Labelling slopes: Architects’ and Civil Engineers’ help requested!

TIG has a plugin Add Height from Datum on SketchUcation that does the height tagging. See

Does that seem to do what you want?

I use that plugin but it features the same issue. The height tag is going to export as vector lines into cad.

So I use it to get the coordinates but then so redo them in Layout one by one so I can export them to CAD. It’s stupid work, I know, but it’s the best I could find.

So what I’ve asked in the past was for a way to tag heights from models from within Layout. That would seem to me to be rather basic as Layout is already able to have a coordinate tag for vertexes. The issue with that is stated in the post above. It doesn’t fit the needs of architects.

Tagging face heights would, as Layout auto tag can retrieve custom attributes

I understand the issue a bit better now, but I don’t think our work is going to fix it for you. Sorry.

Sounds more like an issue for the Layout programming team, if TIG’s plugin doesn’t do it for you.

No problem. Sharing ideas is always gain enough!

Good luck with your work!

It’s less controversial than it used to be, but in general I am of the camp who believes that annotation is the job of LayOut not SketchUp. But, a) there is not yet an extension API for Layout so we can’t implement a new feature there (and so far as I can see the current Layout bits in the SketchUp Ruby API don’t offer what we need) and b) there are some situations in which a user wants to show some annotation in SketchUp - for better or worse. So for the time being we are working on an extension for SketchUp.

Thanks for your input, though! We are seeking to understand users’ needs and existing conventions so as to make something that is actually useful.

Steve @slbaumgartner now has a basic prototype working which puts a triangle in proportion, with rise and run showing with the run defaulting to 12, and the symbol size to 12" (run length in the model).

It works on edges or faces, and overcomes a known bug in which inferencing can become confused and put the marker in the wrong place if an off-edge or off-face inference is picked up instead of the edge, midpoint, or on-face inference highlighted by the inferencing engine.

It works on components or groups nested to any depth, and for any directions of axis of model or component/group.

Before going further with the user interface and options, I’ve tried to summarise what I’ve learnt from responses to this thread (thank you all) and a few other sources about how different people want to display slope markers on their drawings - whether in plan, elevation, or 3d model.

This is what I’ve come up with so far. (Click on the image to enlarge it to a legible size, or download the PDF)

Slope marker styles.pdf (189.8 KB)

The use of what I have called an Inverted triangle or lines for edge slope marks is limited, so we don’t plan to implement that unless there’s a strong call for it.

And (not shown) if you use an Equilateral Triangle mark on a face with the slope ‘down the page’ in a plan view, the text should show mostly ‘right way up’ as in Angular Dimension 2 for angle text.

Are there any other symbols or marking styles that I’ve missed, that anyone uses, not covered by these ones?

Are there any in this list you don’t see any need for?

These are the options we suggest developing:
Edge marker symbol

  • Triangle (initial default) [Skip the inverted options at least for now]
  • Rise & run lines [i.e., no hypotenuse]
  • None (text only)

Face marker symbol (on the face: points down the steepest slope ‘the way the water runs’)

  • Equilateral triangle [initial default]
  • Long arrow [text parallel to arrow shaft]
  • Short arrow [text in line behind arrow shaft]

Marker text

  • Rise and run (edges only) [If selected with None for edges, or for face, use Ratio instead]
  • Ratio y:x
  • Fraction y/x
  • Percent %
  • Degrees °

Other parameters:

  • Run denominator (as integer) - default to 12 in US Customary or Imperial units (Architectural or Fractional Inch in SU), or 100 in metric units
  • Marker size (as a length) - default to 12" or 300mm depending on units
  • Marker offset from edge (as fraction of marker size), normal to the edge and in a vertical plane through it
  • Text scale (as fraction of marker size) OR
  • Text height (as a length) If > 0 overrides text scale

The run denominator would be shown as an integer, and the rise or angle to whatever precision is set in Model Info/Units.

Would that cover the options you can foresee wanting?

Pinging previous respondents:
@Neil_Burkholder, @Box, @Geo, @bmike, @Anssi, @JQL, @MobelDesign, @barry_milliken_droid, @simoncbevans, @Ccaponigro, @Anssi, @Lindsey

Roof: Ridge/Hip/Valley notation is something I often see “in plan” though rarely use myself. I understand this is something a simple note can be used for… so please ignore if not something you wish to integrate.


Is this just putting a note on an edge, to indicate what kind of edge it is? I.e., just **one ** of Ridge, Hip or Valley?

For that, I’d use just a Text label, or 3D Text or a FlatText plugin if you don’t want it to be SU FaceMe text. And it’s hard for the program to work out which it is.

But thanks for the input.

Yes…some images above include text in plan…simply calling out the Ridge(s)/Valley(s)/Hip(s)
I just thought if it was easily included by what you are doing it would be a nice option…not a programmer but can understand it can/would be difficult.


It would require a user input for the text to add, and we could put it on another line parallel to the slope dimension text and offset from it.

Consider it logged as a Feature Request, but probably not in versions before or up to v1.0!

I can only speak for myself but I wouldn’t see the need for both Ratio and Fraction. I also see no need for the Percent option, mainly because I can’t see your average builder understanding that every time.

If I were designing this for myself, I would just have the Triangle option and see if I could get the degree option within the triangle itself, like this:

Untitled.pages.pdf (7.0 KB)

I, on the other hand would use percent, ratio and fraction, but not angle.

Would this be easy to assign to a specific Layer, so it would be possible to isolate it by scene and make it dashed?

True, as an architect, I haven’t used percent, but I bet its useful for site design. I remember my LA friends in school doing slope analysis for sites by measuring the distance between contours on a map and then color coding with magic marker how steep the slope was. OK, so there’s a future feature to think about: labeling slope by coloring the faces?

Each symbol or text marker is already being assigned a scene-specific layer <scene name> EdgeSlopeMarker or <scene name> FaceSlopeMarker.

If there are no scenes defined, then the scene name is No scene.

It’s turned on in the scene where you assign the slope markers, and off in all other scenes.

When you come to making scenes for elevations or plans, you can turn on the relevant layer to display the markers - edge markers in elevation(s), and face markers in plan(s).

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That’s perfect!

Will we be able to change layer name defaults?

We weren’t planning to make that a user settable parameter, but could, I suppose…

Why might you want to?

Of course, you could change it manually in the Layers panel after adding slope markers.

But if I change it manually won’t the plugin add a new layer when placing new tags?

I wouldn’t mind changing it manually once per project, but having to keep changing it would be a no go.

Yes, if you added more markers afterwards…

Let’s see, then, if we can add a user settable default layer name.

But I still ask, “Why would you want to change it, and to what other name?”

You asked architects for input…


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We’ll see if we can easily get it into v1.1, if not v1.0, then!