Request for new dimension tool features in SketchUp Pro

For all of us who don’t use or want to learn layout we don’t have any other option but to add dimensions in the Model space. { don’t get me wrong I can use layout but i chose not to as it does not pay time wise for my type of work}
If you can add dimensions in model space with more control and arrow size options etc there would be no need to add them in layout.You can still show dimensions of sketchup model space in Layout without having to add them in layout.

If line can come into lay-out then why not dimensions also?

I would say layout is mostly used by architects but manufactures, small companies and home users don’t have the time to use Layout and just need quick production drawings.

We don’t need the extra work to learn and export to layout when we can just print our working drawing out from sketchup model space and get on with manufacturing.

I also export my drawings to illustrator as i make drawing for technical brochures which then go into In-Design desktop publishing and layout does not work well with In-Design…

It just takes me a few seconds to add dimensions with controlled offset when I use Auto Magic Dimension plugin which the developer wants to improve but he is waiting for trimble to fix bug in the API that does not allow dimension to attach to geometry at the moment.

Sketch-up should be the focus of your company and not Lay-out but I would say architects requirement have controlled the companies vision and so the product is stuck going forward as it has to work with Layout and any advancement is actually modelling quicker with better features has been suppressed.

Just a note dimensions in sketchup are all over the place even 3D text has weird issues.

For example if I group dimensions with geometry and then explode them again later they jump all over the place and flip horizontal etc.

I have a whole list of Bugs or weird things happening that i wanted to do a video on.

But hey I am happy with sketch-up as is, as I have learned to work with it. Just think it could be 100 times better with just a few smart changes.

For me if it where not for plugin I would have gone to another software.

You guys are doing your best i am sure. so have a happy and prosperous new year.


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No,the key point is not that we want to have dims in perspective views. We don’t dim perspective views.

As usual, the Trimble team is blowing this very simple request all out of proportion.

What I have been asking for is SIMPLY that the SU dimension tool includes an option to shorten the connector lines between the dimension and the object. Nothing more, nothing less. I would like to have the OPTION inside of Sketchup to have the dimension lines represented like they are on the right as opposed to the current representation as shown on the left. Yes, I know I can do it in Layout. I would like to be able to do it in Sketchup as well.

Copy-moved sideways after being drawn?

No but that would work, too. :wink:

Not to detract from what I feel is a valuable request.

It is possible, especially in ruby, to attach a dimension to geometry that is hidden inside of a component or a group.


From Ruby you must can bury the dimension somewhere inside the group hierarchy in order for it to scale correctly. Here’s an example.

model = Sketchup.active_model
ents = model.active_entities

level1 = ents.add_group
ents_level1 = level1.entities

level2 = ents_level1.add_group
ents_level2 = level2.entities

depth = 24
width = 12

# add a rectangle to level2 group
pts = []
pts[0] = [0, 0, 0]
pts[1] = [width, 0, 0]
pts[2] = [width, depth, 0]
pts[3] = [0, depth, 0]

p4 = + 3, depth, 0)
p5 = + 9, depth, 0)

p6 = + 3, 0, 0)
p7 = + 9, 0, 0)

# add dimensions to level1 group

e1 = ents_level1.add_edges( p4, p5)
e2 = ents_level1.add_edges( p6, p7)

dim1 = ents_level1.add_dimension_linear p4, p6,  [3, 0, 0]
dim1.arrow_type = Sketchup::Dimension::ARROW_CLOSED

#e1[0].hidden = true
#e2[0].hidden = true


I will agree with @JStockCo that getting LayOut dimensions to snap to underlying geometry (edges, points, faces in the scene from the SU model) is way less robust as the snap features in SU itself. Especially when trying to get the dimension witness point to snap to an edge produced by a section cut. I am continually forced to zoom WAY in to visually place the witness point, only to find that when I open the LO file later, I see the dimension value enclosed in an orange bounding box, requiring a “reconnect” to model action. Because SU has a rather inelegant method of showing profile edges (EVERY edge is a profile if it isn’t adjacent to a visible face) and there is just one option: All profile edges are the thickness selected, which graphically is awkward. Back in the manual pencil/pen draughting days, I would use several line widths to indicate near or distant profile edges, section cuts, etc. To impart this functionality to LO, I trace the edges I wish to be bold with lines that I place on a special poche layer.
Then, when dimensioning the drawing, the witness points are associated with the LO lines and not the model lines. So I can fiddle with each viewport on each page to restore the desired appearance and proper dimensions, but it’s extremely time consuming.
Just saying.
The option to adjust the offset of the witness line from the witness point in LO is, if not very elegant, present, whereas in SU, it doesn’t exist. I suspect that @JStockCo is, like me, a member of the old school where graphic standards in preparing construction documents are a part of the language that is, unfortunately, often ignored in the modern digital world.
When the users of construction documents no longer require two dimensional three-view drawings and can utilize the 3D model directly (such as is done with some CNC and 3D printing projects), I expect this problem will become a non-issue.

