Layout alternatives for those using web

I am an avid pro user, but some of my friends who are hobbyists are just starting the web version of sketchup. They want to find a similar program to layout that they can make 2d drawings of projects and add dimensions, notes etc to. They are doing this just for hobby and starting out.

Anything open source, freeware etc that will take sketchup drawings and allow them to make dims, notes, bom, assembly drawings, etc?

Or can it be done within su web?


They could set up scenes to show their model as they need and add dimensionsas appropriate. Then export image and import those into whatever they want. They could use Word or InDesign or any of a number of page layout applications. It’s important to understand that if the model changes after the document is created, new images need to be exported and the old ones in the document need to be replaced.

I don’t believe there isn’t anything else out there that will do what LayOut can do with a Sketchup model as far as dimensioning and that sort of thing as well as maintaining the dynamic link from SU to LO.

You need Sketchup Pro to be able to export reports for BOMs and at least some desktop version to use extensions. If their time has any value at all, it might be worth their while to just go ahead and get a subscription to Sketchup Pro so they have all the options at their disposal. I guess it depends on where they want to invest their time.


Thank you so much for this. I dont use anything else but su and lo. I do understand others cant always afford su pro, so i want to help where i can, especially if its non commercial use of the free web version.

I will relay this information. I do encourage them to at least get shop for solid tools haha.

Is it possible to use the standard views and turn off projection in web version and add dims that way?

You can do a passable job of making a 2D construction document even in the free version with a little care. Here I have four instances of the same component rotated in various standard view orientations. I have dimensions entered in SketchUp assigned to their own tag so the are not visible while working, and I have a scene that looks straight down from the top with the camera set to parallel projection. Sending this scene to print from the upper left hamburger menu makes a basic PDF that I could add notes on top of. It’s no Layout, but it can get the job done.


Ok, im going to have to sjow them this. Ill test it out myself so i can tutor them on this. Even for me, this helps me out because i dont always want to open layout haha

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Here is the file I created to make the video with, if it helps. You will also see a scene called (last print), this is created automatically whenever you print in the free version.

Feet and Inches (1).skp (254.5 KB)

Is that default behavior for sketchup web to make that last print scene?

Yes this is created when you print. If you want to save it you need to rename it, otherwise it will be overwritten the next time you print.

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Ok, i want to test on a really complicated part. I bet it will work. I can also open the psf in another program and add notes, materials etc

Powerpoint… you would be surprised…

don’t think of it as slides…

think of it as quite powerful, friendly, versatile, universally available graphics software

oh, and cheap…


Do you do dimensions in su or PowerPoint? Thanks. Odd question i know haha. But how do you suggest using or jow do you use PowerPoint with sketchup?

well regarding dimensioning, Powerpoint allows you to enter sizes of objects,
so first you can set a document (slide) to be typical page size…
eg I set mine at 42cm x 30cm (~A3 paper)…

then you can also add guides and grids at know sizes and positions
I set my grid to be 0.2cm,

now if I want to create say a wall elevation at scale say 1:20
just draw a rectangle at say 15cm (3m) x 30cm (6m long)

if i want to dimension it… just create a line with arrow ends the same length

if I want to add an image to scale, say a person standing…
import the image… use the crop tool to adjust the image to his head and toes…
size the image to the scale , eg for the above sample say 9cm (1.8m)

pretty simple really! of course it can be a lot more sophisticated, but that is the basics!

Here is a screenshot of a sign illustration exercise completed solely in powerpoint
based on an drawing probably done in illustrator

Screenshot 2020-12-29 170821|690x492

Here is a link to the powerpoint so you can examine how it was organised

Now, note these are design concept and Intent documents… not construction documents,
I generally export scenes a png files and add them to PPT for presentations…
adding notes, symbols and dimensions in PPT…
a lot quicker and many more presentation options that LO…
I can match anyone working in InDesign
The issue is really how flexible, easy, powerful and accessible PPT is compared to LO.

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Thanks, ill pass this on to the new sketchup users:) i think they might find it easier to add dimensions in sketchup and export the scenes than try and mess with power point for dimensions haha.

Is there an easier way to rotate the 4 copies of the object into each standard view? Ie, once i have the 4 copies of my part, whats the fastest way to rotate them into correct orientation?


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Ohhhh, i see what you did there. Ok, great. Im so used to sketchup pro that i have not needed this method before.

Mixing the above with some PowerPoint or similar will be beneficial for my friends.


I have no personal experience about these as I have old versions of Adobe applications that still do what I need quite adequately.

  • Scribus is an open-source page layout application good things are said of.
  • Lucidpress, Canva and Joomag are online applications with free functionality
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Forgot about scribus. I used to use it ALOT for homework and other stuff.

When presenting in SU-LAYOUT, a drawing sheet with a decent title block & deciding on scales is also a consideration. Perhaps drawing these up at 1-to-1 in flat 2D lines & deleting the auto-face for a desired sheet size. Deciding on a scale may be the tricky part, as I guess the drawing work with dims would have to be all copied over to a single layer with dims exploded & drawing work reduced in size for the relative scale.

H’mmm, thinking about it, this may be more complex & a right faff than first thought.

Anyone else with ideas on drawing sheet/title blocks…?

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You can make your sheet / title block in word, powerpoint, or the equivalents, then either import your pictures directly onto the sheet (you’d have to be careful with scale) or do it on a pdf and same. I spent some time trying to work out how to get accurate scaled SU-Make drawings onto a word document, and then I did a price / time comparison and decided it was easier to just buy SU-pro. :slight_smile: Of course, I was also comparing prices to revit… and I gotta say, for the ease / range of use vs price, it really wasn’t a question at all. :smiley:

Of course, OP, you’re missing the opportunity to import your friends’ SU files and put them into LO and charge them a small amount to do their documentation. Lol.

Some excellent workarounds here. :smiley:

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