Layout viewports not remembering last settings

Hello world of sketchuppers!

I use Sketchup extensively and have been having serious problems with the sketchup/ layout workflow and I was hoping for some changes to it at least in the 2015 version. Am I the only one who is in desperate need of some solutions to the below?

  1. the Layout viewports do not always remember the last saved parameters in Layout. For instance the viewports in layout do not correctly remember sequences of scene toggles (essentially combined scenes) intended for the creation of a final view different from any of the scenes created in Sketchup. Unless I create a scene in Sketchup for each layout viewport I get totally unpredictable behaviour and it is causing me a tremendous waste of time. Having as many scenes setup in Sketchup as viewports in Layout is not always practical, and certainly not without some scene management tool in Sketchup. I often end up with an exponentially larger number of scenes than I need because of this.

  2. Scene management in Sketchup is truly primitive and has not changed since inception. You need to enable some form of collapsible folder structures within the scene window to help us manage large numbers of scenes, especially if you cannot solve the problems at point 1 above.

  3. With so many scenes and no decent scene management, the scene tab menu quickly fills up. one needs to be able to only show a selection of scenes in this menu, i.e. the ones that are only used most often. Otherwise, without some form of management, this menu is totally useless for both modelling and viewing purposes.

  4. Section cuts management is also a big problem as I often need to move between section planes for modelling or visualisation purposes. Currently i can only activate sections by activating specially created scenes, which of course, adds further to the number of scenes already needed, which is already a problem as above. One would greatly benefit from a separate sections management window in Sketchup, similar to the scenes’ one and which is also accessible in Layout.

I have raised these on the forum and written to ketchup directly many times but it seems that there is no incentive to do anything about it. I do not understand how such simple issues cannot be dealt with as it would improve the workflow dramatically and can only make you friends. Furthermore, all the above problems can be solved without sacrificing any of the user-friendliness that already characterises Sketchup. Why should it sometimes feel like hitting a glass ceiling with this software when it doesn’t have to be like this at all.


Hello sabv,

You may be one of few SketchUp users for whom this is an issue. The use of scenes is fundamental to the workflow in SketchUp and Layout. It seems reasonable, based on the workflow process, to save a unique scene that corresponds to each Layout viewport. This facilitates editing your work. When properly saved, Layout will remember each setting from the scenes. Not following this process essentially defeats the purpose of the combined programs.
Because the current workflow process seems to be too cumbersome for your taste, perhaps you may want to consider saving the work under slightly different filenames, thus resulting in multiple models. You can then reduce the overall number of scenes in a given model, but retain the ability to manipulate the various viewports as desired. This will allow you to:
(a) save finite viewports as your specifications dictate,
(b) reduce the number of scene tabs and
© better manage the overall size of the model(s).

View some of the Nick Sonder videos online to get an idea of how he approaches this issue.

Good luck,

Thanks jvlee,

I must admit that it has not crossed my mind saving different files as you suggest- it would certainly help with some aspects and is worth remembering.

Having said this, if layout could remember the latest manual settings in viewports, which users are allowed to make, I really cannot see why this feature shouldn’t work correctly throughout and the settings be remembered. It would certainly help me to reduce the number of scenes from 100 to 10 and enable me to work with just one sketchup file and one layout file. elegant and simple. The thing is, it actually works like I say anyway but, the feature being buggy beyond belief, it settles only after lots of time consuming fiddling. This time i would rather do something else with.

Also given the acceptance that we need to work with numerous scenes, why should we not expect some simple to implement scene manager (such as optional collapsible groups within the existing scene manager window)? How would that hurt anyone?

Would something like this not be helpful to you too? i’d be amazed if this didn’t help thousands of users out there.

Thanks again for your feedback.

I’m not sure why you are getting the results you describe when saving scenes and viewport settings. This has not been an issue in my work as an extensive SketchUp (and Layout) user. My projects frequently involve large models with many scenes.

Again, I strongly encourage you to view the video at the attached link:

This is one of the shorts featuring the architect I referenced in my previous post; it offers an overview of how different drawing types may be generated. There are other various videos on that channel providing a bit more insight on potential approaches to resolve your concerns. Many of these have directed me to solutions in using SU and LO in the past. Your resolution may lie in simply reassessing your workflow parameters and possibly adapting to better suit the existing capabilities of the software.

