Suggestions to improve Layout

We all know about Layout’s shortcomings when it comes to speed. Hopefully, that will be addressed in due course. In the meanwhile, here are some more minor improvements that I for one would find useful.


The default setting is Raster because it is fastest. We are advised to do all preliminary work using raster viewports and leave changing them to Vector or Hybrid until the end. It’s good advice but also a bit of a pain. It means you have to go through every page and every viewport changing them. What about a single button that would change the render settings for all SU viewports in one hit? It would have to be an option as you don’t necessarily want them all changed to a single setting. But it would save a lot of hassle.

Label text

When you choose a Text Box, you can pre-select a size for the text to fit into. Most of my text is Label Text for which that option is not available. It would be very handy if it was. Maybe when you pull a label from en entity, you would get a default box. If you ignore it, it would work as it does now. But you would have the opportunity before typing of pulling it to a size of choice.

Text Box

When you create a box, you generally know how wide you want it to be but not how high. Often you end up altering it after the event or have to choose Size to Fit. I cannot think of any occasion on which you would want the box to be too small (though you might want it to be overlarge). So what about having the height be automatically determined by the text it has to contain but still allow it to be altered afterwards as you can now?


I find I often need to add text to explain a dimension. You can replace the dimension with text and include the dimension with it but that’s a dangerous thing to do. You might alter things that alters the dimension but the dimension text would stay the same. So the ideal would be to have the ability to add free text as an adjunct to the dimension, leaving the dimension dynamic. This is a commonly available feature in other CAD software.


What I would like is to keep viewports raster rendered but to be able to set PDF and DWG output to use Vector or Hybrid.

1 Like

In terms of box width, all the time!

OK, I’ll try that from now on.

That sounds like a sensible alternative to WYSIWYGness.

Here’s an example:

The text needed to fit between the entity on the left and the title box on the right. I prefer left justification in general. What I find I have to do is either keep hitting return as I’m typing or re-adjust everything afterwards. It’s just a bit of a chore that could be made easier I feel.

Well, at least until they implement your feature request you could either add carriage returns in the right places or you could copy the first label after adjusting the text box size and use it to create additional ones. Personally I’d prefer to control where the return falls to avoid orphans.

Simon, I’ve done away with label texting for much of my work now.

Instead I do this…

I have to say, I don’t really have much of a problem with text in Layout…

Interesting, Paul. I have toyed with that kind of idea so I will think further on it.

Are the ringed numbers separate from the text? If so, how do you go about lining things up (I mean that I know how you might do it but it could also be quite time consuming).

Similarly, are the arrows attached to ringed numbers separate entities?

I can see that you could do some of this using scrapbook entities.

Text is separate from the circle

I’m using a lot of recycled content from previous work and I have a pre-set idea of the layout so that I can use the arrow keys to nudge content by known amounts. To help I use AHK so that the tab key does a click to select and then a double click so I can hover over some text and with one keypress enter text edit mode.

I made the ringed labels like this utilising a feature (?) of a line with an end ‘arrow’. I hope that this doesn’t break with any future update! It might seem that positioning this ‘custom’ label might be time consuming but it works very well for me (in fact much better than a proper label).

I actually don’t make much use of scrapbooks - I should.


Fascinating. You see, this is the kind of thing you don’t generally get in text books or online help! Leveraging other people’s ingenuity.

That’s right!

In fact thanks to @DaveR I have a further improved Layout workflow because I now access styles via the Layout styles collection ability and only have one style in my SketchUp model. Makes all the difference!

1 Like

Paul, I had to give some thought to how you performed your little numbering trick!

I wasn’t sure what you meant by the feature of a line with an arrow. What I did was to make some leader text, clicked into it, selected the arrow line, came out of it and pasted it. That got rid of the text box. Your line is a bit different because you seem to have a short blank end section somehow. Is that an arrow without colour?

I then had to create separate layers for each element to make sure the right things were visible.

Putting the number on the end of the arrow line does mean the line end moves with the number as you show. However, when I create and attach the ring, that doesn’t move in concert. It loses the stickiness of yours so I must be doing something wrong. I wonder if you might be prepared to attach a LO file with just those elements in it to a post here (or PM)?


Heck yes! Drop that beauty into a scrapbook, and you’re set!

To move it though you need to select it all. You could group it but I don’t want that extra double click to enter the group to edit the number or move the text & circle or the leader end.


  • radius/diameter dimension

OK, I see what you are doing now.

If only using Stroke would allow you a circular surround, it would be simpler still!

You have some interesting ideas, but I wanted to call out that you can currently do this last one in LayOut. To support the dynamic dimension value still, include <> within your text where you want the dimension value to appear. That will be replaced with the actual dimension value.


Thanks Adam. I think @DaveR pointed this out in an earlier post too.

Would be nice if Autotext tags could be inserted, too. Or picking the style with the edited text… :slight_smile: