SketchUp 2021.1: A notable and noticeable update

I would LOVE this feature to be able to turn OFF the Sticky Keys. I love SU trying to innovate, but these sticky keys are completely ruining my rhythm of work flow after 17 years of using the program one way… I get some things take time to rebuild muscle memory, but these really seem to cause more trouble (for me) then they are worth.


Way at the bottom of the many changes it states:

(Mac) Fixed a problem where exported PDF files were extremely large on Mac

I am not a beta tester. I generally wait to do updates, and leave that to those with higher skills. But this improvement makes me want to install it right away. Can anyone atest that this is true? I have had layout exports that are larger than 100 MB.

It took some time to test this. The first files I tried were coming out at an identical size, whether I used 2020, 2021.0, or 2021.1. So I went to look at the bug report, and tried the test file that was used for that case.

It’s a 137 MB LayOut file, and when trying to get a medium quality, using JPEG, with LayOut 2020 the PDF was 111 MB. With the same settings in 2021.1, the PDF is 10.8 MB. So that’s an improvement.

It was 106.8 MB with 2021.0.

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Please remove the “focus” feature where, if I click inside the tags box, then I have to click OUTSIDE the tags box to continue working. This feature is first of all annoying, personally useless, and also not standardized across all features including in Layout, so it seems especially pointless and arbitrary.

In November last year, January and March this year I pointed out the following WHICH HAS NOT BEEN INCOPORATED IN THE UPDATE AS FAR AS I CAN ACERTAIN!!!:
I pointed out some time ago that a selected component amongst other components CANNOT be exported to an 2 dimensional STL file.

The only way to do this is to copy the component to new Sketchup file and then export as an STL file. Even then if this unique and only component has bee selected and highlighted it will not be exported.

Since I am paying ‘top dollar’ as a professional user and I am doing a lot of 3D printing this is beginning to annoy me (quite a lot).

Ian Fraser

Have you checked the export settings, as it works perfectly for me.

I’m assuming you mean a 3d stl as a 2 dimensional stl would be useless for 3d printing.

Ok – My humble apologies. I had not checked my options again and the update I am guessing reset them. When I tried after the update the option to choose the current selection was unticked.

Serves me right for not checking that, thanks

Ian Fraser


Exporting the selection was fixed in the 2021.1 update. When you talk about a 2D STL file, how do you make one of those? If I export a selection that is only flat on the ground faces, it still seems to export ok.

Sorry it is a typo



Strong agree.

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@nate2, @mattw

Are there any specific tools you find the most troublesome? There are currently some tools allowing both the new tap for toggle and the old hold down pattern, while other now require the new pattern.

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:wave: The most annoying for me is the fact that after I click within a side window (Tags/Entity Info/etc), I have to click back into my main model window to continue working. I don’t understand why someone thought this was a good idea.

The sticky key I only notice when I’m trying to move something and either copy it or not copy it. Even though I don’t like it, I can get used to the change and see how someone might have thought it was a good idea.


Completely agree. I saw these “innovations” at a client this morning (under classic license). It is really an embarrassment to work, and I really do not see the point.


When I select Faces and view Entity Info, some faces are giving a negative value.

This applies on both front and back faces. I dont see any pattern why some would be + and some -.

When adding cumulative faces, this also applies so the added value is wrong.

If this is intentional (why would it be?) then it is a complete disaster for my work…!!!

error calc faces.skp (38.2 KB)

SKP model above may hold the key.

Eneroth Flatten Faces fixes the problem (i hope/trust, since i dont have a way of verifying what SKP is telling me the area is)

I’d say it is related to the Bowtie bug, this tiny triangle is causing the edges around the inner hole to be included in a double click selection of the face.
As an aside you have faces and edges tagged separately.

Ah, so it’s not related to 2021.1?
Thanks for looking.

…But it’s a pretty critical bug! This sort of error could mean all my property data is way wrong… $millions in investment which hinges on my plans and, if incorrect, i could be held liable!

Is there an official explanation on this “Bowtie bug”? (first I’ve heard that name).

PS the geometry on differnet tags is intentional (lineweights).

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It’s one of those things we know about and keep pointing out to people in the team, but it never gets fixed.
Basically it is whenever you create a shape that attaches by one point it somehow sees it as two faces, or one face folded back on itself.

You can replicate it easily as you see in the gif, add another edge to split the face and it will behave properly.
Single point


The interesting thing is that this “update” is neither “good or bad”, its just different, and when you get used to working a certain way it really messes up your rhythm. Specifically, I’m VERY used to HOLDING down the ALT key when using the paint bucket to load in a material, but now I have to tap the alt key. If I now hold the ALT key down, it doesn’t properly load in the material. Its simply habit over 17 years of SU use that i now have to break. Similarly, the move/copy command. I get the “stickiness” idea, and in theory its great, but it is different then what I’m used to, so therefor really messes with my rhythm. None of these are inherently good or bad changes, they are just different, and different is disruptive, which is why I would love to be able to toggle this on/off. Just my 2 cents.


I sadly haven’t had much time to use the latest version myself but have used SketchUp extensively for 14 years or so so I know what you mean with habits and rhythms. Paint Bucket tool should have a dual pattern where both tapping and holding are supported. In theory this should be like the toggle you describe, except that you don’t need to toggle it, it should support both patterns out of the box.

What happens in detail when you hold Alt? If the behavior has changed it might be a bug.

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