Layout crashes opening file without bug-splat

Hi folks. My (almost) worst nightmare has come true: A layout file with 3 weeks worth of work won’t open, neither will its most recent auto-back-up file nor will previous backup versions of the file (going back two days- which is weird because I seem to have been able to work on and save the file over the days without problems).
I’ve both repaired and re-installed Sketchup & Layout (2020) on Windows 10, no joy.
Tried the same files on a Macbook Pro, same problem.
Layout will launch fine, and will open other files, but it now crashes without a bug-splat for this one particular file (both opened from File Explorer or from Layout).
Is it corrupt? Could the file it be repaired, and if so how does one go about it?

If I can’t repair it then I’ve lost 2 big days of work. Hoping someone knows a way to save me from the pain!

Sharing the file might help us identify the problem and help you get it fixed.

Where have you been saving the file?

Saving on Google Drive so that I have version history to roll back if needed.
File size is 22.2Mb so can’t be uploaded to this chat.

Link to file:

Opens fine here.

I’m on the latest release.

Edit: On 2020 it tries to open and then Layout closes abruptly.

So you aren’t saving it locally on your internal drive? That could be the cause of problems. It isn’t uncommon to have files get corrupted when they are saved to the cloud. it only takes a few microsends interuption of the internet connection to result in the loss of critical data that results in a corrupted file.

I was able to open your file here, too, in LO2021.1 It looks like you are doing a lot of copying and pasting between SketchUp and LayOut which isn’t a good workflow. All the viewports tied to those copy and paste operations are using Last save SketchUp view which is bound to cause you problems. The only .skp file that was added correctly is the one shown in red at the top.

Evidently you also deleted a large number of these after adding them to your file because Purge removes most of them.

I fixed the incorrectly tagged geometry and purged unused stuff from the SketchUp model you inserted correctly and of course purged the unused stuff from the LayOut model.I don’t have time to deal with all the other viewports, though. Here I’ve saved it back to 2020. Can you open this one?


I save to a local drive and use Google Backup & Sync to backup to my Google Drive.
Never had any problems with corrupted files.
This way I also get the benefit of version history.

Thanks Paul. That’s interesting. I shall try version 2021 and report back.

But do take note of what DaveR says, Simon

Many thanks @DaveR
Interesting that you and Paul can open the file in 2021.
Yes, I had copy/pasted a bunch of stuff to get something done quick, and was subsequently going back, deleting the quick-fixes and doing things “properly”.

I greatly appreciate your efforts to fix the file. LO2020 still won’t open it though, so there’s something else amiss somewhere. I don’t have the knowledge to fix the 2020 problem. I’ll try 2021 and report back.

Re: file saving. All files always save to my local drive and I work off of those. Google Backup/Sync then auto syncs them to Google Drive. Like you say, might have been a micro glitch that’s caused a corruption.

noted :+1:

So. I can open the file in LO2021 and then save to LO2020 but still can’t open the newly saved file in LO2020.

Simon, I think the problem ( or rather a problem :wink: ) could be with those pages that contain the yellow panels which each appear to link to their own separate SketchUp file.

In 2021 I deleted those pages and resaved as 2020 and was able to open the file in 2020.

Many thanks for your time on this Paul. I got to the bottom of the problem in parallel with you. You’re right in that deleting one of the pages deleted a duff reference. I arrived at the equivalent fix by systematically deleting the referenced entities one by one until the file was useable. In fact, there was a clue in the references list, one of the references was blank:

this missing reference manifested itself in one of my views:
Screenshot missing reference

Once the view was deleted and then the reference list purged, the file was fine in LO2020.

So it seems 2021 is more robust than 2020 (as one would hope). But 2021 didn’t cure the problem, it just made it possible to repair it.

As for multiple references to multiple files, this shouldn’t be a problem at all, it’s just in my case something glitched or got broken enough to completely de-rail LO2020. The fact that there was no bug-splat so no clues to the problem was an added challenge.

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I missed looking for the blank reference file.

References to multiple SketchUp model files shouldn’t be a problem but you don’t want to create multiple references that point to the same SketchUp file. Insert a single SketchUp file once.

And don’t use Last saved SketchUp view as the scene for viewports in LO.

Keen to expand my knowledge. Why should this not be done; what’s the undesirable impact/consequence? Shouldn’t the software prevent this approach if it’s “bad”?

It works literally. Every viewport in LayOut that is linkeed to the “Last saved SketchUp View” will, when updated, show what was visible on your screen when you last saved the SketchUp model.

Obvious when you say it out loud :man_facepalming: But interestingly I was not seeing this behaviour, perhaps I just hadn’t noticed it.

Anssi gave you the answer.

No. You’ve also overridden the Camera properties for those viewports in LayOut so you wouldn’t see it but resetting the camera would cause you problems.

In simple terms the work flow you chose to use because you were in a hurry has wound up costing you (and others) more time than it saved. A clean and proper workflow on the front end would avoid that.

Sincere thanks for your time and insights Dave. I must, however, respectfully challenge this statement. Irrespective of my non-deal workflow - which the software permits and which I was subsequently putting straight - it was the imperfect software/operating system/computer that glitched/failed/whatever and caused the problem when it created an unfixable null reference.

As you know, life is rarely perfect, and sometimes shortcuts have to be taken (a calculated risk with enough life experience behind it to know things might come back to bite you in the ar$e!). Was my workflow the cause of the lost time for me and others? Emphatically no: Layout or Windows glitched. Did my actions cost others time? No, “others” kindly, altruistically chose to donate their time to support a community member in need, and for that I offer my gratitude to everyone that did.

The learning here is that LO2021 is more robust than LO2020, handling null references better, and I hope that others encountering similar problems find use in this.

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The copy and paste from SketchUp to LayOut was the primary cause of the problem. LO2021 is indeed better for this because it automatically creates and embedded file. That however creates another problem. If you have some reason to go back to the original SketchUp file to make edits, those edits won’t show in the LO document because the viewport is no longer tied to the original SketchUp model.

Yes, the software allows you to work this way but you should be aware of the possible downside of doing so. You can choose the work flow that works for you. I will add that I’ve been using LayOut since the first version. I’ve never copied and pasted, for an actual project, from some other application to LayOut. Every viewport in my LO documents is linked to a scene in the associated SU files and I’ve never had a missing or null reference. I can go back to a SketchUp model created a decade ago, make edits, and update the LO file with no problem.