I have also abandoned the idea at a time, but now I don’t care anymore. I don’t care if my texts are exploded and my engineers or even clients angst towards me.
It’s something that would lead other people to simply quit Sketchup, but I decided to put up with it. It’s annoying but I do.
I tried doing all texts in Layout and it’s doable, but it’s painful. It’s manual work. It doesn’t change if model changes. It’s stupid.
We have a model that is being constantly changed, it has data that could easily be converted into leaders and texts automatically and dynamically, butLayout is blind to it.
Sketchup is also natively blind to it, but some hero developers try to change that.
Example of a big pain point on simple data: AREAS
Area tags are possible to do in Layout but there’s no easy tool for that.
It’s possible to retrieve a face area from the model and into a Layout Tag with auto text. (Sorry into a leader. Tags are sketchup layers these days… what a mess!).
However, how to do that correctly?
Your model never has the correct areas for rooms. You often have more than one material on floors and have to split the floor into two faces. If you retrieve an area for one, you only get half the room. This renders Layout’s Area from Faces useless, so you have to workaround that. (Story of Layout’s work is workarounds).
If the example of floor materials is not enough for you, think that your floor slabs are almost never the shape of the room. They intersect with wardrobes, bathtubs, shower plates, walls that come from below, stairs that cross the slabs, built in benches, kitchen islands and every sort of features built into the floor. So there’s not many scenarios where Layout Auto Text for Areas can easily help us retrieve an area.
What I do is have an horizontal plane in Sketchup, intersect it with model and clean it to retrieve room faces. (I use section cut face for that but within the same principle)
From these faces we can then use Layout’s auto text labels to populate areas in the floor plan. It, but it has to be redone each time the building changes. Very cumbersome.
Layout should have an area text tool.
We would draw a shape around the room and a text with the area should pop up in the center, though we should be able to reposition it as we can in a multiline text box nowadays. The text should be able to be populated with the room name/number too. That shape should use Sketchup PIDs to adapt to changes in the model. It should be able to be linked to tables in Layout and connected to imported XLS or ODS tables, maybe google docs format too.
Does Layout have it? No.
However Sketchup has something close it in the form of plugins.
@Fredo6 has developed a tool in FredoTools.
You can retrieve all sort of areas from the model and export them as CSV and you can use it in a spreadsheet and then import that spreadsheet into Layout. It’s still not great for room taggin, but it’s doable and helps with generating reports by material area, which Sketchup report isn’t able to. Those reports can get into Layout.
@TIG has also developed area text tag plugin.
You click on the face and retrieve it’s area via a text. It’s way easier than Layout’s tool and it’s also dynamic, however the text it generates will be treated as geometry when imported to Layout, not text.
The main benefit is that you can also export a report and you can make the report based on room names.
You have to choose what you prefer. Having true texts when exporting to CAD and PDF, or having your work done fast?
It’s a stupid choice but’s that’s why part of my texts are exploded in CAD. Should I go for another BIM app?
Maybe in the future I will have to… unfortunately.