It's all in a name

I can sympathize with people who are struggling with trying to understand the difference between each “version” of SketchUp. I had the same problem when I decided to upgrade from the free version and pay for an annual subscription. This is what I think it all amounts to:

Basically, there are two SketchUp products. A desktop product called “SketchUp Pro” and a SAS product called “SketchUp for Web.”

There is a free version of SketchUp for Web that allows you to play with SketchUp and decide whether it’s the right product for you. If the answer is “Yes” you can upgrade to the subscription version which unlocks some of the functions you couldn’t use in the free version.

If you prefer desktop software products, then “SketchUp Pro” is your baby. This is the version of SketchUp used to create a huge library of official and unofficial instructional videos.

If you’re learning SketchUp for Web using these videos, you’re going to notice that the UII (user interface) is considerably different. As best as I can tell, the functionality in Pro has been replicated in the Web version. Still, expect to do some wandering around when learning SketchUp for Web (free or paid).

Since the good people who frequent this online community started using SketchUp when it was called something else, expect to see references to products you may not immediately recognize.

However you pay for it, I think it comes down to two products: Pro and Web.

Do I have that right?

It’s more desktop and web. There are three products (not counting the Free web version), SketchUp Shop, SketchUp Pro, and SketchUp Studio.

Shop is the features unlocked version you mentioned. It includes the web application, unlimited cloud storage, and use of the AR feature in the mobile app.

Pro includes all of that, and also the desktop applications. It also comes with support for mixed reality and VR headsets (Windows only).

Studio includes all that comes with Pro, and also Sefaira.

This page shows the differences between the three products:

According to the comparison, Pro is also the only one that uses plugins, probably THE most important difference . I notice that the list of features, lower down, doesn’t mention plugins at all. I hope this lack doesn’t indicate a direction Trimble is heading.

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Good! Thanks!

The desktop version is 20 years old, the web version only a few years old, so naturally there will be vastly more instructional video for desktop.

And there is still a free desktop version (Sketchup Make 2017) for hobby, personal, and non-commercial use. Like Pro, but in an older version, it can use plugins and extensions. When first installed, it gives you a 30-day trial of v2017 Pro, but reverts to Make after the trial ends. You lose several Pro only features, mainly export/import options, and Solid Tools.

Available from sketchup.com/download/all after you register and login with a Trimble ID or other login method.