Layout 2023 (Orbit Tool Missing)

In LAYOUT (Sketchup 2020), interaction with the Sketchup file was more practical and faster, it was enough to copy the Sketchup file, paste it on the Layout sheet and by double-clicking it, we immediately had full control of the visualization, orbit, rotation, zoom , etc.

In LAYOUT (Sketchup 2023), interaction is no longer so direct/simple, for example when copying and pasting a Sketchup file, when we double-click, the “little hand” appears and only allows moving the image or zooming in, but does not allow orbit, rotation (for this we have to click on the right key, camera tools, etc.) It’s a tremendous drag and waste of time.

You should think about changing this function and even keeping the two situations (the 2020 method and the 2023 method).

Something changed, you should read this: Rotate object in 3d mode

FWIW, copying from SketchUp and pasting in LayOut is not a great workflow. It creates embedded references which are not connected to the SketchUp model you copied from. Later edits to the original model will not translate to the LO file unless you relink and replace the embedded file.

Setting up your views in LayOut instead of using scenes created in SketchUp opens you up for a lot of possible problems with dimensions and labels.

Unless you never need to go back to the SketchUp file to make edits, the best practice is to create scenes in SketchUp that show the model as you need. Then either Send to LayOut or in LayOut, Insert the SketchUp file. After you have the first viewport, copy it and paste it where needed in your document and select the appropriate scene.

Your current workflow might be faster at the beginning but it will surely cost you time later on.

I’ve fixed enough LO files for others who have used the workflow you describe that I can’t recommend that workflow at all.


Hi all, as Colin had mentioned in

we had made this change to default to the Pan tool to help prevent an unwanted rotate if the viewport was entered inadvertently. However in this default Pan tool mode, if you needed to, you could perform an orbit by a simple middle mouse orbit like you can in SketchUp.

One thing to note for Mac users on Retina displays: We have a bug where the orbit center is not based on the mouse location as it is in SketchUp so your zooming and orbit will feel different than it does in SketchUp.

As Dave has mentioned, although allowed, it is not ideal to change your camera position but establish your viewports based on your SketchUp scenes.



I don’t know why but most of the people who start to use the program and even people who’ve used for years work incorrectly and not the proper way you described, I’ve find it annoying when I have to check files made like that.

Although the default method for creating a viewport is to just refer to a pre-made specific sketchup scene, I can think of many instances where I would not have a one to one relation between number of scenes and number of viewports.

  • Shadow studies: I might have as many as 20 viewports showing shadows for different times and dates. I would not make 20 scenes for that, but just find the right crop of my site plan, dublicate that, and set specific dates and times for each viewport. Obvious benefit is to reduce the number of scenes in my model, and re-use scenes that are similar in their properties.

  • Perspective studies: I could have a lot of 3D viewports that are identical in Style and Tag settings, but orbited and zoomed differently. I might change their zoom/orbit state, and perhaps also some shadow settings, and have 10 different viewports based off off one scene.

I think the main thing ( for an advanced workflow) is to be conscious of what in a viewport one wants to have updated, when a sketchup scene is updated. I am weary of changing the tags composition, as that easily produces viewports that does not show what I expect it to when new tags are introduced in sketchup.

For a floor plan I will break the camera connection for the scene, as I do not want that scope to update, although I want all other properties of the viewport to update.

The defaulting to a Pan tool setting when entering into a viewport in LO 23 I think has made life much easier for most people, because of the number of errors now not being made anymore. So this is a huge benefit. One could however argue that:

  • Defaulting to the pan tool could be just for planar viewports, and perspective viewports could default to orbit. Remember that before, when one double clicked a viewport, everything came undone, even the scaling.

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