How to return to Home screen after closing project

I’m running Sketchup Pro (Desktop) on a MacBookPro. When I first launch Sketchup, it shows a “Home” screen, with thumbnails of recent projects that I can open.

After I open/work on/save a project, then close the project, it doesn’t take me back to the Home screen as I would expect. I just have the main Sketchup menu at the top of the screen, and no Sketchup window is open. I’ve searched the menus but can’t find a way to get back to the Home screen.

How about Help> Welcome to SketchUp … ?

Oh, that is so counter-intuitive.

Thanks for that, Dave.

Not sure why opening the Welcome to SketchUp window isn’t intuitive. That’s what the “home” screen is called. It even says so at the top.

User’s don’t normally think to go to the “Help” menu to navigate to a specific screen in the app. I’m an app/web developer, and I feel it’s a bad user experience to not show any screen when you close the current project. The default behavior should be to go back to the same screen where you opened the project that was just closed. THAT’S intuitive.

I always have the Home Screen turned off. It’s a nuisance. You can use the File Menu to find your recent files at the bottom of the menu. It’s really quite a bit better.

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Not to enflame the community here, but the OP has a point that I would like to take to the next level. My primary design software is AutoCAD, which is not only a vital part of my work, but often becomes part of my workflow to Sketchup. In AutoCAD, if you close all projects currently open, AutoCAD is still active, with either a blank background, waiting on the user to open a new file, or the home dialog that displays previously opened files (depending on the user’s UI choice). I always have SU’s welcome screen set, as part of my workflow for opening SU, so that I can access previously opened files. Granted, Trimble’s methodology for opening files, while in the main UI makes sense, I believe the OP is asking about leaving the UI active after closing a file, without having SU shutting down.

Here’s the rub though, and with some personal experience. SU is not without fault, and I have experienced a plethora of “bugsplats” in the past, but some instances, while using Vray in conjunction with SU, can easily tax the computer’s memory, so even if we had the ability to close a file, while keeping SU open and active, there is still a chance that vital memory dumps may not occur, thus compounding the issue.

That aside though, I like the idea of having SU active, even if no project file is open, whether it be a blank screen with the upper menu active, or immediately taking you back to the welcome screen, where the previously opened files will appear, as well as the templates to create a new file. I suppose this is what the OP is requesting, and to me, that makes more sense, rather than having to go to the Help menu. Even with all of my SU experience, I never realized you could get to the welcome screen again, via the Help menu. :frowning:

The only reason I know of, as to why Trimble never incorporated this functionality, IS due to ensuring that any session of SU, is free and clear of memory issues and that the user can start working with a clean slate. Then again, I’m not a programmer either. lol

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@jmorvay, Thanks for the detailed, well-written, well-thought-out response.

I think your comment, “Even with all of my SU experience, I never realized you could get to the welcome screen again, via the Help menu.”, underscores my point perfectly. Users just don’t think to look under the “Help” menu to find a screen to open. That’s what the “Window” menu item is for, right?

I told my colleague (obviously also an app/web developer) about this post, and he said, “I also would never think of looking there.”

Another reason would be that SketchUp is still a single-document application on Windows. Someone using a Mac could tell if it works the same there.

Maybe, (FR) the developers could add the standard Windows “Close” command to the File menu and that could close the current file and take the user back to the startup screen.

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Exactly. I have always equated the Help menu item as just that, help topics, tutorials, support contact, even version info of the software (which SU does have that), but to place a basic function of the software there, instead of say, within the File menu, perplexes me. I sort of feel like a fool that I never noticed it sooner…

Maybe this is a legacy feature, back during the Google days and no one really gave it a second thought to maybe move it to somewhere more people would see it? :confused:

On my Mac, I can open multiple projects, and tabs will appear at the top of the screen, below the toolbar. I’m surprised it would work differently on Windows.

There are quite a few sketchup differences between Mac and Win.
They are gradually working toward getting them more fully aligned, some of the things are better on Mac some on Win.
As you mention, mac opens Sketchup and can run multiple instances in the same ‘window’ while Windows opens each instance as a separate entity. Both have their pros and cons.
One Pro with Windows is that each instance runs on a separate thread, so you can set something running chunking through complex geometry and while waiting open another instance and work there, (not sure if this is an option with Mac) and if one instance crashes, or you simply decide to end task it, the other instances are not effected.

Generally speaking, your original issue doesn’t happen for Windows users because you can’t close a model and have a blank program sitting there waiting for input. You close one and open another, and if you have it set, the welcome window will open each time.

Layout is similar on windows, you can close a layout tab and still have layout open, my natural reaction to that is go to File/Open or Open Recent, Open from Template etc

That’s pretty much the way everything else works, but it’s like trying to put Chevy wheels on a Ford; the bolt patterns don’t match… surely intentional.