Something went really wrong

I tried to update my embedded model and it went to H in a handbasket, What happened? Can it be fixed? Luckily I had renamed and saved the file so the building dept. (and my future self) wouldn’t get confused with the prior versions, so the fix was easy: delete the messed up file, pdf and backup, and I renamed and saved it anew.
The recurring crux of my problem, is my inability to update a greyed out embedded file. I wish I understood why it is even necessary to have an embedded file in the first place, or how I should go about updating it.

Looks like you have two problems there. One is the unupdated embedded file. The other is the text in red.

No one can say why you have an embedded file or why it won’t update. We have no idea what it is.

The text in red is because you must have moved something or updated a SU file. As all the leader lines converge on a point, it looks like you may have re-scaled something. When I want to enlarge the scale of a viewport, I often use leader text on a point in the drawing in the middle of what I want to see. Then when I change the scale, I can see where I need to expand the viewport to be able to see it again. Not only is this a useful trick, it helps explain what may be going wrong in instances such as yours.

The problem with the labels stems from you having modified the camera position in the viewports so they didn’t match the scenes. When you updated the reference the camera position was returned to the way you set up the scenes. If someone handed me a file like this I think I would set up the viewports from scratch and redo the labels. Looks like a few dimensions were taken along for the ride, too. Three yellow triangles indicates three viewports affected.

Edit to add: This is an excellent example of why I advise my students to avoid modifying the camera position in viewports in LayOut. I’ve heard some folks say that setting the camera position in LayOut is a time saver. The few seconds you save by not creating an appropriate scene in SketchUp is lost many times over when you have to repair this kind of mess.

The gray rectangle in the upper right indicates a missing image reference. Most commonly this occurs when images have been copied from somewhere and pasted into LayOut. In LO2020 a change was made that automatically embeds copied images but in older versions like 2018, which your profile inidcates you are using, the reference pointed at the temporary file which is created when you copy. That temporary file will be deleted eventually and you lose the reference.

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What was going on was this - I wanted to change a dimension which was on the original model ( edit it to read 24’3" instead of 24’4" ) I did so, and saved the scene, saved theSUmodel. When I went to the LO viewport, update model reference was greyed out. I opened preferences, found which item it was and hit update. Bam! It went hay wire. Edit undo did nothing. The backup was likewise messed up.


I had not intentionally changed the camera position in either LO or SU. Accidentally, possibly. But I have no recall of having done so.

What is weird about the grey box, is this:

When I save my LO project as v3, wouldn’t it save all the links and their addresses? The file was in the same directory as the references. My thought when I saw the greyed out box was it can’t find the source documents.

Maybe I will pay for an upgrade. I don’t want an annual subscription though. I don’t use it enough to justify the cost. If I were to upgrade photoshop, and I decide to discontinue the annual service I was told the soft ware will cease functioning. Will the happen with SU?


I think you’d have to upload your LO file so that we can see just how messed up everything is.

Maybe not intentionally. Something apparently changed with the camera position. Another way this happens is using the Last save SketchUp view for the viewport. Then after making an edit in your model, not saving the file with the exact same camera position.

I don’t know why you would save a LayOut file to LO v3. You’d be likely to lose a bunch of stuff that way.

As I wrote, the reason for the gray rectangle is the image reference is missing or can’t be displayed.

The only option now is a subscription license.

Yes. It’s like when you stop paying the electricity bill and they turn off the power.

As I said, I consigned it to the trash bin. Two pages were messed up, the other 3 were unscathed. I frankly don’t have the time or inclination to undelete it, since I did a fix.

Dave, Typically when I have moved a scene around in an edit, I redo the scene in SU so it is in it’s original position, then update the scene, then save the model. Maybe I thought I had but hadn’t which would explain it.

I did the saved versions v1,v2,v3 so I would have a record of the progression of the project.


Does that mean you appended V1, V2, v3 to the name or used Save as and selected the LayOut version?

Screenshot - 9_24_2021 , 9_40_34 AM

I did the save as bla bla v1, save as bla bla v2 etc. in the customer’s job file. Another customer would have the SU and LO models saved in their job file.

Once you save a scene you can move around in it, make changes etc. Do not update the scene, just save the changes (file). At that point all you have to do is update the model reference in Layout and the changes will be there preserving the original scene view.