Please make LayOut text Label tool report on more information

This is split from another thread :

"[quote=“gsharp, post:12, topic:156863”]
Maybe if you made the floor area a component in SU you could extract the area, material etc in LO automatically …?
Alternatively, maybe you could use the report tool in SU to extract room areas and reference the table in LO…?

Labels don’t carry across from SKP or have any real interop between settings, reporting, etc. I think they should. Sometimes it’s best to label within SU, other times in LO. We dont have perfect tools within either so often a mix of the two is needed. I’m not an expert on LO labelling (I try to avoid it as it’s too slow and repetitive) but there definitely seems to be some lacking (basic) functionality for what is supposed to be a professional CAD documentation application.

Often we want the labels to automatically populate based on our selection of objects or faces. Examples include:

  • Material names
  • Height above Datum
  • Gradients on slopes (eg roofs or driveways)
  • Plot numbers and areas
  • Room sizes and names
  • Item number (“instance name”) for landscape plans, electrical plans, etc.

Current practise is to create technical labels within SketchUp (often using an extension or some type of manual process). Unfortunately the result when opened in LO is poor (text is rasterised, not oriented to page orientation, inconsistent scale, etc).

(afaik) LayOut’s lable tool can display the following information:

  • Component Definition
  • Face Area
  • Volume (of a Group or component)
    Are there more?? Anyway, it’s a very limited set.

These default data types generally work okay, but there are a few oddities, eg the Volume tool will report “0” if the object is not a solid. That doesn’t seem right.

So…My request has three parts.
More data types need to be added to layout’s label functionality.

  • Height (z value above model origin; important for RLs/Spot heights
  • Gradient (slope as a %)
  • Name of Material (on face)
  • Instance Name
  • Price
  • Size
  • Status
  • Owner
  • Type
  • Tag (if we use these for things like Level 2, or Demolition)
  • Layer (LO)

Adding Labels in LO should be quick and partially-automated.

Adding subsequent labels, after the first one, should be a one-click process. The tool in LO takes 7 clicks to create one label (plus more if you want to adjust style/placement afterwards), so isn’t useful if you have dozens of items to label (and re-label), or a moderately-sized model where loading/processing times are a factor.

Foremost, LO should import and re-format the labels added in SKP (including dimensions) and allow us to edit them (including processes for acheiving a unified style).

If dimensioning within LO alone then we would need to make this process a lot more efficient; it’s impossible to manually select multiple objects or faces in LO, so we need a new function or tool to label things automatically; for example “add an Area label to all faces that are on Tag X”. or “Label all of the same components with their component definition name”

Labels in LO should be able to be gathered into a simple table.
This would basically list things like room areas, lengths, list of colors/materials, etc in a simple way. Anybody who has tried to add a schedule of Room areas or object quantities using LO will attest to how painful this is now…updating labels and then manually entering that information into a table (not cool in 2021). Then, alternatively, trying to do it using SKPs reporting tool is also problematic (XYZ has to be perfect, everything organised “just so” and a bit of time spent formatting and compliling reports). Most tables/schedules are actually pretty simple (about 20 rows or less and 1-3 columns).


What can be said. This is exactly what’s missing in Layout.

I would add some kind of component tags with shapes.

Absolutely agree. Using the text tool to annotate material finishes makes me feel like an ACAD monkey in 1999.

The ‘I’ in ‘BIM’ (building information modeling) is the key for the documentation of architectural projects.

Extracting data from the 3D SU model for display in LO is currently very limited.

If Trimble wishes to expand there sales in the AEC sector, ease and ability of documenting seems to be a main point of needed improvement.

I have worked extensively on big commercial Revit projects. Using meta data embedded in the model is really the only accurate and fail free (well…‘fail reduced’) method to have all identity information (i.e door numbers) synchronized in real time across the entire set of documentation (all drawings, schedules, spec references…).
Every time a junior graduate used the text tool (the just plain non-connected manually entered text as opposed to automatically updated tags), you knew that months later the project architect would get a RFI from the builder… True story.


Very good suggestions AK SAM,
@Adam, are you tracking this?

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