SketchUp in 2019: where great ideas get to work



Developers wear both hats. We are both users and developers.

I for one have been developing software professionally since the early 80’s and have led groups up to 30 developers in size.

Personally I don’t agree with Chip and his continual tirade.

We also have the right to our opinions.


Last I heard those new extensions you talk of aren’t part of the subscription package we pay to SU.

IOW, while certainly I can add another extension button to the 17 rows of discontinuous extensions, each with different colors, interfaces, and modalities,-- they don’t make up the core functionality of SU.

In reality, they end up patching obvious holes in it.


@eneroth3 @gkernan

Please do understand. I am personally most grateful for the amazing work you both do for this community and users. I use your plugins and am constantly amazed at how creative your solutions are.

Much thanks!


About 60 of my extensions are free, and even open source meaning they can be freely modified to suit new needs.

If those features were native, everyone would have those 17 rows of clutter. This is the point of extensions: you install the tools you need. You don’t need the weight of tools that are irrelevant in your industry, be it interior design, wood working, urban planning, jewelry design or whatever.

Also, extensions don’t automatically have mismatching colors or behaviors because they are extensions, but because the knowledge of how to design something to feel like a part of SketchUp isn’t being spread. Extensions can be made to feel just as native as native features, with the only different being they aren’t forced onto 100% of users. There are even native tools, like the Solid Tools, that doesn’t really feel like an integral part of SketchUp (depends on selection order, have unusual looking mouse cursors, no honoring components etc), but as they are native they can’t be disabled.


Thankyou for your gratitude.


Danger. I have seen so much bloated code for large projects with unlimited budgets and most of it served only to employ coders. The users in this forum are designers and builders, not geotechnical engineers or industrial farmers. SketchUp should be coding to them, to producing the fastest, most powerful and versatile model editor on the planet and the best system for presenting the models in two dimensional space; those solutions are scaleable up to larger projects. It almost never works the other way because the huge budgets produce nothing but cr*p.


Hey Marco. I tracked down a magic mouse, watched a video about how to install it in Blender, and then spent 30 minutes mapping the right click press-and-hold to rotate. I have to be honest: I couldn’t get it work!

In Rhino the right-click behavior is baked in assuming you’ve set up your Magic Mouse correctly. I agree with you that it makes a lot of sense and seems to fit well with SketchUp’s three-button paradigm. Thanks for encouraging me to try this: I’ll spread this around the team a bit.


One of the biggest bloated projects is Microsoft Office. Many of us use only 5% or less of it’s capabilities. When you try to make one large program satisfy everyone this is what you get.

I’m happier with only loading the plugins that I need.


Hi Matt,
I try to implement this very concept for my residential structures too. Maybe every bolt is a bit much but if a bolt is critical to the design then it goes into the model. I try to maintain a single master model from which I derive ALL my drawings. SketchUp is absolutely capable of handling the detail models. Most of my model masters are around 400-500 Mb in size and are still totally usable and nimble (to be fair most of the size is down to texture maps as I have built-in ‘producing Vray render ready models as I go’ to my workflow.
But, as you point out, its the LayOut part that gets sticky, if you search the forum you’ll find a VERY long thread about it, I’m on a Mac and frankly its a dog to use with anything approaching complexity but the quality of its output is phenomenal.
I think the SketchUp team do know about its performance problems and have alluded to them working on it.


Thank you for the response John.
I have no doubt that Trimble is committed to this message, as BIM is the direction the industry has been going for many years, BUT my questioning is more–Is Sketchup/Layout interested in this message? The link you shared in your response indeed takes me to a Trimble page on this topic, BUT no where is there any mention of Sketchup/Layout on that page. In fact it mentions Revit.

I do appreciate that, at times, the larger software can be used for smaller projects, BUT history has taught me that when the software is committed to larger projects, us residential / smaller operations get left in the dust. The software becomes bloating with tools that focus more on the big stuff, and the smaller stuff gets left out. AutoCAD Architecture and Revit are great examples of this phenomenon. We often find ourselves looking for solutions that are nearer our scale. This phenomenon is precisely why I converted to SU/LO from ACAD years ago.

