SketchUp and Layout - speed and modelling efficiency

Is there anywhere to get tips on modelling efficiency? I’ve been using SU for years and LO for a while too and thought i was ok at most things, but am confused about a few things recently;-
For each project I make a model as existing, and then Save As to make the proposed model and add the extension or loft conversion or whatever. So the size of the two models should be pretty similar. Latest project though has existing model as 2.9MB and the proposed as 18.6MB, and I can’t see where the difference comes from!
Also, since upgrading to 2023, Layout is extremely slow on my Mac. Are there particular settings (Vector/Raster, particular Styles in SU, importing pdf files, etc) that have a big effect on Layout’s speed? I’m finding it a lot slower than 2022 version.

Some things I have learned so far as relative n00b of a couple of years :

Vector line setting absolutely kills LayOut speed.
I think you have to go through and change viewports to Vector only before exporting to pdf if the increased line quality over Raster is important.

Too many pages also seems to kill it.

And yesterday I tried to change the scale of something I had drawn in Layout by converting it to a scaled drawing and changing the scale. LayOut pretty much went on strike.

Interested to read what others can suggest as it seems I am pretty much in the same boat as you in our line of work.

You’re on Mac Jonny - I’m Windows.

It would seem that historically Mac users have had issues that Windows users haven’t.

And there are many Windows users that have issues too!

I have no issues - I keep my models simple for Layout and draw much of my detail in Layout - I have standard details and drawing groups drawn in Layout that I reuse.

If I need a more detailed model for a client or I need to understand how a complicated arrangement would work, I would create a copy of the basic model to work on.

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Mine is a disaster! Just placing text notes, labels and dimensions in Layout is really slow, and that is (presumably) not related to the images being vector or raster attachments.
The number of pages isn’t an issue either. When I started getting 12, and 15MB Layout files with just one sheet, i stopped using multiple sheets and started using a separate Layout file for each drawing (so my SketchUp model has Plan views taken to the Plan Layout drawing, and Elevation views taken to a separate Elevations Layout drawing). That keeps the project files to a manageable size and is actually easier when it comes to handling revision number etc.
Worst of all though, is if i try and import a PDF or PNG drawing into my Layout file. I need them for Location and site plans (UK Planning Offices require an Ordnance Survey location plan, which I purchase as a pdf). But adjusting the size of that once its in layout is reeeaaallly slow

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Layout is a real mess of a program. Desperately in need of optimisation. Even with best practise, a sheet full of annotation and viewports crawls. Then have 30+ sheets for a full project and its a real nightmare.


I get a digital OS map with I use to create the location plan and as a base for the site plan - very simple and no issues.

I spilt my drawing set into groups of drawings so usually not more than several pages per Layout file.

Most of my construction document sheets are information dense with notes, labels, dimensions, etc. and I have no slowness.

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are you using LO 23.0.366 on a Mac, Paul?
Mine was fairly slow previously, but since upgrading to 2023 mine is terrible.

(and by the way, are the digital OS maps expensive? and where from? i pay about £40 for a 1:500 plus a 1:1250)

Paul – I’m on Windows.

I’m aware that some Mac users on previous versions have serious issues.

I get my OS digital maps from MapServe – 2 hectare £24.88 + VAT.

Yeah that sounds convenient

Ok please share the file so we can check if it is slow

Here you go Turnervisual

Example_for_SU_Forum.Layout (5.1 MB)

Now you can share one of your 30+ sheets file that is a real nightmare so that I can check that it is a real nightmare.

It is actually convenient.

I looked at your file. It shows a crashing issue that we thought was fixed recently. I added the file to that bug report, thanks.

That aside, one interesting thing to notice is that if you turn off the grid, zooming in and out becomes a lot smoother.

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Thanks Colin!

The grid… that never occurred to me that it could affect zooming – not that I ever considered my files were sluggish.

Indeed there is an improvement :thinking: I’ll miss my grid if I turn it off.

@Adam, could there be a Hide Grid While Zooming option?

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We are investigating various ways to improve the performance of drawing the grid specifically, in addition to other performance improvements. The desired result is that we won’t need to do something like hiding the grid while performing a zoom or pan operation.


Could you please upload that layout file in V2022.

I’m very curious how you can keep a fully fledged project at construction documentation stage down to 5.1mb. Very impressive indeed!

I’ll DM it to you later.

As I said, I break down my drawing sets into sections and the attached file is just 3 A1 sheets of my “A4” arrangements.

With the other sections then it would add up to more than 5Mb and this was not such a large project - so not that impressive.

I used to do my drawing sets as one file containing upwards of 30 A3 pages and whilst I never had lag or slowness issues, breaking the one file up was easier to manage.