LAYOUT is too slow to use in a professional setting - any advice?

I have been using SKP & Layout for years in the entertainment industry. I feel like it worked much better 6-7 years ago on an older MAC that had less RAM & slower processor. I know I am not the only one as several colleagues have completely abandoned SKP for Rhino or will use a workaround to annotate in adobe Illustrator. Just today I needed to make a simple document where I had 4 model view jpgs that I need to quickly annotate for a meeting and as soon as I dragged the images in and started making my text boxes and adding arrows the spinning rainbow would start. I quit the program and jumped over to Apple’s PAGES app and finished it in about 5 minutes. I love Layout but I really hope they work on the performance as well as integrating it more with Sketchup so we don’t need to link the model. I find when I need to save multiple versions of a model layout has a really difficult time keeping track of what is supposed to be linked. I know all about Raster/ Hybrid mode helping to speed up things but todays scenario was simply using jpgs and annotations. Please bring Layout up to speed!


Which version of SketchUp/LayOut are you using? Please complete your forum profile. Are you still using Sierra as your profile indicates?

I have 22 & 23 but I am using 22 because 23 keeps asking me to authenticate / sign in every time so I really haven’t dabbled in it too much.

2019 Imac 27"
3.7 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i5
64 GB 2667 MHz DDR4
GFX CARD Radeon Pro 580X 8 GB

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There are lot of threads discussing the same, the performance of sketchup and layout hasn’t improved in 10 years, I’m not a software engineer and I’m not sure what’s the problem, I thought it could be the API sketchup uses, OpenGL, cause other softwares like blender and Archicad ported their programs to Metal, the native API in MacOS, and the performance boost is huge. But according to other people it’s not just an API problem, sketchup renderer must be optimized, it’s something that users have being asking for a long time, I don’t know if Trimble just doesn’t care at all about it, or if they’re having issues trying to improve their software, this company is absurdly secretive with this things, a lot of other programs have a public roadmap so users can see what’s coming and evaluate if it’s worthy keep using the software or not. I love sketchup like a lot of people do, but if Trimble keeps ignoring this issues at some point we’ll have to leave the software and move on to a better optimized one. Maybe then after losing a lot of customers hence money, they will realize what they’ve done or haven’t and try to fix the program, but it could be late.


There is one possibility no one has mentioned so far, running background processes that interfere. This my explain why some have no issues with performance.

How large were these jpgs ?

Occasionally I will make a sheet of photos for planning consent purposes – I resize the images before bringing them into Layout.

Typically I can have an A3 sheet with up to 6-8 photos and not notice any significant slowness.

Are you able to share an example Layout file ?

Hi Paul,

The pngs were each around 7mb. I didnt save the layout file as I ended up completing the task in Apple’s PAGES app. I was using an 11x17 template & I had 4 pages total, 1 image per page and I wanted to add labels & arrows.



A3 sheet with six pngs totalling 32Mb.

There is a slight lag in panning and zooming and maybe also a slight lag in using tools, but certainly not many seconds let alone minutes.

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Which background processes than?

How would the resulting document get used? I often see LO files from others that include images that are much larger file sizes than they need to be for how they are used. Resizing them to appropriate sizes for the application helps a lot.

In my example I resized the images usings Windows Powertoys Resize to medium.

The total size of the six resized images was around 10Mb and performance was pretty much normal…

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The processes will be different depending on system configuration.

But did you find particular processes that had much impact on the performance of LO? I did with the Nvidia settings.

Quite by accident, I stumbled on one that did. Yes if one strays away from some of the default Nvidia settings it will affect Layout and SketchUp.


I generate many pdfs that include plans and elevations and combine those with reference images, material images, paint and aging etc. I like to keep then all in one document as my template / title blocks are all set up in LO but I have been using InDesign & or Pages or Keynote lately because it is so much faster.
For years thought we would generate pdf doc in LO with images and work note annotations to give to my construction & paint crews. As another user mentioned it doesn’t look like Trimble has kept up with latest Mac infrastructure. My friend just switched from a 2013 MacBook Pro where his LO worked like a dream. He now has a souped up MacBook Pro with M2
And he said it’s very clunky and slow on the new machine with better equipment.

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So you are keeping loads of images in your template even if they aren’t being used in the project?

The template is just a title block.

The images and plans and drawings change for each project or set we design.

For example I might show an elevation of a door and on heat sheet will add some hardware images and an image of a paint finish we are trying to match. The template only has the title block.

The statement you made in your previous post implied you keep the images in the template.

As I wrote before, I often see LayOut files from other users that include images that are much larger than they need to be for the application. Sizing the appropriately helps improve performance.

Large images like this currently cause performance problems in LayOut, especially on mac. This is because LayOut wants to give you the best looking document possible, so we use the full resolution image at all times currently.

We are looking at having LayOut automatically down-sample images the same as we do for raster renders of SketchUp Model Viewports. We will have a Display Resolution and Output Resolution setting in the Document Setup > Paper > Rendering Resolution section that will enable you to set the quality of images in your document. That way your LayOut Document will perform better while you are making changes to it, and you can still get the full resolution image output if you want it.

Please feel free to give us feedback on whether you think this would be a useful change to LayOut (That goes for anyone on the forum).

In the meantime, the best option is to resize your images in an external image editor to something that won’t bog LayOut down - typically downsampling to 72dpi and ensuring that the image width and height is smaller than the paper size you are working in.



Anything to improve the speed would be appreciated! Thanks.