All of that said, any advancement in the lack of functionality in SU/LO I mentioned in my previous post would be much welcomed…for big or small projects.



Thanks for the reply. It is great to hear that SU is handling 400-500 MB files for you.
Most, if not all, of the folks I’ve talked to that are part of the SU Team or Community have, in the past, warned against this.
I have been using Layout since 2013. Trust me, I’ve been watching/listening to the conversation around it’s performance very closely…on this forum and beyond.



In Rhino you have to do nothing in order to get your Magic Mouse ready to use, you can customize it via “preferences- Magic Mouse “ to add more functionality.
And did you try the trackpad on both, Rhino and Blender? both work perfectly fine and intuitive with it, can’t say the same thing about SketchUp.


Yes, there are a few examples of that, the first one I can think of is Skalp, one could easily thinks that’s native to SketchUp.
But there are more extensions that are the opposite, way more, for example Fredo’s fantastic tools, like round corners or push pull, I find them quite disruptive against the simplicity of SketchUp. And how can you vote for simplicity and not criticize the need for two different tools for push-pull faces, the native one and fredo’s? Isn’t about time that native push pull can extrude in any direction?
There are so many inconsistencies within SketchUp… again, do you think that pro camera tools (can’t remember the actual name) is something that most SketchUp user need?


This is to me a great example of what should be a native feature. PushPull already exists as a native tool, so extending it to support Surfaces, but otherwise staying the same, would increase the power of SketchUp without adding any extra clutter, new concepts or cognitive load.

Regarding Advanced Camera Tools I never use them and think they are very non-intuitive. Luckily it is an extension so I can disable it.


I agree!


Modelling all is a good idea, but to what LOD? Because SU handles every edge the same, regardless distance or position, it is what it is. If it could manage the level of detail by simply zooming in and out, you could for instance use the SubD technique: zooming in would increase the number of quads and thus edgecount, zooming out decrease.

One could also imaging an extensension that would draw certain aspects of the building ‘when needed’ (if zoomed in)
The parameters being the most important part of the model and how it looks, less important.
If you built several houses before, you don’t need a drawing of a wall with all the studs etc. You grab a detail of its principle or parameters (2’’4’’ , distance, covering etc) and your imagination and experience will fill the gaps.


Where to post this :thinking: ?

Apologies if this has been touched upon already.

So I renewed my M&S in February 2018 and have been able to upgrade to 2019 without having to pay more. For me there has been no improved change in how I work (I’m just one person providing architectural services for domestic clients) - I could just as well be using 2018, and I have no idea if any of the bug fixes affect me.

To say that I was disappointed with 2019 is an understatement, and here’s the thing…

Many have said that a lot of this is about trust. Very soon I will need to decide if I want to renew my M&S and I’m not sure if I want too.

SketchUp say that they need to earn my business every single day. Given what’s happened how can I trust SketchUp. If I renew my M&S and there are no updates in the next year (like their wasn’t for PC this last year) and November (and December and January) comes and goes with no 2020.

I’m not happy with subscription. I am very happy to have my perpetual license and pay an M&S for bug fixes and yearly upgrades - if it’s affordable for me.

It seems that SketchUp have indicated that at some point in the future Classic will be discontinued and then what for me and others. We will either feel that we need to take out a subscription or continue business with an ageing SU version.


@paul.mcalenan My plan is to keep 2018 and not pay the M&S.

If in the future the updates I have been waiting for come then I will subscribe again from scratch, at least the price point is low all things considered. My workflow is stable and solid in 2018, I could keep using it for many years and it wont impact anything I do. As with many others, Blender is filling in the cracks for the things I am missing in SketchUp.


Native tools come in blocks and can be used/on screen or not depending on a user’s needs.


Not if you use custom toolbars. If those features were native I could actually create a customized toolbar that was worth something. You can’t drag buttons from extensions in new toolbars and that makes the feature almost useless for me. Custom workspaces like you have in Adobe and Autodesk’s vertical applications would also be a big help.