SketchUp 2021.1: A notable and noticeable update

I’m happy to announce that a 2021.1 update is now available for SketchUp Pro, and also live in SketchUp for Web. This release features notable changes to tool ‘modifiers’, inferencing, face drawing, Live Components, PDF export quality, and… well, let’s just say there are many useful and important details to read about in our Release Notes and on the SketchUp Blog.

Our team is pretty excited about this update. We have really rolled up our sleeves to work out some modeling quirks and establish more consistent usage patterns. Our motivation is to improve learnability for newcomers and also to lay a foundation for more efficient, capable tools.

For many people, these will be subtle changes. But if you use SketchUp regularly, you are likely to ‘notice’ the important nuances of this update. So, we are eager to gather and understand your feedback. How are you adapting? What are you in love with? And where would you like to see us do more to improve?

We’ll be listening on this thread, but also across the SketchUp Forum. Please start dedicated topics to discuss the tools, modeling behaviors, or other aspects of this update that matter most to you. Happy sketching, all!

To update SketchUp Pro, use the ‘Check for Update’ service in SketchUp, or download the update manually here.


I have a 2021 classic license and my M&S expired February 2021.

( I have since taken out a subscription )

Will this 2021.1 update and all future 2021 updates (if they are released) be covered under my 2021 classic license? That is, if I decide to unsubscribe at some future time, will I be still able to use 2021.1?

Yes, all minor updates are included within a ‘major’

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I like very much to see the “standardisation” of Modifier persistence of the tools. :slight_smile:

:bulb: :
I would suggest to make some similarity with “sticky keys” as the Eraser tool do with the Shift key.
But to lock an inference drawing direction. Like in a Rotated rectangle tool example

I mean for example, if you tap (hit) the Shift key, you will toggle the actual inference locker, and if you hold down Shift , you will enable the lock until you release the key.

Perhaps, this can be applied to the arrow keys too.

Jack, does that mean I am entitled to download this update? I had the old yearly subscription which expired in May. So I have updated to Version 21.0.392 but haven’t been invited to update to this latest version. If I am entitled, how do I get to it?

I know I have to come to a decision about when to move to the new subscription system. I can either do it now or save myself a bit of dosh and wait for a major release, perhaps later in the year. I can’t see anything earth shattering in this new release but I welcome the ability to retain the modifier key status. It means we almost have a copy command that I have longed for ever since leaving the Autocad world behind!

However the “Check for Update” perhaps will give you it later only… but the manual download and install should work.

I had completely forgotten about that menu item. It is actually in a different menu on a Mac but simple to find.

It’s downloading now!


So far so good. I’ve updated work and home PCs and no issues on startup after install. Ran thru a few commands and tasks on work PC yesterday and all worked. Thanks for the update.

We have certainly discussed how this pattern might apply to Shift-based inference locking. In this first pass, we wanted to apply the ‘sticky’/tooggle pattern widely enough with tools that people could get a sense of how it works, before going further.

In a way, we feel that the Shift key is the press-and-hold alternative to ‘sticky’ infererence locking with the arrow keys. But it’s possible that people primarily use one form of locking over the other. Do you think you use Shift a lot more than arrow keys to lock inferences, or would you say that you use the two methods more evenly?

My left hand usually located close to the Left Shift key, because then I can use the Ctrl and Alt modifiers (for shortcuts too) without lifting my hand. My right hand on a mouse and used only to type to VCB or so, otherwise nearly exclusively on the mouse, and the keyboard is handled by my left hand.
When I want to lock to axis with the arrow keys, I have to lift my left hand or release the mouse.

If the Shift key would be sticky I will be able to lock/unlock to axis just a sort hit on it.

BTW. Currently if I lock to axis by the arrow keys I can only unlock with one of them. There is no effect if I hit Shift. I would feel more natural if I can unlock (override) the current axis lock too.

At the end with the “sticky shift key” ALL locks / unlocks could be handled by hitting or holding on one key.

There was a “perhaps” about the arrow keys in my previous post… and I still uncertain if better or not to change.

Currently I use the two methods (Shift / arrows) more-or less evenly, therefore, the muscles of my left hand are maintained… :slight_smile:

:bulb: Maybe… :thinking:

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Great release!, I’m yet to update but it will improve our modelling process. Thanks

I am sure I saw that changes had been made to the scale box in Layout, meaning that you can now type in any scale you like without having to choose from a predetermined list. That doesn’t seem to work for me. I get the usual muddled list as below:

Is it 'cos I is a Mac user?

Viewport model tray Simon…


Ah yes!

Mind you, I wonder why they keep the Preferences list if you can just type in what you want?

We think the preferences list may still be helpful for people who are looking for a very specific or want to compare between two different scales. Also, you can still add your own custom scale to that list for use in future viewports. But also, we just didn’t see a reason to take it out entirely.

Thanks for the explanation. Seems fair enough, although I have always found the way the list is populated and ordered makes little sense (though I think that may be mostly a Mac thing). I rarely add to the default list but I often find the list is not populated with the full default list. It seems haphazard.

Personally I often have Isometric versions of scales saved, i.e. the scale factor modified for the foreshortening when the lines aren’t parallel to the image plane but goes diagonally away from the camera.

I would also think a list of saved suggested scales can be helpful for new users who may not be familiar with scales, but with no free version of LayOut that that is probably quite rare.

Yes, it’s a small thing really.

Is there also a reason why it could not be simplified to read “Scale 1 to” and then a box with drop down as at present with the various pre-sets or the ability to type in what you want? Why are the units necessary, for example? I know some might say they want a scale bigger than full scale, like 2:1, but it must be fairly simple to deduce that there is always a 1: alternative (1:0.5 in this case). Equally, it might be argued that some people use a colon separator, others a dash or a slash, etc. But again, not hard to recognise them all as the same thing. The only thing it wouldn’t cover (that I can think of) is percentage. But who uses percentages for scales?