SU16 - new "trays" feature

Thanks. Yes we would expect them to act the same.

So this is strange behavior when the trays are floating.
Occurs on Win10 64bit.

Q3: Did you install the Windows 64bit or 32bit edition?

Q4: Are you running any Graphics OEM Desktop management software, that attempts to save and restore window positions ?

64bit, and there is some miscellaneous sw that came with the Radeon. I don’t think it does anything with window positions, but I’ve disabled all the extras and no change in the behavior.

Coming from 25 years of experience in the CAD (since Autocad v10… that’s version 10, not 2010!!), the invention of Revit, and Sketchup I have to say that creating a permanently docked version of the Trays is the worst move that Sketchup could have made for productivity. In the modern world of computer design, multiple monitors are the standard. In versions previous to 2016 (as mentioned in other places in this forum) the Tools were able to be arranged on the 2nd monitor, giving 100% uncluttered, full screen access to your model. Now, the “Tray” not only consumes roughly 15% of my design space, but I have to SCROLL the tray to find a tool? You have got to be kidding me! Any complex model is going to have a list of material and layers alone that fill the visible portion of the tray. Sketchup, you have GOT to make a way to undock this Tray thing and let the tools be rearranged like before. This is a deal breaker and an indication that the people making your software have no connection with the people who are using it. Best wishes!

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I obviously do not have your experience/background and I do not have a 2nd monitor but I recently saw a post (not sure if it was here or on SketchUcation) where an individual showed some excellent layouts of how they were using the trays on a 2nd monitor while working in SU on the primary monitor.

Yes, this is a change in the layout of the tool but being open to change and experimenting with ways to expand the new tools can possibly (and hopefully) lead to better ways of doing things in the long range. Just MHO.

I like the tray arrangement. It’s very similar to the way I’ve set up SketchUp for many years but I get additional toolbar real estate. And for me, being able to scroll through the tray is a bonus. I used to have to collapse windows to be able to get at others.

There are some tray visibility options available as keyboard shortcuts. Go to Window > Preferences > Shortcuts and do a search using the tray name to find them set up the shortcut.

The Tray system has always allowed trays to be undocked (ie, floating.) (Just grab the tray caption bar and drag it off of the dock, or onto the other monitor.)

Also you can “Auto-Hide” trays and they will slide out of view into the margin. Simply hover your mouse over a collapsed tray’s margin-tab and the specific tray will slide back into view. Use it and move the mouse into the modeling area, and it slides back out of view.

Which is why most of us create separate trays for large inspectors like these.

Also I create a “Help” tray for just the “Instructor” panel, and an “ObjectTree” tray for just the “Outliner” panel.

I personally have all trays “Auto-Hidden”, except one I named “Properties” that has the “EntityInfo” and “SoftenEdges” panels on it. (I have that one docked or floating on the 2nd monitor as need be.)

The Tray system is an invention of Microsoft. MS Visual Studio has had it ever since I can remember. I think AutoCAD v13 had it, or a similar sidebar Properties page.

It is customary to read the help for a feature, to understand it, before trashing the feature and/or insulting the development team.

See: SketchUp Help: Customizing Your Workspace > Arranging dialog boxes and trays

Your final insult is totally untrue. (The one saying the team “have no connection with the people who are using it.”) I should know, as *I* remember filing the feature request for the tray system myself like 6 yeras ago,… and politicking, whining and bitchin’ for it every update cycle since.

I agree. The design trays are by far the worst thing about version 2016. There is absolutely not benefit to them at all other then if you like a tray always in your design window. I design with dual monitors and and i still hate how it works. I appreciate your post and hopefully we can convince somebody to change this. Please allow for trays if you want them or not trays like it was before. The main issue is that you can’t minimize them at the top of the screen like we used to and open them when we needed them. It was great to have them out of the way. Now when you minimize, the stupid trays remains in your field of view. please change!

Again, make floating trays and set up keyboard shortcuts to control visibility. Dan provided a link to a page with a tutorial. So far, no one complaining about trays in this thread has bothered to access it. There also are informative tray threads in the forum. If Auto-hidden trays are used, there’s an additional visibility context menu in the tray button sidebar for easy access.

Is there a limit to the number of trays you can create? I can only make it to 10.

But there are 12 tray-capable dialogs. I was wanting to create one tray per available dialog but it doesn’t seem possible.

@jim_foltz: Is the “New Tray…” item grayed out after 10 ?

Yes, indeed-idly doodily it is.(sorry - 20 char limit.)

Oh, BTW, the “Default Tray” layout never did anything for anyone, (It is just a Microsoft requirement.)

Just realized that it can be renamed, and it “seems” to go away. (This might “buy” you another tray.)

I have only (so far) found the need for 6 trays:

Docked on the right:

  • PROPERTIES ( EntityInfo, SoftenEdges )

Auto-Hidden on the right:

  • RESOURCES ( Materials, Components )
  • HELP ( Instructor )
  • STYLING ( Styles, Shadows, Fog, MatchPhoto )
  • ORGANIZE ( Layers, Scenes )

Normally Off -> On (Floats on secondary monitor)

  • OBJECT TREE (Outliner)

I am toying with this AutoHotkey implementation of old snappy dialog behavior. I’ll see if it works with trays of multiple dialogs.


It might have been nice for “floater-people” if a double-click collapsed the floating tray window, instead of docking it.

Perhaps adding a little collapse and expand buttons next to the “x” button ?

Sounds needlessly complicated to make something less awesome work. Why try and fix something that was not broken and make it less usable and more complicated. Why not give people both options. The old way that works or the the new annoying way that doesn’t unless you force it to. You could even call them that in the descriptions. Less is more in this case.

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Actually, a number of computers did have problems with a lack of stability with the old tray system.

No one is forcing anyone to use SU16. Though I enjoy the greater flexibility and extra visible workspace with the SU16 trays.

Lets just say, we all have different views. Juts like chip13, I would gladly have the v15 UI back, without any hesitation. The only thing that needed fixing for me was the outliner open = ruby delay.
But, since LO16 is improved quite a lot AND I never can re-install SU15 again (I use a half year cycly with total re-install of my Windows system to keep it snappy) because Trimble made that impossible after using v16 for a certain period, that’s a no-go.
The new trays imho need an auto-size for the entity info (just like in v15), and more important: a real toggle so if I open tray X, it closes tray Y (and not stacks them). If those options were available in ruby, that would be fine as well.
If a real toggle would work for the trays that are docked to the side that would be fine as well. The autoclose after a few seconds doesn’t work for me. At the moment those side panels, to me, are more like playing whack-a-mole.

all just opinions. happy for those who do feel the new UI is an improvement.

All my (Windows) computers are / were in this boat. Once or twice a week, the stack of tool windows would forget their top left anchor (to the screen [0,0],) and open anchored to the SketchUp application window’s top left coordinates (which was a bit to the right by ~3".) And the order of the windows in the stack would be shuffled. So, annoying !

I am so happy with the MS Tray system, (and have always been. Well used to it in many other non-SketchUp applications for years.)

But I am always in favor of letting the customer “use it their way.”

Not against this if it is a user option. I personally like my windows staying the size I set them to.

I do notice that we cannot manually set a specific size (for EntityInfo,) only “collapsed”, “small” and “expanded” (via the captionbar and expand button.)

It would be nice to have a right-click menu (upon the panel caption bars) that has size control commands (incl. Max’s “AutoSize” feature.)

For those trays that act to much like wack-a-mole when set to auto-hide, pin them to the side and add a keyboard shortcut to toggle visibility. Do a search for tray title in Window > Preferences > Shortcut to setup shortcut.