Today’s the day: Announcing SketchUp 2021!

Hi Paul, if you add a Tag Folder in SketchUp, do you see it displayed in LayOut?


@trent yes

Not saying it wouldn’t be nice. It’s a feature request with each new version of SketchUp. But unless it could be done nearly perfectly, it would likely create as much headache as it would save. As I discuss below, a fully automatic system would need a bunch of thorny technical issues to be addressed. An imperfect solution might be worse than the current headache!

A better answer might be for download sites to remember what you have gotten from them and provide a mechanism to install the same onto the active version of SketchUp. The SketchUcation Plugin Store already does this using what it calls “bundles”. The Extension Manager has had such a feature in the past, but I think it is currently not active.

Below, my thoughts about why this isn’t a simple request. Stop reading here if you don’t care!

Extensions may have been loaded from numerous sources, e.g. Extension Warehouse, SketchUcation Plugin Store, Ruby Library Depot, Smustard, vendor sites, user-written unpublished, etc… There is today no metadata field in a SketchupExtension object telling where it was obtained or how to download it. That might be a nice feature request. But it would only come into play for extensions whose authors have coded the metadata. Old extensions lacking the metadata would be abandoned. So the only practical way to bring them over would be to copy the Plugins folder contents. Not much better than a user copying it manually. And it would miss extensions that install in other custom folders.

Pure Ruby extensions often are compatible without change for a new version of SketchUp. But how would SketchUp know if they are compatible? There is today no standard or required “compatible with” metadata embedded in an extension (that might also be a good feature request). The compatibility lists you see on the EW, SketchUcation, vendor sites, etc. are metadata on that website set by each extension author. So, in theory it could be checked by contacting the site. But as noted earlier, the source site for an extension is also not a standard or required data field in an extension. SketchUp doesn’t even know where to contact for the check (it would be arrogant to assume they all are from the EW and some extensions are available from more than one site!). Plus, this metadata is set by each author, not by Trimble. There can be significant lags before a prolific author has time to revise the metadata for all their extensions. Some authors move on to other things and don’t ever update their publications. Lacking a way to verify compatibility, SketchUp might have no choice but to disable all of them! That would be marginally better than now, in that you wouldn’t risk SketchUp crashing on open, but would still leave you with a bunch of manual work.

This also depends on knowing where the extension was downloaded from.

So now I’ll have to spend an hour re-creating my custom toolbars in SU and LO again.

Why can’t these be carried over to the updated software?

Hey Paul, when we make changes in our inspectors, migrating old settings to the new instance can sometimes cause problems. What you can do to fix this is to close LayOut, go to c:\Users<your name>\AppData\Roaming\SketchUp\SketchUp 2021\LayOut and delete UserInspectorLayout.xml

You may have to set up some of your inspectors after the fact.
Let me know if this fixes it.

Trent, excellent!

That seems to have done it :slightly_smiling_face:

Understood. Thanks for taking the time to explain it. I guess what is needed is for Sketchup to work with the community of developers to standardize the ability to get that info and to standardize where all extensions would be installed.

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I use some very old extensions that work perfectly without carrying any metadata about version compatibility.


We’re used to constructive criticism, so no need to apologize for the feedback. The people who have created deep workflows in LayOut are amongst the most invested SketchUp customers out there. I bet you have been keeping pace with the improvements we’ve introduced in LayOut this year… and you probably also know there is important work to do to shore up LayOut’s performance and responsiveness (zoom lag is part of that equation). For now, all I can say is that we have the same interest you do: for SketchUp and LayOut together to be stable, performant, and continuously improving so that you can improve the quality and efficiency of your own work. We are very aware – as you say – that there are other options out there for you. So, we’ll keep focused on the job at hand: we are definitely not ignoring LayOut!


The images we use in our marketing assets are often post-processed with Photoshop and other rendering tools – just like many of the images our customers make with SketchUp. So, no we are not introducing ambient occlusion in this update. But we are investigating how we might incorporate effects like this while preserving the responsiveness of SketchUp modeling. Aside from ambient occlusion, what other kinds of ‘advanced’ rendering effects would you like to see as part of SketchUp?

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Looking at release notes and see that “Fix Problems” function is now automatic without the old prompt window. It brings up the question , can it still be disabled in preferences ? My experience has been “Fix Problems” always created more trouble than it fixed.


Ambient Occlusion would be fine. Or even something like Vizualizer (which actually didn’t slow SketchUp down too much, but took a long time to get a passable image rendered-defeating the purpose). But it does not have to be linked to performance. This can be an affect to apply to specific scenes for visualization and kept off during modeling.

By the way. Is it just my browser. I can’t make the videos larger and some don’t play sound (like the first one).


Perhaps someone could move the flagged posts relating to my tags issue to their own dedicated thread…?

Hey Joe,
I agree completely - SU improvements are all very nice, but ignore the part of the Pro package that really needs attention! LayOut is the weak leg of the SU stool, and is so far behind SU in terms of speed and functionality that it is ridiculous!
I don’t understand why Trimble can’t step up to this need, and give Adam and his LO team the staff and budget to go to the next level!


Thanks Mark,
This is great to hear, … but still no big improvements to LayOut in this new 2021 release of SU, right? So, if not ignored, … then what, and when?

Hey Tuna,
That’s correct. Fix Problems now automatically looks for and fixes issues. Because of the work we did on to rewrite the SKP format, we now need to ensure that certain types of issues (we refer to them as ‘validity issues’) are automatically fixed, because, if they’re not, the results could be catastrophic, e.g. corrupted files that can’t be reopened after being saved/closed. We invested a lot of effort into improving SketchUp’s ability to reliably ‘Fix Problems’ and are committed to reversing your assertions regarding past experiences. If you see anything funky after opening or saving/reopening a model, we definitely want to hear about it.

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Mike , thanks for the quick reply. going to have to do some serious hardware/os upgrading before I can give 2021 a spin. Was curious about this cause “fix model” could wipe out tons of stuff in earlier versions.

After fixing geometry problems, does SketchUp 2021 offer a Details dialog box similar to what was available in prior releases? I often found it interesting (sometimes heart-breaking) to ask to see details to get an impression of how much damage has been done to my model by the repair procedure.

Note: in my modeling, the problems found by the validity check are related to closely-spaced end points (the infamous “0.001 inch” issue). When “repairing” the model, SketchUp deletes various edges that were using those closely-spaced end points. Sometimes dozens of edges are deleted by the repair process, for example when working with #6 threads intersected with a chamfer (even when using the “Dave” method of scaled-up components).


TDahl gives the perfect example of why I disabled “Fix Problems” in my earlier versions of SU.

There is still a check box under preferences to “notify when problems are fixed” in 2021. I too am nervous about auto fixes as I have had it break models before. But perhaps it’s so improved that is no longer an issue.