Multi Language support

I have several projects which include foreign languages in que. Many of these languages use non-Latin letters, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit, and others. When I try to use them through the 3D text feature in Sketchup, the letters either show up backwards (in right-to-left languages) or as boxes in its place.

Engraving is an important part of much of my work. Not all of it is restricted to English. I would like to see support added for the other languages as well. My current project requires the use of 89 languages, including the ones mentioned above. Please add support for this.

(As a side note: Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop both have language support.)

Bit of a pain but a work-around if you are stuck is to use Illustrator to create the lettering and then import the paths into SketchUp.

Here is “Hi” in Traditional Chinese - Notice that I am using “Arial Unicode MS”


SketchUp is neither a word processor nor a type setting application (like Illustrator or LaTeX). When you use many languages then what you need is good support for many scripts.

If the font that you choose does not contain characters of that script, it will show boxes (because SketchUp does not instruct the OS to take them from fallback fonts). So as a work-around you should only choose fonts that have a good Unicode coverage.

But still many scripts have features (character variants or composition depending on context) that require a dedicated library (like Pango).

I tried that with Photoshop. It imported as a picture, and tells me its not a solid component. When I delete the font-photo, then it gives me the component I’m trying to insert it into as a solid component. Am I missing something?

Edit: I just found out how to get a solid object out of it. Explode both the .jpg photos I want to have engraved, and the part of the project it’s being engraved into. It gave me a solid object. Now I hope it’ll be engraved into the piece with no problems.

I’ve tried that. There are still languages with letters printed in reverse order, and others show up as boxes.

I’m not looking for a word processor. I have Microsoft Word for that. What I’ve had to do, is use MS Word to get all the languages down in one document, then save it as a PDF file. From there, convert it to a .jpg and import it into Sketchup. Its a bit of a hassle when the picture creates a problem with the project not being solid. (See my response to lieamk887 above.)

Limiting the languages I use is not possible for the current project. It calls for the use of all 89 I have been able to find translations for. (Thank you Future projects may require one or two languages, and I could probably avoid needing the ones with problem fonts, but that answer doesn’t help me short term, and limits me long term - which I’m not looking for.

As far as scripts, I’m not a programmer. Writing my own scripts, using Pango or any other software is therefore out of the question.

So again, I ask that multi-language support, some sort of addon making use of my system’s language/font files, or that its built into the next version of Sketchup.

If you can think of a more suitable alternative, I’m up for listening to it. So far, @liamk887 seems to have made the best suggestion for a work around.

In languages, the term “script” usually refers to abcd vs. αβγδ vs. 中文字. Please re-read to understand what was meant. To have all of these, you must use a Unicode font (if not staying with bitmap work-arounds). Nobody asked you to limit yourself in the number of languages but in the selection of appropriate fonts.

SketchUp is not a type-setting application (and neither is MS Word), and because of this it would have to add such features first. For best results you can of course use an application with type-setting features (like Illustrator or Inkscape) and export vector outlines to SketchUp (like .dxf).


It’s not really a workaround, I think it’s the only way to do it really as @Aerilius has said it’s an issue with the font itself not SketchUp.

Using Illustrator it possible to make your own font or do conversions, this would show the characters that do not appear, however it’s not a quick job, and it can cause licensing issues with the foundries if you go and start messing round with them, depending on what you are doing\selling of course.

if you investigate further, there may be some soft of Plugin that could be helpful for Illustrator.

Also, have a look at ‘Scripts and Actions’ in Photoshop\Illustrator. You can probably automate the entire process from start to finish and add the function\tool to your desktop. It sounds harder than it is, you don’t need to be a developer to use the function and it’s plenty documented on your tube.

it’s probably what I would do, you simply drag the font file onto the tool and it spits out something more useful).

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