Layout too slow to use efficiently

I have been using SketchUp for years (before Layout existed). When I started using Layout to document my models it worked really well. The features got better over time. But now Layout is ridiculously slow. It takes forever to resize viewports and to move them. And now when you move one you just get a box outline and have to wait for the view to catch up to it once it’s finally in place. The program has become so slow it’s impossible to get anything done in a timely manor. This is especially bothersome when you work on projects that get billed to your clients on an hourly basis. The amount of work I could get done in 30 minutes may take nearly 2 hours now. I even updated the programs today. Though things sped up a tiny bit, they are still too slow and the program crashed when trying to render a scene. My whole process is built around these programs, but it’s so bad I’m considering other options.


Lots of posts on this forum on this subject. Developers must be aware of shortcomings.


@simoncbevans…couldn’t have said it better myself.

@calypso…many many times over this comment has been mentioned. It’s good that you posted another reference to it. The more it gets mentioned the more Trimble has to see it. The more they see it, the more chance Layout gets some much needed love.

Trimble we love you! Looking forward to your future solution to this fun problem.


Knowing very little about what happens under the hood, I would love to hear a bit about WHY this problem persists, as this has been coming up in the forum since I started working with SketchUp in 2016, and I whole-heartedly agree. I love working in SketchUp and I dread working in Layout, and drawings on paper are a necessary thing in our shop and our industry.


you’re profile says you’re on SketchUp 2021

has Layout gotten worse with this version or has it gotten progressively worse for you over a period of versions?

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I feel like the last few versions don’t work as well as the ones before. Things like resizing and moving viewports don’t seem to function as well in the most recent versions as in previous versions. From what I can tell I’m not the only one experiencing this.

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that’s true, however, there will be many others who are not having Layout slowness issues… myself included

in fact, for me, Layout has got faster and better

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Yes, one would assume, but ARE they?

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A long running “Love/Hate” relationship, that we are all very tired of!
You get (understandably) hooked on the beauty of SketchUp, and then you have to suffer the ugly of LayOut …
Wouldn’t it be nice if Trimble finally recognized the many deficiencies of LayOut and decided to really fix it? The SU Pro suite is totally unbalanced.
I mean totally revamp/rewrite the base code into something modern, cutting edge, and truly worthy of partnership with the current SketchUp product!


Have you all noticed that there is a maintenance update (21.0.391) to SketchUp 2021 where some of the LayOut performance issues are reported to have been addressed?

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There have been far too many posts on the subject for them not to be aware. But as everything to do with new developments is shrouded in secrecy, we will not know how seriously or assiduously they are working to improve things until we see a new and improved product. It’s frustrating, of course, and I am sure many of us wonder whether as much effort is going into dealing with the deficiencies as, say, into new super-duper versions of Dynamic Components, or other such niche things.

All we can do is keep posting about it and hoping that the sheer volume of comments will have the desired effect.


Yes Simon,
Let’s hope LayOut gets as much attention as all the “niche” distractions … I will certainly continue to “bang the drum” for LayOut improvement!

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Remember that Layout is slow with just low rise images to manipulate…

I have also discovered that it is faster on older computer, maybe with not Retina display. It seems that there is problems with hardware compatibility.

To be honest, Layout had been always slower than classic CAD solution as I remember, with some improvement time to time. What is annoying is it seems to work not properly since some versions.

I stop to install new versions and go back to 2018. But I read that some user report that the new SU21.0.1 is better and another report that it do not change.

Paul…do you attribute that performance uptick to something in particular? I see you are on windows 10 with top end GPU, but nothing there on your computer specs.

If your setup has produced better speeds using 2021 there must be something to that which is escaping the rest of us. Perhaps you could educate us.

Nor am I. It does lag under certain operations but for the most part it isn’t slow.

