Is this normal?

OK , I have both SU Pro '17 & '18. I can open SU '17app and SU '18 work in each at the same time on different files.
If I open Layout '17 I cannot open Layout '18 while '17 is open.
I thought these were separate apps. Is this my system or …?

It may not make a lot of sense but it is the way they work.

You can’t have multiple instances of LayOut open at the same time, don’t ask me why. Personally I’d prefer having multiple instances of the program to having multi document interface within the same program instance.

Oh well…

Out of curiosity, why? I’m an age old Mac user accustomed to multi-document, but have had to learn multi-instance to support some students running on windows. Multi-instance seems weird to me, but I’m curious what might be preferable.

Why are you asking Eneroth? She even says ‘Don’t ask me why’. Ask the developers.

Sorry, I should have used a quote to pinpoint the right part.

She said she prefered multi-instance of a program running (what Windows does with SU, yes?) over multi-document approach (what MacOS does with SU). I’m curious what’s better about one over the other.

That’s a 'tomahto" vs “tomayto” question that will come down to personal preferences…and possibly some Mac or Windows bigoted stances.


It’s a banana.


quite a good discussion is found here…

BTW: you can open as many versions of LayOut as you have on a mac…

you can also open new instances of each of those, but there is little benefit, so it’s not ‘exposed’…

one reason to do that with SU, is when running a complex plugin that uses an entire core…

a major disadvantage is extensions that do not take MDI into account…



This is a personal preference and not a universal truth but here are my thoughts:

In general I think single document interfaces are conceptually simpler. When you open different programs you see them side by side on the taskbar (at least in Windows). When opening several documents using the same program I think it’s more consistent, and therefore more intuitive, to have them shown as separate entities in the taskbar, and not have an extra document selection menu within the program that slightly differs from program to program. In the case of SketchUp new users could easily think the scene tabs represent different documents.

Switching between multiple documents opened in different programs (web browser, email client, 3D model, presentation etc) is also faster with direct access to all open documents on the taskbar and no need to first select the program, and then inside the program window select the document. I always disable taskbar grouping on Windows as I can’t stand having to click twice to go between open documents.

Having separate processes is also safer as one can crash without dragging the others with it.

That said there are cases when I think multi document interfaces are great! In code editors and web browser you can have 10 or 50 document open at the same time and having that cluttering the taskbar would be awful. In the case of SketchUp and LayOut though I don’t know if I’ve ever had more than 5 or 6 documents open at the same time. Personally I having those side by side in the taskbar.


This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.