Layout 2018 - not up to par with other drafting software?

I’m currently pushing 13 sheets with 18 viewports out of one layout file. And it works pretty well. If you want to operate in this environment your going to have to invest in some real computing horsepower.

1 Like

It’s clear that Layout has issues, this thread is about them so not useless. Saying that it is is disrespectful to everyone contributing here.

It’s also clear that we are able to do things with it that you cannot. So it seems you have issues too but as you didn’t elaborate on them your post is the one that’s useless.

If you came searching for help, you should have given more info.

If you came here to contribute to the discussion, you should have given more info.


I think there are legitimate issues with Layout but also some of the issues are often user error or the lack of a good workflow.

This thread is not useless and to suggest so is disrespectful in my opinion. Please try to maintain a level of professionalism and decorum on the forum, thank-you.


You nailed it @medeek :+1:

1 Like

I agree with all of these - there are features that are missing from LO that would be very beneficial. Allowing developers to write plugins would really allow LO to fly but also just having some more of these functions included in the base programme would be a huge help.

As @medeek said, lots of issues are down to people not working in the right way but LO should make certain tasks easier or provide methods for users to speed up their workflow, and enable different workflows for different sectors.


Set a keyboard shortcut for Render Images in Document, and it will pre-render all the pages.

1 Like

That lag is due to viewports reloading in that page. You either have to reload all viewports prior to moving through pages, which then will load fast, or you have to disable auto render of viewports which will keep Sketchup model updates from showing, so it might not be the best option.

What I do to reload all viewports in a document, prior to navigating pages is to export a pdf of the whole document. It regens all viewports in every page and so it allows for fast navigation afterwards. The problem is that if your document is heavy, it will take a lot of time.

@JQL I’ll post this again in case you missed it. Instead of exporting a PDF, you can set a keyboard shortcut to Render Images in Document. This will update all the viewports (and maybe other externally referenced images?)

1 Like

That’s handy and I didn’t know it. I like having PDFs though.

Well you can also set a shortcut to export PDF :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

That’s also cool.

1 Like

“make it work” is the problem. “work around” is more accurate. Deficiencies in style and layer control make it sub-par.

I share some of the frustration expressed with the current state of LayOut. There are so many obvious improvements that can and should be made. I love the results that can be (eventually) produced with LO, but 95% of any annoyance or inefficiency I have with a SU workflow starts and ends with LO.

It is only fair to point out that the new LO 2020 workflow features — especially the full SU layer control from within LO — are worthwhile improvements over previous versions. I also really like that you can now change the model reference on a per viewport basis.

However, there’s still big room for improvement in LayOut: on performance; consistency of UI / tool usage with SU; component/block functionality, TOC, automated annotations / drawing references; expanded autotext functionality etc.

But we should also acknowledge and appreciate development progress when we see it — LO 2020 is a welcome step forward.


Clearly many people have serious issues with Layout.

However many people don’t have serious issues.

There are factors that will affect someone’s experience; expertise in the software, workflow from SU to LO and within LO, hardware and if hardware is good then possible issues such as drivers and other quirks due to the operating system and the software, unforseen bugs such that the latest version doesn’t work as well as the previous version, etc. Others think that LO is just not up to par.

@db11, I looked at your April 2018 post. I would say I’m pushing your case 3 in terms of the amount of detail in the document set, albeit I try to keep my models below 10MB (I’m at 20+ A3 sheets with multiple viewports, extensive linework, sections, notes, annotations, etc.)(my viewports are all monochrome with profiles and shadows, in hybrid, vector and raster, set to auto render and display output is set to high).

Sure others have more intensive documentation with larger SU files.

But for me ever since it’s inception LO has only got better.

I’m not wanting to dismiss others’ experiences, just wanting to keep alive that there are some of us who don’t think that LO is sub par… But, yes, keep the improvements coming and within this forum (and from the developers!) try to get to the bottom of people’s problems.


While I won’t say it is sub-par, it is considerably more awkward than other software I’ve worked with.
I Love SketchUp, but have a love/hate relationship with LayOut.
Disclaimer: I see there are some improvements is 2020 that I’ve not had a chance to fully investigate yet.

1 Like

I love Layout, but it sucks!

Basically I love what I can do with it. And I can do a lot with it. I love it because I couldn’t work with Sketchup the way I do if I didn’t have Layout.

But, working with Layout is a pain. Everything here that people say to state that it is sub par is true.

It is not sub par though, because I can do work with it, much better than I used to do with CAD. That’s my truth.

Sketchup and Layout combo are miles away forward than CAD. In some points they are much better than revit and archicad too, imho. In BIM points they are not. In 2D presentations this combo can create beautiful output, but technical output and CAD exports are really still not there yet. Layout workflow is cumbersome at best. It’s actually a nightmare most of the times, with speed issues, with dragging things issues, with inference issues, with drafting issues, with layer and style management issues, with export issues, with pagination issues… a lot of issues.

So, if you create 2D output with Layout mainly based on raster images, layout is really good and fast enough.

I’m thinking conceptual stages, presentations to clients and competitions.

In the moment you have to have vector output of very complex drawings, and standard CAD files exported with texts, annotations, dimensions, layer separation, from Layout and Sketchup, things get difficult. They are possible, but painful and you start doubting Sketchup+Layout is the best option.

In that regard, fortunately, that is where the least amount of architecture time is invested in a project. so Layout and Sketchup pay off overall.

The thing, for bigger offices here, is pushing final drafting for a time where the project will almost not change, do the most you can in Sketchup, really use simple models and use only basic sketchup styles, forget about shadows and other effects, configure scenes in Sketchup, insert engineering files in sketchup and forget about drawing stuff in Layout.

Even so, take care of how complex your model is, how many entourage it has, how many detail it’s geometry has. Sketchup will probably hold your model’s complexity at a higher LOD threshold that Layout can’t keep up.


Trent - SketchUp Team:
I am so glad this discussion is being had… we do hear and feel your frustrations and have made changes in 2018 to address these pain points. As mentioned, we need to address where we came from as a software and improve moving forward.

Thanks Trent,

  1. So are you saying that the team considers SU Pro 2018 a real improvement in LO speed/performance?
  2. You mention in the quote above: “… we need to address where we came from as a software and improve moving forward”. It’s the "where we came from"part that may be the basis of LO’s problems …
    Maybe instead of continually building on top of a faulty base foundation software LO code, you should just bite the bullet and BUILD a better LayOut!? Is this “where we came from as a (LO) software” really repairable?
    You should have enough experienced user feedback by now to know that you DO have a continuing and mounting problem with LayOut … what are you going to do?
    Just kick the (dented) LO can down the road?
    Step up to the challenge! A lot of your dedicated user base would probably pony up a bit more money for a new LayOut that would perform as a worthy partner to the great SketchUp!
1 Like

Hi Guys, since this post I took it upon myself to do what I could to increase throughput when it comes to layout, basically I created a Layout PlugIn.
My main consideration was slower machines and users who are new to Layout. PM me if you’d like to see it I will be making tutorials soon.


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