Sketchup Pro on iMac w/ Dual Monitor Setup Issue

Main computer is an iMac operating osX 11.6 Big Sur.

I have a Asus second monitor that I use for my main screen.

Issue is that every time I open Sketchup it always starts up on the iMac screen and I have to move it over and stretch it to fit the screen. Any time I open a new file it also opens on the iMac.

I would like to see the launch window and all file windows open on the Asus monitor every time and the window is automatically stretched to fit the screen. Is this possible?

How do you open SketchUp. Have you opened it from the dock on the Asus monitor?

hey @endlessfix

yeah, have tried both docks. if I open from the iMac the launch screen is on the iMac. If I open from the Asus, the launch screen is on the Asus. But when I pick the file to open, it always opens on the iMac.

Hi :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:. That make sense I think I’ll have to test when I get home, I’m on my phone. I have a 3 monitor setup with layout set to open on the left and SketchUp on the center (MBP) and it reliably stays put. Sometime the welcome screen moves but the main app window and toolbars stay.

Even if SketchUp is already running on the Asus, double clicking a file icon will open on the iMac?

You might be able to use spaces to assign apps to different desktops?

yep…opening from Finder also goes to the iMac even though I have the main Sketchup window on the Asus.

Hey, Sorry I had to go get dinner sorted.

Get SketchUp positioned and sized the way you want it on the Asus monitor, go to SketchUp>preferences>workspace>Save current window size (saves location info too). Then quit SketchUp and let it close normally. After this if SketchUp is open on the Asus monitor any .skp file window should open there in the correct size and location.

If SketchUp is not currently running then you must open a .skp file from an open finder window on the Asus monitor, if you open a file from another desktop file window, the file should still open on the Asus but the app and toolbars will open on the desktop you double clicked the file from, just as if you started SketchUp from the dock in that monitor. But as long as it’s already running any file anywhere should be fine.

You can also assign specific applications completely to a certain desktop spaces. In systems preferences > mission control> and check Displays have Separate Spaces, then restart. Then with SketchUp closed, right click on the icon in the dock of the Asus and choose options>Assign to the appropriate desktop space.

1 Like

What happens if you go to System Preference>Displays and drag the menu bar to the external monitor. I use and external monitor with a MacBook Pro and it looks like this:

The menu bars appear on both screens, but the one you drag it to becomes the startup monitor, I think.


Looks like both @endlessfix & @RTCool are correct.

I did not know that I could move the menu bar to the other monitor in System Preferences. That was a great tip. Changed a bunch of things about how I use the entire system. Thanks!

I also did not know about the “save current window size”. That is an option in both SKU & LO. Everything is functioning perfectly now. Thanks!!


I think that Finder setting also effects where the Command-Tab shortcut list pops up, something I use a lot, and other dialogs. That said, I’d swear the computer still gets “confused” from time to time and things pop up or open on the wrong monitor.

interesting…my command/tab list always and still pops on the Asus second monitor…hmm?

I think your right…sometimes it just does what it wants to.

Glad that’s working. All good tips, for whatnots worth I am able to keep the menu bar on one monitor and open an app consistently on a separate monitor.

But if it suits you can actually physically rearrange your monitors so the Asus is the central main desktop and the iMac is the side monitor.

Thanks for the reminder of that. I guess I just forgot all about it.

1 Like

I can see where that would work now with that tip about setting window size. I think it just makes sense for me to use both solutions.

Absolutely! Moving the menu bar is a great tip. I just meant that one can have an external monitor as a central or even the only monitor on ones desk and that the built in computer monitor can be peripheral.

Where both tricks come into play is when one wants to open separate apps in different locations. For example I commonly use SU and Layout simultaneously so I have each sized and set to open along with all their toolbars on separate monitors.

that’s an interesting solution. I had never thought to have both open but on different monitors. I use command/tab most often to solve the stacked windows on the main monitor. I usually put all communication apps on the iMac monitor so putting LO or SKU on that one would create issues for me. I also have my SKU/LO tool menus open on the iMac with modeling and drawing windows open on the ASUS monitor.
I’m currently making a new desktop that is 9’0" long. Perhaps I will see if your two monitor setup would work.
Do you work from 3 monitors then? How do you transfer from one monitor to another? Can you do that from a single seated or standing position or do you have to move?

I have been wondering if it makes sense to just have the work platforms in one location and then have a completely separate computer for all communication in another location that I have to move to.

Yes, Layout on the left, SketchUp in the center, and communication / surfing / everything else on the right (I use a portrait rotated monitor on the right that is nice for vertical stacked lists like email and most scrolling websites like the forum) . I don’t really transfer, I just move my head a bit.

I think I would have Forum withdrawals and never get any work done if it were at a different station. :rofl: