Proposal to name .skb files with a dot to hide them in file explorer

SKB files are super important for file recovery, but they are used only in rare and extreme cases. In everyday use they add visual confusion in file explorer.

It is easy to confuse .skp with .skb, try to open it or worse, send it to someone. Even more confusing that they also display thumbnails, and in the end you have double amount of files than you actually use, with a need to give extra attention to file extention.

I propose to change SKB file naming by adding a dot in front of the filename (e.g: .project.skb) thus making it invisible by default in most filesystems. That would save a some daily mental energy of SketchUp users.

You have set your operating system to open .skb with Sketchup, you shouldn’t have it set this way and if you don’t the icon isn’t a thumbnail and is quite obviously different.

What @Box said. Or you could set .skb files to be hidden on your system if you wish.

I guess as a SketchUp 2017 Make user you won’t see it on your end even if your proposal is implemented.

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Besides not associating skb files with anything, I have set Windows Explorer to always show file extensions for all files.


I am confused. The .skb files were automatically associated with SketchUp when I downloaded and installed SketchUp 2021 Pro. The .skb files had thumbnails; the .skp files had the SU logo. I didn’t deliberately do anything to associate the .skb files with SketchUp, it happened automatically during the program setup.

I have since included a .bat file to hide the .skb files, so this is not an issue for me, but I’d like to understand why I ended up with the .skb files being associated with SU if it’s not supposed to be that way.


I never heard of anyone putting a “dot” in front of a filename to make it invisible…

so the file would still exist but not be seen? sounds like a recipe for a disaster…

That does not lessen the number of files on your system…
only hides them with a very obscure method?

Just turn on “show file extensions” and group “by type”…

Typical file structure for one of my projects
2D = all 2d CAD production files , draftsight, Affinity
3D = all 3d CAD production files , Sketchup, Layout, Twinmotion
EXPT = record of any files issued to others
IMPT = record of any files received from others
PRES = Presentation files - mostly Powerpoint Presentations
REFR = any files used for reference in the project

PS I tried putting a dot in front of my filename (W10)… it did not hide it!

Personally… I don’t ask SU to save .skb files anyway… just have autosave turned on every 20 minutes and do manual saves whenever I finish a major task or about to do something with a potential risk.

@simoncbevans not sure it is even a problem… but one option would be to have a SU allow a designated backup folder in Preferences… for .skb files to be saved ?

agree , first thing I do on all computers

.dot files are commonly used in server environments to store metadata of folders (sync data)
The dot in front wouldn’t be enough to hide automatically on Windows, though, it still needs to be flagged.

.I wouldn’t go this route…

I am not sure there is a perfect answer to the problem or it would probably have been implemented by now.

On a Mac, backup files get a tilde added at the end. Like the SKB file extension, you could argue that it makes it immediately obvious which is your “working” file and which isn’t. But, as you can see from this screenshot, it can easily go awry. The double tilde signifies that I must have worked on the backup file which then created a backup of a backup. And yes, this is all to do with carelessness. But I can see why people would want a failsafe.

I wonder whether it would be better if the tilde (or other character) preceded the filename? That would at least separate the positions of the files in an alphanumeric ordering whilst still making it easy to find. I have some dummy files called Untitled7 here to show the effect:

That would work if you had very long filenames (as some do) to distinguish jobs. Personally, I like the job folder to contain everything relevant to the project, so just a physical separation within the folder along the lines I suggested would be my preference.

I wouldn’t object to the automatic creation of a sub-folder for backup files, but that is probably getting a bit fancy.

A more ‘project’ approach of the SketchUp-LayOut combo (he, why not StyleBuilder coz it’s also in the plan ‘Suite’) is what I would like to have.
With ‘per project’ ways of setting things up like which or SketchUp files are referenced to what LayOut files , which tables need to be updated (Reports) or generated from which SketchUp model, etc.

This sort of stuff could be easily managed in Trimble Connect, btw.

There is a caveat, though. User’s that already have some sort of system and have a high level of organizational way to deal with this sort of stuff probably wouldn’t need it, and for users that are more ‘design-iterative-I-like-to-just-draw-stuff’ it would probably be to much hassle to start this way…