Thank you Jvlee for your comments and your help which are noted and

Whatever Nick Sonder does so impressively- bless his heart for his
determination, can be achieved much easier and with far fewer scenes if for
instance the viewports in layout could correctly remember sequences of
scene toggles (essentially combined scenes) intended for the creation of a
final view different from any of the scenes created in Sketchup. Sketchup
have admitted on several occasions over the last 4 years that this feature
is not reliable, even if the possibility is clearly there, it works but in
an erratic and unpredictable way. So, I am hopeful that Sketchup will find
a simple fix for this please
one day for the few of us that would like to
use this feature, and ideally before I retire as architect :). Hello
Sketchup, anyone there, please?

Anyway, I would also be interested in how other people feel about
improving the sections and scenes management interface with view to
improving everyone’s experience without sacrificing the simplicity
and user-friendly nature of Sketchup and Layout.

Hi everyone,

yes, I had some trouble to get the viewport from SU to LO and lost a lot of time on that. Sometimes the list of scenes in the modell are not shown in layout. Next day the list is there and I don’t understand why. In the german version the toolbar settings for layout are not saved. There is a fix to backup the references after every maintenance. The english version is ok. Some stuff is annoying.
On a deadline project I still work on CAD, because it takes too much time to find out the workflow for SU. There are lots of tutorials about SU, it helps to have a look at them.
At least it takes much more time to learn the workflow about CAD because of missing free tutorials.

This is still an issue in su and layout 2018!

how can you Trimble reasonably expect people to create a scene in sketches for each viewport in layout without at least a scene management option in sketch-up, is beyond belief.

What happens if you have a presentation with 100 viewports? which I often have when drawing construction drawings!? Or a feasibility study where I need to present several options to a client, each option requiring the same number of views?

The amount of time that I waste with this issue is beyond reasonable and over the years you have done nothing at all to even tackle this. How about collapsible scene folders for a start, if you cannot get layout to remember scene combinations in viewports, which by the way would save not only vast amounts of time but also dramatically reduce the number of scenes that one has to work with.

Have a bit of respect for people’s time, please…

I don’t think the product managers have very much experience working with large projects and therefore don’t understand the source of this frustration. If you only test the software on small projects with a handful of scenes you don’t have this problem

That said I think sequential scene referencing in the first place is a workaround for deficient viewport control. It’s not a very intuitive workflow to discover for new users. If it was up to me I’d redesign the way LO references a SU model. The model should only be a model and the presentation should be handled from within LO alone. Instead of referencing scenes defined inside of SU I would bring all viewport control over to LO. Style, layer visibility, camera location, fog, shadows etc would all be controlled on a per viewport basis in LO. Then I’d add some sort of Eye Dropper tool to pick of properties of one viewport and apply to another, e.g. copy the camera location or the layer visibility.


Yes, control should of course be through LO. It’s crazy to be saving scenes in sketchup trying to guess exactly what viewes you might want to present at some future date. And to have a presentation software that doesn’t allow you to change the view. We might as well be importing 2d pictures into a desktop publisher. Without viewport control that persists through a model update, the biggest advantage of LO is hamstrung.

@sabv. Yes, it’s clunky but it’s current best practice to make a scene in SK for each LO window and then leave the LO windows closed at all times. They can be locked to prevent accidental double clicking. And yes if you modify a view it can break everything. And yes, it wastes tons of my time too, lame.

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Interestingly enough, I do not have problems with camera views. I almost
always set them up in the viewport and they seem to be remembered ok. It is
the other properties that cause me problems such as saved layers that tend
to change or sections that tend to disappear or be replaced with whichever
section cut was last used in sketchup before saving it, so styles are not
remembered properly either.

Obviously, once a scene is created for each viewport these issues no longer
apply but for goodness sake, they should do something about it - either
allow us to navigate through scenes without losing our sanity or give
layout some intelligence… this would clearly be preferred as it would
reduce the clutter in SU. I thought it was all about keeping things simple
after all…

Trimble are you listening? Do you need help with understanding how advanced
users use your software?

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