Mac interface; toolbar customizing and docking tools,

Thanks for the clarification. I don’t have time for a full reply tonight, but there are a raft of UI issues that I’d like to see addressed, several of which are lower-hanging fruit than others.

As to development priorities: hasn’t the apparent development priority over the past few years been the build-out of said dreaded ‘Web App’ — at the expense of any significant advancement in SU Pro, and especially LayOut (which desperately needs major surgery).

I’ve used Macs for 34 years, and I’m more than simply used to its floating palettes, I like having the ability to resize and arrange them any which way. I dislike the Windows interface, especially when loaded down with rows and rows of plugins. Any more than one row and it crowds the remaining actual drawing window down into a letter slot of sorts. That vertical dimension of the screen is the most precious aspect to try and save with a screen that’s already 16:9.

What I do wish for is the ability to save multiple “saved states” of screen arrangements that can be called back with one click much the way scenes work in SketchUp. The biggest reason is that at my desk I have two monitors (external and laptop internal) with one filled with palettes, but when I unplug and go on the road, I just have the internal screen and want a different arrangement. Manually swapping out Pref files and Jason files works, but is a major pain while that’s precisely the kind of task computers are good at.


I go thru different screen use a couple times a week. I try to put the windows together but every time I come back. it’s like they’ve exploded. They are all over the screens. Sometimes I have to search for one or two that may be just on the edge of a screen or hiding behind something else. There is absolutely no order. Many applications including Apple’s own (Pages etc.) are able to offer some order to dialogs. And it would be nice if there was a toolbar besides the one they have, which I suppose is an Apple thing–where you really can’t put many icons.
Could there be a Tool Palettes menu that was a dialog instead of a pull down. Then one could pluck out a palette or put it away with a couple clicks. Pull down menus kill work flow in the zone.


glad to see some healthy dialog on this topic - bottom line is improvement of work flow. I’m always open to pointed suggestion on how to make things better. Given the blog posts, I do still see some vast improvement needed with sketchup (and vray) while still adhering to the mac gui (I did switch my work computer for a reason).Docking and multiple layer toolboxes doesn’t necessarily translate to converting to the dark side…

happy sketching everyone.

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Agreed. I would welcome a UI overhaul despite it possibly breaking some conventions that people may be used to. I’ll even live with floating panels. They just need to be better for getting things done.

But it really does need help big time. For me workflow is hindered by the mac window system where they often disconnect from each other and can’t be resized to my ideal needs. On my huge high res displays with a minimal setup I still find myself floundering through the panels that cannot be used all at once because they are so large. Panels that can’t be smaller than an arbitrary height is beyond frustrating. Having no way to lock in a setup for future use or for others is a HUGE OMISSION.

Being able to dock tools in the top panel is nice. Maybe give us something similar and flexible on the sides too? Hook it up Trimble!


For instance, wish we could do this:

Personally I can’t stand having more than one row of toolbars on Windows. I think it’s too distracting and noisy. Should be mentioned I have 100 installed extensions and around 20 to 40 I use on a regular basis, but I activate most from either menus or shortcuts.


I totally get not wanting it to be cluttered, no one should be forced into having two rows. But it would be nice if those of us who want them could have them.

A good bar has a lot of different booze so we can all have our favorite drink. We just don’t order the ones we don’t like.


Agreed. What about columns? That could be super useful. Like a customizable toolset palette instead of relegating to the top of the window.

Honestly it seems like customization should be a priority for a SketchUp interface to be successful to the various types of users and workflows that exist.


I think I would like to put my ten cents in on this. I have used SketchUp Pro since version 5. I have used it on both Windows and Mac. Windows always used to crash when my models got to be too big and Mac has been super stable for me and a workhorse. I also have to use AutoCAD products in my day to day work. If you can look at the latest versions of AutoCAD they have pallettes that dock. They can be moved all over the screen and onto multiple creeps. They can be ‘hidden or collapsed and then they expand when your cursor goes over them and they can be locked and unlocked.

Maybe this is something we should be looking at in how to advance the cause and move SketchUp forward.screen space to me is valuable even with a 27” and 24’ SET OF 5K Apple Monitors running off a Mac Pro or my MacBook Pro.

Your thoughts???

I completely agree DRDS. I too us autodesk products (Fusion) and its much cleaner. I haven’t experienced quite the program stability with sketchup lately since moving back to mac - it crashes quite often for a myriad of reasons - usually adjusting textures within a component within a component or something convoluted like that - I’m still figuring out how I can fix this (of course, sketchup help claims its all vray/extensions, but I digress…).

I use the mac pro that pushes out to 3 additional monitors. The memory for all the other programs windows and docking exist when I reboot and open the apps - except for sketchup. So without being a developer, it’s clear it can be reconciled or as a minimum there room for improvement.

This isn’t about moving to the dark side but its not about appeasing the purists and leaving things alone either- its about flexibility to adapt to several workflows while still leveraging Mac’s Strengths…

I’m impressed - great dialog going here…


I couldn’t agree more. Some serious attention to even small improvements here would be huge to the Mac user base.

Boy am I banging my head against the Mac materials window this morning. I would give my pinky finger to be able to see materials by name and also to rename a list. Help us Sketchup-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.


I often use Material resizer for that purpose

Cool. But I’d give my left pinky finger to have this basic functionality built in natively into pro graded software.

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I will make you an offer you can’t refuse… :horse:

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Thanks Mr. Corleone… Actually I had not thought of that, it does get me the name, but opening it I see all the materials in my model default ordered by size, it’s overwhelming and hard to sort that way when what I want is to see the names of all materials I have saved in a given list, sorted by name. And even though I can see the names, I can’t do anything with them, what I really want is to rename the files and rename lists, which Materials resizer is no help with.

If I search out the list files on my hard drive and change the folder names will it change the names in the material window? Or if I change the actual file names will it break the link to the existing model? I’ll have to experiment with some workarounds when I have more time, under a deadline now.

Here is how @medeek handles materials

I agree it should be natively, though

Mac materials (both setup and poor performance) and

Mac toolbars and docking

Two separate subjects. Maybe a new thread is needed?

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regarding material comment - I have similar frustrations (not sure if others use vray - but the whole interface needs help), but also agree, we almost need a separate topic board to expand on that. Hopefully sketchup developers are taking notes and uptick the priority that the mac interface could use some attention.

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