Password lock for SketchUp Models

Hello SketchUp community

It would be great to have the opportunity to lock models with a password, so that without password it is not possible to make any changes on the model or/an it is impossible to measure the models dimensions. I am an engineere designing my projects in SketchUp; I would like to give my clients the models but want to prevent that they can measure everything out and start to analyse and copy my designs. Maybe it would be valaubale if Trimble is making an password lock in SketchUp 2016.


+1 :thumbsup:

The Read-Only Mode has long been a feature request.

Also a Encrypted-Read-Only Mode with password to view, was another variation on the theme.

Most in the past have wanted a Measurement tool for the Viewer editions (Desktop and Mobile.) Your request to password lock a Measurement tool, is the first I have seen.

It might also make sense in that spirit, to have other functions lockable, such as printing, etc.


Read-Only Mode and/or Encrypted-Read-Only Modes would be fantastic, for sure. Clients and collaborators are becoming increasingly adamant that they have our SU models, which is causing issues when they start making changes.

I had never thought of locking down the Measurement tool, but I agree there would be a good case to do so. We do not need builders or interior designers (for instance) measuring the SU model - they need to refer to our “for construction” documents.

won’t they simply become adamant you supply ‘unlocked’ SU files if ‘locking’ was an option…


Possibly, but then they are essentially admitting they want to modify something - which they swear they have no intention of right now when demanding the file.

Why would you care if clients and collaborators make “changes” to their copies of your model file any more than you’d care if they marked up a blue print with red pencil? As long as you possess the original data file and an audit trail of what you have provided to these third parties and when, what is it you’re afraid of them doing?

Now, if you’re concerned about them ripping off or reverse-engineering your design–the underlying intellectual property, certainly a more realistic concern than them altering the original data itself, notice that write-protecting the file won’t do a thing for you. They could rip you off using no more than an image or a paper copy.

If your real concern is establishing ownership of the intellectual property and providing yourself legal recourse in the event someone does try to steal your design, as I’ve stated more than once in this forum, the way to do that is to label the data itself with a proprietary intellectual property notice and to have any suppliers or clients to whom you provide the data sign a non-disclosure agreement that places clear limits on the uses for which the data is authorized. Whatever concerns you have of this nature, you should be able to address them in an NDA.

If you make clear the purposes for which the data is being furnished and the limitations on use imposed by the NDA, you should be able to reach a meeting of minds with other parties that is solidly enforceable in a court of law and permits the free flow of data within these limits.


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For us, not a legal thing or concern about “reverse engineering”. We are not keen on clients that may not fully understand the nuances of an architectural concept “suggesting” changes they’ve made. It’s one thing for them to suggest, then have us respond - quite another to have them present their idea to us. Much, much more difficult to dissuade them if we are not keen on what they are showing. Collaboration is great, but we prefer it if everyone has their roles.

I get it if you (or anyone else) disagrees and feels the more tweaking the model, the merrier - that is just not our preference and we would love the option to have that in our control.

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If you don’t make clear what these roles and their limitations are at the outset, it’s your own fault. Locking up the data is a poor alternative to a clearly negotiated, defined, and documented arrangement.


c’mon, real world isn’t always negotiated, defined and with a documented arrangement… especially with clients or worse prospectives.

as a workaround, exporting to a ‘dumb’ raster format optionally with a little rotating/scaling before (LO) might help.

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We’re really talking about a management issue here, namely coordinating the activities of various roles toward a defined common objective. This can be as formal or informal as circumstances require. However, if there is a basic failure to achieve a meeting of minds among co-functioning parties, this is a failure of management, and it’s hardly something that can be resolved effectively with a modeling program software change. To call a technical business arrangement based on deceit and furnishing partners with crippled software or degraded data a “solution” is absurd–it’s a train wreck waiting to happen.


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I totally agree. When I do things for clients, I give them what is in the contract. If the contract says that i have to supply model files, I do, and in this situation, naturally, crippled model files wouldn’t do.

Also, today, especially in architecture, working with models is the norm, and HVAC, electrical or structural consultants won’t be able to do their part if not given the architect’s model in fully functional form. So, often I will have to share my model to be able to fulfill my role in the project, even if it wouldn’t be specifically mentioned in the contract.

Withholding essential information is not a good basis for a consultant/client relationship.


While this is true, it is also the cause of a huge number of conflicts between clients and providers. Once burned, one learns to be as specific as possible about such details and to get everything in writing!

Yes, that’s the idea. Doesn’t anyone here watch Judge Judy?


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A post was split to a new topic: SketchUp File Encryption

The best the give the Sketchup file to a client, if he really needed. Then it is better to explode the whole file & change the scale. The 3d will took same and the client can view the design. But he will not be able to measure & make changes.

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genius. thank you.

Yes, if you hate your clients and don’t want them to ever come back.

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If you give a client your working file, as is, and they need to make changes - they have no ned to come back. It’s lose/lose.
Do you have anything constructive to add? Any good suggestions? Or are you just here to comment on my comment?

You could upload your model to your Trimble Connect account and share a link to the file so they can look at it using the online viewer. Then you don’t need to destroy the model file or send it to the client at all.

I tested this with a friend. It had him create a Trimble account - which is fine. But even if I set him as a User, rather than and Admin, he still had the ability to download the model. Also, the client wants to see the model with a sketch effect. Once uploaded to Trimble, it lost the effect and added some lame render effect instead.