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I used to do this - very time consuming!

I follow Mike Brightman’s ideas where I stack a few veiwports on top of each other each one corresponding to various aspects of a floorplan - general view, section cut, 2D objects, and set in SU line widths multiples. These line width multiples translate in LO as the line weights I need.

I don’t believe this works for elevations but then you can use fog to simulate depth perception. But fog and profile line widths only works in raster - grrr!

I have to say I don’t have any issues with dimensioning in LO other than occasionally trying to snap to a line that is hidden in SU.

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I’m a set designer, too, and do nearly all of my dimensioning in LO. I’ve found the new abilities in LO to change the angle of the leader lines help with some of the issues. I also make sure that the dimension’s font size in LO matches the size in SU preferences, and that the arrowheads or tick marks are consistent. This helps if you haven’t tried it.
There are definitely other issues between LO and SU dimensions—like in Layout, architectural feet and inches are separated by a hyphen whereas they aren’t in SU. That seems to be an oversight. And SU dimensions, when viewed in a scene in LO, sometimes disappear in vector or hybrid modes, hidden by geometry perhaps.
How do you manage your dimensions for your documentation? A ton of layers? Or hiding/unhiding per scene? Just curious.


I dimension, as does @DaveR, in LO, almost exclusively. Although it’s crippled, graphically, it’s still WAY better than SU dimensions for meeting graphic standards (and therefore readability) without ambiguity.
I just wish it snapped better. And to the geometry, not the artistic stuff used to dress up otherwise plain (and often ambiguous) projections.

But here’s one I haven’t seen in these pages. Like Jim (@JStockCo), when showing a small dimension, say 2" at 1.5"=1’-0" scale, and with 9 pt font (as small as is practicable for architectural drawings) the bounding box of the text (which is HUGE IMHO) is somehow filled (there are no controls that I’ve found to eliminate this fill) and obscures the witness line. Yes, I can manually move the text outside the witness line, but what if on both sides are other dimensions? I can explode the thing, and the fill goes away.
Now, I don’t especially mind the fill, but why, oh why, is the text box so darned big? Changing justification from left to right to center does nothing to fix this issue. With ordinary text, I can grab the bounding box and resize it (to a disappointingly small degree) so that it doesn’t wipe out adjacent stuff. But this is not available with dimensions.
Anyone have a solution? @DaveR?

Likely obvious to yourselves and many others - but - ‘Call out’ views (not sure of correct nomenclature) are often a good way to counter this by adding a pop out view with corresponding reference (e.g ‘A’ which corresponds to 'Detail:A //OR// A ‘magnifying window’ type breakout where the viewport scale is reduced to provide clarity for finer detail)

With LO it is more labour intensive than say SOLIDWORKS etc but you can still achieve a presentation of reasonable quality and clarity.

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You need to set dimension sizes to MM and not PTs in the setting to control size in layout

Hi Martin

Thanks for your reply, just coming back online after the holidays so apologies for late reply, I tried your method and it works sooo much better than the look I was getting so thankyou very much. In terms of your other question, I usually use a template where I have one scene that the only alteration form my previous scene is that dimensions are shown, this keeps me in the same viewpoint and style but with dimensions I can access quickly, I could you layers as well (and sometimes do) but this is a quick way to push out dimensions (which I then export as PDF’s).

On John’s reply I would say that as an industry the UK Commercial Set construction industry are very much ready to embrace the design intent with a 3d model (almost evreyone I know uses Sketchup and does most of the dimensioning within the main program itself, whilst leaving some items undimensioned as the info can be retrieved for the model directly). In terms of Trimble connect, I don’t really know anyone who uses it.

again, thankyou both for your replies and hope you had a good holiday period

best regards


this does not work. the dimension does not stick to end point when you adjust the size

For this trick to work the floating dimensions need to be connected to not-visible elements in your scene. These elements can be hidden or on a layer that is not visible.

In the example above, the not-visible elements were hidden inside of a group and therefor scaled with the group. Another more flexible option is to place the not-visible elements on a separate layer.

Let me provide a working example:

In this Sketchup file I’ve placed short stubs inside of the components at points where the dimensions will connect. The stubs are on a layer of their own and colored with a red material. Also there are two scenes, one where the stubs layer is visible and one where the stubs layer is not visible.

To adjust the length of an object you click on the scene with the visible stubs and move both the stubs and the edges they are referencing.

Not an ideal solution, I know; but the results look rather nice.

dimensoins good

And the Sketchup file so you can see how things are arranged.

timber (SU8).skp (169.2 KB)

I use auto magic dimension it allow you to set the offset and you can allow move the dimension