RfE: Extend functionality for being a full blown Viewer

at least the desktop versions of the SU Viewer should be extended by the measurement tools (Tape Measure, Protractor) as well as the dimension/annotation tools (Dimensions, Text). Additionally the Entity Info panel for formatting the dimension/text entities created would be required too.

Which would surely not hurt sales of the full SU Pro version but allow coworkers or partners of SU Pro users to add additional information required by them only without the need resp. being able to ask the user for doing this.

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Totally disagree, as this would then make the applets an editor.

I’m not against letting the user use the dimension tool to take the measure of objects (as the Tape Measure tool stinks royally.)

It is needed any way, along with the selection tool, so that objects can be examined.

We’ve already discussed this before as a Pro Viewer (that also hopefully gets DC support.)

[quote=“DanRathbun, post:2, topic:42710”]Totally disagree, as this would then make the applets an editor.

A sort of ‘markup’ is a pretty common purpose of more or less every better viewer, not being able to save these changes should suffice.

What if you could add text but it was hardcoded to be bright red? Just thinking out loud.

even then formatting of e.g. font and size would be required.

I would agree, only IF it saved the redlining in a separate component .SKPR file, and was only added to a paid Pro viewer edition.

There’s no reason whatsoever to invent a new file type. That will only confuse people without gaining anything.

Also I don’t really agree that this should only be a feature in a paid pro viewer. I thought the whole point of the viewer was that professional SketchUp users could allow their clients to view models without having the clients invest any money in it. I have lost count of how many times the architects at my office have told other people to get the viewer so they can see our models. Allowing other people to view our models is a great benefit of SketchUp. Perhaps the viewer should be looked to only open models made in SketchUp Pro instead? Or the files edited in the viewer could be locked to only open in SketchUp Pro.


totally agree, being aware that supporting applications as a viewer don’t generate any relevant revenue anyhow but do create additional value for prospective buyers the viewers for iOS/Android should be free too.


I don’t see how added annotation tools would significantly affect Pro sales (like companies say, we now can provide Y employees with a viewer that can’t even draw an edge, and then we have to buy X – Y licenses).

But there is a need to professionally and temporarily collaborate with your clients or outside companies, whereof only one side (you) is a permanent Pro license holder.

Although web apps are not exactly popular here because they are a) considered second-class apps or b) considered less performant, I think that use case is exactly what my.sketchup.com is for:

  • It has the lowest barrier of entry (share a link with other people, no admin priviledges),
  • is absolutely cross-platform (works not only with your outside company’s office workstation, but also on the tablet in the workshop or on the field etc.)
  • and is ideal for one-time use (no permanent installation).

Trimble stays in control of the application without giving away too powerful SketchUp[Viewer] executables. However, I agree, it is also in Trimble’s strategic interest to spread dependency on their collaboration/cloud infrastructure (which is neither in mine, nor most users’ interest).

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it has a big drawback for all companies not interested in providing their intellectual property to an online/cloud service… and also relying on the unknown OpenCL capabilities of the (mandatory) browser used by the client.

Additionally, nobody knows if a further developed released version of my.sketchup.com will still be free.

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because the staff (sales, workshop) which needs markup but no modeling functionality can be provided with an appropriate viewer which obviously is of an additional feature=value for the Pro product.

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That’s absolutely right, intellectual property is an issue. While the web app has the advantage of zero-setup, it should not hinder users to exchange files by their own secured communication channels (email with customers, company-owned cloud).

If one uses (app) → Insert File… one can open local skp files that will only be loaded into the browser’s local storage and no login is required. Of course one could question if – without opensourcing SketchUp code – we can trust it really does not transmit intellectual property to Trimble’s cloud.

a) someone has to pay for it
b) it is a professional workflow, and so should not be available to Make / Free users
c) not all Pro license holders would use client markup in their workflow

… so perhaps there could be some kind of temporary license that a Pro licensee would give to their customer. This “coupon” or whatever it is called would expire in 30 days.

Pro licensees who do not use markup in their workflow, should not be forced to bankroll a tool they do not use.

It depends upon how it is implemented. If the markup is saved in a zip archive, with XML data similar to how SKM and LayOut files are now, then it might get it own “markup” file extension.

Give people a bit more credit. Not everyone is a dunce. This would be expected to be used by Pro edition users, who are most likely tech school or college graduates.

Being a different file type, would also make it more difficult to import into Make editions.

Nope. Pro users who don’t use solid tools still have to pay for it, pro users who don’t use dynamic components still have to pay for it and pro users who don’t use layout still have to pay for it. I think it would cost users more if SketchUp had fifthyeleven different licenses to administrate where you pay only for the features you need. To me it makes perfect sense that Pro users pay for the development of the viewer, even if they don’t use it themselves.

Adding text to a file is already supported by the SKP format; there is no need to invent a new format for this. It would only cost extra money without creating any additional value. Making up a new extension for a file that has the same format and is used the same way (opened as a model in SketchUp) is just confusing and without adding anything useful. Remember that the viewer is used by people who are certainly not experienced SketchUp users but only use it because someone else who is want to show the a 3d model.


[quote=“DanRathbun, post:13, topic:42710”]…should not be forced to bankroll a tool they do not use.

as always, 80% of the users do use 20% of the software functionality.

An accompanying viewer needs to be a free product which creates it value by promoting/spreading the main application (aka SUP) because e.g. licensees can provide their customers - who surely don’t wanna pay for - a free SU viewer.


Okay, but then we will never agree on this.

I also have said in the past, and do so again here, that I DO wish that the Dynamic Components, the Solid Tools, LayOut and Style Builder; … were all OPTIONAL paid extensions.

BUT… the markup data itself is [ or should be ] only used by professional users, so it DOES make sense for a .markup archive format that can only be loaded by SketchUp Pro editions.

There already IS a free viewer. I’m not against the limited free viewer as it exists now.

Again, the Pro licensees, who need their customers to provide feedback / markup, could buy a cheap 30-day license coupon that they email to their customer, and they input it into the viewer and it activates the markup feature. (It could also be made very painless on the web editions, where a coupon icon appears when a pro license holder has sent one to a user, and all the user need do is click the icon to activate markup features.)

This is no different then a toll bridge. Only those using the bridge need pay the tolls. (It’s not something I just invented.)

It may not entirely pay for development, but at least it might pay the maintenance costs.

Listen, I am a realist. Trimble is a commercial company which creates and markets commercial software services that they expect to be paid for. IMO, new proposed free products or features, are not likely to ever get implemented. If they do come about, they’d get implemented last after any revenue generating features or products. It just how business works.

I’m a realist too… as most other companies in this area too and providing free viewers incl. markup tools (and lots of other stuff) supplementing and promoting their commercial products which makes the money regularly for free… following your argumentation the use of the 3D/Extension Warehouses or the geolocation services (which surely are not used by all users and do create expenditures at the Trimble side) should be charged too.

I’m against your proposed payment wall which propably does create more expenditure to create/manage than the revenue worth.

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