Layout is forever terrible

Since I have so much time to spare while Layout continues to think about changing pages, or doing much of any task ever, I figured I’d hop on here to just vent to the SketchUp Community about something that is well understood:

Layout is terrible. I use this software regularly for my profession and I am consistently blow away at how slow, clunky, and buggy it is. I’m a fast and efficient worker, but I spend a tremendous amount of time every day just waiting for Layout to do menial tasks. AutoCAD, or even Revit are immensely faster and smoother to use.

Layout is a joke. SketchUp is great, but Layout is a joke.

I wish the developers would actually do something about this. I can’t believe it’s still this bad. I’m sure some loyalist will respond mentioning that maybe it’s time I upgrade my computer / graphics card, or to follow some suggestions to optimize the operating speed; but let me tell you: this is nothing new, my computer and graphics card are plenty capable by 3D drafting software standards, and I know all the tricks.

That’s all. Just a lovely vent. Layout is forever terrible.

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Interesting. I don’t seem to have the sort of problems you are describing. LayOut is actually quite fast and dependable for me. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Perhaps you could share a sample LayOut file that proves your points so we can see what’s going on.

Give us some info…What specific features do you find make it slow?

For me it’s text. Adding and amending text takes me forever, and the formatting options are limited. If I could speed up one thing, it would be that.

I’d also like a “cancel” button for rendering because sometimes you accidentally render using Hybrid and…there goes 20 mins of your life.

Otherwise, Im doing some pretty massive documents and the 2022 version seems pretty stable and fairly smooth if I am careful what i am doing.
It’s taken me ages to figure ut all the little “tricks” in layout - the tools and shortcuts and other settings to get a good workflow…
(here’s a good one - put “Object Snap” on a hotkey so you can toggle it on and off easily)

Anither one: use two tool menu trays - one of the left and one on the right of your screen, then you dont have to scroll up and down one long tray. I put all my “styles” stuff (color, text, stroke) on the left hand side, and Model, Pages, Tags and Layers on the other.


I work with fairly loaded Sketchup files, and large plan sets in Layout. The list is pretty endless for what is slow or buggy, but here’s just a few off the top of my head:

  • Agonizingly slow when using any text boxes that are more than just a few lines.
  • Very slow when updating model references. FWIW my viewports are all set to Hybrid. I know this is slower, but Raster is too low-quality for the sort of work that I do. Similar to your request, I wish there was a button that I could press that would toggle on or off all viewports at once in the file, or only when printing. This way I could work in Raster, and then update to Hybrid just before printing.
  • Slow when simply going from one sheet to the next - sometimes as long as 5 minutes for a relatively small and simple model.
  • Buggy when trying to edit text. The software off-centers the text from the box and cursers won’t go to obvious lines of text unless you zoom in our out to find the sweet spots. Also, there’s a long delay in typing and the software will catch my characters out of order (e.g. I’ll type ‘He’ quickly and 2 seconds later it will stutter-display ‘eH’).
  • Buggy when using 2-point curves with dashed lines (reflected ceiling plans). The software bug splats without any thought or delay.
  • Slow when copying and pasting viewports - sometimes very slow.
  • Very slow when editing viewport sizes, scaling, or render quality.
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I think someone did mention there was hope of an upcoming change from raster to hybrid (and other modes) being done at the output stage, across all pages…can’t remember if it was official.

@kengey maybe worked on that, but it might require a second process… we need it to be native.

Great suggestion, though.

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This is pretty much exactly how I work too and have similar perspectives regards layout.
Text entry and editing is awful (in many conditions). On-drawing UI response and zoom/scrolling can be molasses slow and laggy. Item selection can be like picking up cocktail sticks whilst wearing oven mitts.
I have always found Layout rock-stable though and could count app crashes on one hand in over eight years of use. (SketchUp is a different matter, unreliability seems to be part of the feature set).
The object Snap tip from @AK_SAM can be a sanity saver. As well as turning off Auto render and manually managing viewport updates. Whilst working at detail, Raster is just not an option as its mostly a pixel mess and trying to pull dimensions out etc its not practical as layout is just searching around within that mess for inference points.
I use hybrid as output, and, whilst it is grindingly slow, regardless of machine specification it gives beautiful output, at least multiple viewport renders get split across available cores and is much faster than it used to be.
For me, general UI / scroll / response is the biggest issue.

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LayOut has improved under the years but it is still no speed demon.
I use vector rendering only for vector exports to DWG and the like. To get the best quality from raster rendering, switch the Output quality to High and turn off JPEG compression from PDF output.

Layout is more or less perfect for what I do - private residential.

Exclusively use Hybrid - my models are not complex and where needed I do the detail work in Layout.

My construction documents are detailed and to use a phrase from a regular contractor - information dense.

No lag, bugginess, snap or text issues.

That’s my experience - others have a similar experience and others don’t.