SketchUp version compatibility

I’m using SketchUp Pro 2020, v20.1.228. A friend wants to download SketchUp for his PC, and to be able to open (and maybe edit) models I’ve sent him, then send them back to me. Looking at the website, there appear to be only three versions, Pro, and two web versions. Is there no longer a downloadable free version he can use?
And if he is forced to use the online version, is it fully compatible with models I make, and / or what are its limitations please?

Have your friend do a web search for “SketchUp Make 2017” which is the most recent (and final) desktop-based version of SketchUp that is without cost (and it is licensed for hobby use only). There should be a copy somewhere on the site (which is the only one I would trust).

If your friend uses the 2017 version, then you (with 2020) can use the Save As… function and change the type of .SKP file you want to save, from a drop-down list that includes many versions of SketchUp. If you use Save As with SketchUp 2020 to create a SketchUp 2017 file, then your friend will be able to open it with SketchUp Make 2017.Your copy of SketchUp Pro 2020 will also be able to open the file which was saved as a 2017 file. (A few features which were added to SketchUp after 2017 was released will be lost when saving in this manner, but I don’t know what. Things like dashed lines, probably.)

The web-based versions of SketchUp can open any versions of SketchUp model .SKP files, I believe.

The major functional limitation of the web-based versions of SketchUp is that they lack the ability to use extensions or plug-ins, which are little software packages that add new features to the core SketchUp program.

You didn’t say what you are modeling or what you do with the model, so take this only as a gentle reminder: if you are using the models in a for-profit fashion, I think your friend would be considered a co-worker and will need to buy a Shop or Pro subscription for your collaboration to be within the license terms.

If you create a project on and upload or ‘publish’ the file and invite him, he can view and even edit in the free web version.
No arguments on who did what to the model, all revisioned versions will be available.

great! Thanks for the advice

My friend is an ex-colleague and 30 year user of Autocad, Microstation and now Revit. I’m trying to bring him into the SU fold, as he is talking about setting up on his own.
Maybe SketchUp should be paying me a commission?!?!?

That sounds like the perfect solution! Thanks very much

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Rather have your friend download SU2017Make, as previously mentioned, but have him download and install the free extension called “Open Newer Version”, no need to make use of other online services to ensure compatibility between SU2017 and SU2020.

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And what about compatibilty of Windows extensions on Mac?

that’ll teach 'em for buying apple…

seriously though, downsave from the higher version. always try to use methods that relies on the minimum number of external dependencies.