Update the UI for SU Pro 2020

Yes PLEASE!!! But i don’t think Trimble is listening :frowning:
The UI is so so dated.
Also by improving the UI you could speed up the Startup which currently is terribly slow with opening up all the plug-ins, etc.
If they carry on ignoring it, people will start moving away to other equally good and better alternatives which are more affordable or even free like ‘Blender’ which even includes 2 render engines.
Currently Sketchup is not worth the £120/year maintenance fee with virtually ZERO real functional improvements. They just rely on the Plug-In Developers to sort out all the problems and that’s not on!
Sketchup 2020 is my last try with Sketchup… and then if no real improvements… it is time to move on… Sad but true.

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Agree completely - the Materials interface in OS X is an unusable mess for any kind of organized workflow heading to rendering.

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I think the one that makes more sense is Adobe Creative Cloud. Their UI for MacOS is quite intuitive, offers the dark mode by default. It is a single UI but broken up into panels which are un-dockable and conformable to any multiple monitor space needs and unique user experiences. And they have worked for consistency between the two OS’s. Please Sketchup, you are doing a great thing working to aid the professional power base, but the UI really needs an upgrade. You have maintained the connection to the free user, but for us who use this software 50 to 60 hours a week the UI really is like riding a 10 year old bike.

k Brooks

Another UI update I would like to see is a section cut manager. The ability to select or activate section cuts through a menu/panel (maybe similar to lists like Layers or Outliner) without having to orbit to see the cut and then realign to set the scene would be helpful. There are of course ways of getting around this using plugins to commit views to temporary memory and recall them or other ways, but activating, sorting, etc. cuts is pretty unwieldly. It could also (potentially-- I don’t know if it’s a technical conflict) resolve the idea of multiple active cuts requiring groups.

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Outliner already shows section cuts and they can be selected from there to avoid orbiting around and such.


I did not know that! A new development since I’ve been heavier on the CAD side of late. Thanks :slight_smile:

You can also context click on the section sut in Outliner and get to Align View and the other controls as if you were doing it in the model space.


:open_mouth: A significant upgrade! I missed more than I thought last year.

I couldn’t agree more with the OP. And Matheron.

I’m working on a substantial drawing set for a multi housing development right now and its going well but taking forever to do simple things. (I’ll prob upload it to this forum when finished).
On this project I have people telling me that “You are pushing SketchUp way past its limits” “SU is not designed for professional projects” etc.

I disagree with that because I do see that SU is handling my model (10m edges) very well and its an incredible project design/coordination tool. And they can’t do it faster in Revit/Archicad/etc.

But Perceived “slowness” is a big factor, due to:

  • All the interface issues listed above.
  • Exporting scenes and updating a whole drawing set in LO only to notice that a new layer was added and turned ON by default
  • Large SU and LO file sizes (zipping them saves 50% storage)
  • Lots of SU and LO files required for one project means keeping track of them is a chore.
  • The time it takes people to find and test and coordinate extensions for quite basic functions (eg yesterday it was Component Swapper, and I ended up paying for some (@eneroth3) I never ended up using.
  • Importing geometry (with poor group hierarchy, weird entities, geometry miles from origin, etc)…people arent use to needing to open to ‘clean up’ things before bringing into a model.
  • Import and Export options are very limited (eg 2d export doesn’t export faces, layers, or colours and 3d export doesnt let you export just the visible or selected entities).
  • 3d warehouse files… the quality/file sizes etc.

As an aside, I draw a distinction between the perceived slowness’s and some of the actual slowness including:

  • LayOut…just everything about it is mud; drafting, rendering, saving, syncing…
  • Opening large models (still takes ages and ages)
  • Lack of a coordinated project origin/datum means imports/exports need to be manually placed.
  • Outliner takes minutes to refresh on larger models
  • Tools taking a long time (30mins+) to operate with no progress or cancel button.
  • Creating new components in a large model sometimes takes a long time
  • Corrupt models/files (still happening)
  • Lack of capability to work on a shared drive

“Slowness” of the interface leads to poor model organisation habits generally - Why label materials ? Why organise layers? Why use dozens of scenes for all LO pages? Why use Outliner? If it’s cumbersome, people just ‘give up’.

I receive a lot of SKP files from architects and other designers and 90% of the time they are a total mess with no thought as to how to organise or clean up a model using layers, scenes, etc. SU (Pro) is generally being used as a ‘concept’ design tool to a very basic level…just enough to get some quick perspective shots or do a sun/shadow study. When I show others what I create in terms of drawing output they are amazed (either impressed or they conclude i just don’t get out much).

So anyway I do agree that improving the UI and aligning it with pro workflows is fundamental to SU+LO efficiency and effectiveness.


This is a good suggestion. I reckon with some filters to the outliner pane, this could be achieved in that existing pane.

Sam, if you haven’t seen it yet - check out Jayman Builders video - should be able to find it in a search on this forum or on the SU YouTube channel.

They may be willing to share more details on how they achieved their excellent efficiencies with large projects using only SU.