My Features Request list, for what it's worth

This list is based on my desire to leave AutoCAD, the hateful Revit and more specifically Autodesk as a whole forever after 25yrs being shackled to their software and having to endure their obscure idiosyncrasies and inability to grasp the term user-friendly.

SketchUp Wish List:


  • Ability to lock 2D plan/elevation/section view in place for simple 2D draughting jobs without ctrl+pan etc. Something more CAD-like (i.e. simple) for drawing up a measured survey, as ALL architects have to do, and which go on to form the basis of a model.
  • Native Multi-Model support - ability to open many projects in the same program rather than multiples. LayOut has this but not SketchUp? Why?
  • Native Multi-Monitor support
  • Multi-viewports to aid drafting (3D Max style)


  • The BIGGY - Why is LayOut not a native part of SketchUp? Why are there two separate programs hogging resources and with differing levels of functionality? Clunky old AutoCAD has done this for the last twenty years.
  • Find/replace text function - from a selection and/or globally
  • A Zoom window - like WTF!!
  • Commands (and shortcuts) that work as per SketchUp - it’s totally illogical not to do this . i.e ‘M’ to move - come on guys this is basic stuff, page 1.
  • Ability to bucket-fill areas with hatch as you can in SketchUp - tracing (duplicating) geometry to allow an area to be hatched is so time consuming it’s just laughable and makes LayOut almost unusable as a daily Modelling/CAD driver. I don’t want to buy Skalp, I want it STANDARD within SketchUp.
  • Drawing markers that can be changed globally to update through a whole drawing with intelligent (individual) text within those blocks, such as Titleblocks.
  • A toolbar button for Refreshing a Reference (or option to add it at least) OR keyboard shortcut - anything but click, click, click, click, ‘Update’, click, click etc etc
  • Consistent inferencing that doesn’t have a mind of it’s own.
  • Ruby/script ability within LayOut - this is a basic and would take the work load off the dev team as others could be doing your work for you.
  • Ability to have different paper sizes within one document - a fundamental omission.
  • Dimensions to be applied in SketchUp itself rather than Layout - e.g. if you a swap reference for an exact copy (done to create a revised version) the dims shift around all over the place and need major reworking - time wasting madness.
  • Reduction in resource hunger and inefficiency - I’m running a Core i7 with 16gb RAM, 2GB Gr Card and LayOut drags my machine to it’s knees at times on even small projects with no other apps/progs open.
  • Double-click middle button (zoom wheel) = zoom extents funtionality (in SketchUp also please)
  • Selection filter i.e. select all dims (or text) etc etc for editing.
  • Remembering Dialog box positioning and sizing - like many other things they have a mind of their own.
  • Dimension edit - ability to adjust text spacing above dim line and ability to slide text along dim if required.

And finally, something on my list I can cross off:

  • Dockable Trays (left and right) - thanks for this but why take so long and give Mac’s the ability years back when PC’s have been your bread, butter, onions, gravy and bill payers for years.

What’s most sad is that despite SketchUp being the nicest and friendliest software (the above list excluded) I’ve ever used it’s just never been developed to a level where it could fill the enormous void between 80’s-developed clunk-fest AutoCAD and Split-the-atom Revit. It was an open goal for 5-10 years yet Goggle/Trimble missed it because their dev teams either didn’t care (Google) or tinkered rather sorted (Trimble). If either had grasped the nettle they literally could have cleaned up but I fear that ship has sailed.

NB - If there’s anything I’ve not included or any of the missing functionality listed is in fact there in SketchUp or LayOut please shout up as it’ll make my life and many others slightly less frustrating.

They are programmed with different frameworks, by separate development teams. This was done back in the day, when Google wanted to provide a free SketchUp, that did not have LayOut (as it was a professional only app, and not needed by all the minons to populate Google Earth. [Which never happened anyway, so Google sold SketchUp.])

However, as a separate process it can use up to the maximum of allowed process memory that the OS allows (which differs between 32-bit and 64-bit systems.)

All understood but whichever way you slice it’s a clunky old mess, very Autodesk-stylee. It should be part of the same program and be integrated with the same commands and therefore allow for fluency between the two, which is just doesn’t. The fact they were developed by different teams (why? seriously) totally shows as they’re almost chalk and cheese at times. The shame of it is that it’s not beyond the wit of man to pull them back together but this would require some level of pro-activity and endeavour, something which flies in the face of the last 10 years of SketchUp development.

Just my 2 cents worth…

personally I don’t see the point on this: just draw a big box, group it, then go into the group and start drawing lines. The only additional thing that would help me draw surveys is if I didn’t have to move the mouse between entering one value and the next. Other than that, I find it just as quick (/quicker) to draw floor plans in SU than in autocad, autosketch, archicad or whatever I’m using.

If each “Scene” could be un-docked to become a separate window it would be quite cool and i can think on several scenarios where it would be handy to see the impact from one side when working on another… but I imagine that the resources required would rapidly clog the system.

Here I disagree quite strongly: for the last twenty years the primary method of communication from designers to manufacturers has been flat 2D drawings on parchment. That is the sole purpose of LO - communicate the 3D model to someone else. And it’s an out-dated method of doing that. I think SU is free to soar and be accessible to everyone precisely because it’s not tied to having to produce 2D representations.

I would however like to include some of the information that LO is traditionally used for in SU - eg some sort of adaptive labeling system where if the text was “this is [blah]” then it looked for a variable within the group/component called [blah] and replaced the call-out text on-screen with it.