A Paste At Mouse feature would make my life easier though


Curiously, I was working away on Layout yesterday and thinking things were much improved. I am finding less lag, and the drawing tools are definitely more cooperative and easy to use.
Dragging a box and finding the contents lagging until the mouse is released is a bit annoying, Probably there is a performance reason for that. I am on a Mac with a Retina display and lots of memory, so that might make some difference.

Well I can remember a time (some 4/5/6 years ago) when I would often have a delay in viewports rendering but nothing where I could leave my desk and make some coffee, drink it and then come back to finished rendered viewports. But it was irritating.

But that was before I got Nick Sonder and Matt’s book and viewed Mike Brightman’s various Layout / Condoc videos (I don’t have Condoc).

Since then and checking out this forum I have gotten a better understanding of how SketchUp and Layout work especially in respect of a SketchUp to Layout workflow.

Now don’t get me wrong! I’m not making a blanket accusation that you all need to get a better workflow and all your problems will disappear. I have in this forum acknowledged that people are experiencing problems especially on a Mac.

However the few models that others have shared I did have a view that I would have organised the SketchUp to Layout differently and when I did tweak with such models I was able to eke out some performance gains.

I don’t produce complex, textured models populated with fittings, equipment, etc. for my construction documentation or planning applications. And if I do I’m frugal with it.

If I need to produce coloured and textured visuals I’ll produce a clone of my model and export visuals directly from SketchUp and either work them into a dedicated Layout file or some other presentation program.

Now that I think about it, two projects about a year or so ago, one where I downloaded a pantile from the warehouse (it wasn’t too high an edge count) and populated the entire roof of the house with it. I noticed quite long lags in all viewport rendering throughout the entire Layout document. This was because, regardless of view, every scene in SketchUp had the roof tag (layer at the time) on. When I turned off the roof tag in scenes where it wasn’t required, Layout performance became faster.

Similarly, the other project was where I downloaded from the warehouse ornate stair newels and spindles. I didn’t think about the edge count and it was before I fully appreciated the idea of 2D objects to represent 3D objects. The layout file suffered serious lag. When I realised what the problem was I created a 2D object for the stair and turned off the stair tag where it didn’t have to be on.

Undoubtedly, many of you will say “but I do that already” and some of you need to have models that have to be more detailed and complex and I don’t have anything to say about that other than I feel for you. But…

Layout is getting a bashing (peoples’ poor experiences do need to be aired) and a relentless bashing by a certain forum member and whilst the problems being experienced are very unfortunate and do need to be addressed by Trimble, I feel that it has to be stated, that every time Layout gets a bashing, for some of us it is working well.

My current setup is a year old now and I did do a little research into the GPU before getting the system and decided to spend as much as I was able to. However the previous setup I had since about 2014 (not top of the range at purchase) and it didn’t have a top end GPU. During the time 2014 to 2019 I did experience better general performance year on year.

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Nick and Matt’s book definately made a huge difference in my Layout experience. Even my SU experience changed as I learned how to use tags better and turn off the lag causing groups.

I’m always curious about the platforms people use, especially the Mac platforms like my own, because I also see most of the complaints coming from Mac users. I am very hopeful that the M1 & M2 processors are going to go a long way to solving this issue actually. I have heard some say the new 2021 on the M1 processor is an improvement and all that says to me is that, yes there is something in the programming of Layout and Sketchup, but I think there is also something to be said for improvements in hardware that will allievate the problem as well.

Seems like a holistic set of changes really. I need to do a better job in operating SU and Layout, some hardware improvements would be a good upgrade to my system, and then some tweaks on the software side from Trimble and the platform might just get to something that doesn’t cause headaches. I say headaches, I have found some pretty “fast” solutions to the slow downs and it has become a matter of not doing certain movements.

Professionals aren’t professionals because they work with perfect tools, they are professionals because they make imperfect tools produce beyond their limits.

As an illustrative experience, this morning I manipulate in Layout two bitmap images and a PDF imported. I had to quit Layout because it was on infinite process… because I zoom in.
I had persistent message from OS that Layout took all the disk space (134,32 Go !)… for performing a zoom in !