Minor rant from a SketchUp user with 15+ years in wholesaling construction parts/supplies

Does it bother anyone else when someone on this forum uses “SKU” as an abbreviation for “SketchUp”?

It bothers me - because “SKU” is fairly universally used in inventory management systems at the manufacturer, distributor and retail levels. In those contexts, it refers to “Stock Keeping Unit” - the basic unit of inventory.

I vastly prefer “SU” as an abbreviation for “SketchUp” because, in my mind, it doesn’t trigger my long mental association of SKU with Stock Keeping Unit. EVERY time I see “SKU” on this forum, my mind tries to interpret the post in inventory terms! It often takes me 2-4 reads before I realize “Duh! They mean SketchUp - not Stock Keeping Unit!”

This is not something I’m ever likely to even mention in any post that uses “SKU” - just a minor rant on how use of “SKU” in this forum can throw people with inventory experience for a loop!


Ha! I have had this same struggle! SKU is Stock Keeping Unit.

SU is SketchUp!

1 Like

I take it you have experience, probably extensive, in contexts where SKU means “Stock Keeping Unit”?

And just to show others where this can be a problem, this just appeared in the forums:

See that “sku” there? It sure isn’t referring to Stock Keeping Unit! But as I said in my original post, even with this issue at the top of my mind, it took me a couple of reads before I understood the post! Had it been “SU” instead of “sku”, I would have comprehended immediately!

SKU is obviously a Stock Keeping Unit.

SU is Sunday.
SU is Stanford University.
SU is the Unix/Linux SuperUser.
SU is the international vehicle reg-plate for Belarus.
SU is for the Strontium Unit.
and many more…


SUp is undoubtedly SketchUp…



From my roots SU was always ‘Shut Up’ and more often than not, with ‘t’ and an ‘F’ placed somewhere in the abbreviation! But I’m far more grown up now.:mask:

Super User…

It was also the extinct Soviet Union. The file format .skp is in our parts an abbreviation for the Finnish Communist Party… :smile:

Basically I am quite sure that any combination of letters denotes something undesirable in some of the languages used on the Earth.



1 Like

You should get with the industry, SKU has been used many times and the context used by Microsoft was the various types of versions for their widows releases. ( home edition etc.) May be before wasting folks time you should spend some under standing time or ask a question.
Do you really think MS would be talking about SU in their release of a major up grade??

My bad! At the time I wrote post #3 in this thread I was so focused on ranting about use of “sku” when it’s meant as an abbreviation for “SketchUp” that I only noticed the use of “sku” and not the context!

Of course MS rightly uses “sku” to keep track of their inventory - at least when it represented shippable media. Not so sure about now, with many of their installations (mine, for instance) being done through download. It kinda-sorta breaks the idea of “Stock Keeping Unit” when you don’t have to take one away when you sell one!

I vote SKUP as the solution

What has it been now about 2 years plus MS was pushing the free up grade form 8 to 10 but then they had so many terms conditions “SKU” related they thru me for loop and had to spend some time searching to find out what they meant. I specifically used it in my post anticipating I would ref. back to that time period but then did not and violated a cardinal rule of technical. writing > IE if you use non standard abbreviation follow it up with the full definition. I’ll try and do better!

1 Like

Where I used to work, the standard practice was to use a term fully spelled out once followed by the abbreviation you would subsequently use. So, SketchUp (SU) at the first use and then just SU (or whatever) afterward.

1 Like

same here unless was a accepted. I have a small handbook that list the ISO standards but that is related to measurements like furlong per fortnight :smiling_imp:
Did I blow the rule??

I don’t always abbreviate SketchUp, but when I do, I use SKP… because that’s clearly the way to do it! :slight_smile:


I use SKP. Does anyone recall when we used to refer to a SKP model as a “Skippy”??? :o)

Yes. I am that old, and even older: Skippy was a kangaroo in an Australian TV series for kids that was on the air very, very long ago. Thanks and no thanks - the irritating song from that came back and started playing in my head (earworms, we call them in our parts).


Skippy aired in Norway “just” 20 years ago :joy:

But back to topic, I do agree with sjdorst that everything other than SU is confusing. It’s already written Sketch Up.

Oh no, now that Skippy-theme is stuck in my head too :frowning:

I never thought about or worried about this but will do so just as soon as the world puts an end to people dying from starvation and to genocide.

1 Like

A rose by any other name is still a rose. Call SketchUp anything you like and it’ll still do what you want it to do and confuse the hell out of a beginner…