than 4 or 5. Also I need direct access to these documents in my work, regardless of what window I have open at the moment, so I prefer to have them all in the system taskbar. Running separate instances also allows for one window to be used when another is busy, and for one to crash without the others being affected.

Back when I used Ubuntu I actually found it very annoying how nearly all programs used tabs, including the basic text editor and file explorer. It was super easy to end up with several windows, all with several tabs, and really frustrating to have to look all the time for the view you needed, rather than just being able to switch right to it.

While tabbed interfaces are a cool idea I just don’t see what problem it tries to solve, except for in web browsers.

On a Mac this will gather all open model windows into a tabbed bar. LayOut works the same way.

I have a PC. Unfortunately no such thing exists for PC.

Colby Cline

I know the problem. Therefore tabs can be dragged out of a window or between windows. (My worst nightmare is using a file manager without tabs, where I have to navigate in every window the whole path again.)

The document-centric interface (like macOS) has the nice metaphor that every document is presented as its own window like an object on the desk with all tools around it (except that you cannot use tools from different applications to edit the same document at the same time).

Tabbed interfaces are compromise of concepts of window and document management to reduce clutter. But mixing both creates new problems (“in which window was my tab” as Christina describes). It makes only sense to group documents that belong together and that you don’t have to look at simultaneously. By the way there is also the concept of grouping apps by “activity”, e.g. work, study, leisure, projects, on different desktops.

It is usually the application who decides to implement this or not, but it should be a task of the window manager (operating system) and there are extensions to add it even to Windows if your PC runs Windows (TidyTabs Versions & Pricing).

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