Updating Model Scrambles Dimensions/Labels In Layout


I have been using Sketchup for creating construction documents for a few years now and haven’t had any issues with dimensions or labels shifting like this since I very first started. Suddenly when I update my sketchup model with a change everything scrambles. I am very careful within sketchup to set up my scenes and not mess with them once I have started labeling in Layout. In the past I have never had an issue with making a change in Sketchup and updating the model in layout without having to pull dimensions all over again. My workflow has not changed, yet this seems to keep happening now since the 2020 update. Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong? Any answers would be greatly appreciated! Here are some before and after pictures if that helps.


Screen Shot 2020-12-30 at 5.04.53 PM|690x331

That happens if you’re using the Last saved SketchUp view for the viewport instead of creating a scene as you should. It can also happen if you edit the viewport and move the camera in LO. If the entity that a dimension or label is linked to moves within the viewport when the viewport is updated, it screws up the appearance of those things. (In other words, mess with the viewport.) Don’t change the camera position in the viewport in LO.

Can you share the LO file?

I created scenes. Here is the layout file. Thanks for responding

Varacallo Construction Plans copy.layout (9.7 MB)

So you are modifying the camera for the viewport in LO as evidenced by the darker background in the Camera section of the SketchUp Model panel.

You should have set up the scene in SketchUp with the Camera set to Parallel Projection instead of Perspective. (notice the blue axis visible on the left.)

The fix is to correctly set up the scenes in the first place. Then do not change the camera settings other than scale in LayOut. If the scene was set to Parallel Projection to begin with, there’d be no need to set Ortho in LayOut before you could set the scale. Unfortunately it looks like you’ve set up the scenes incorrectly all the way through your model except for the scenes showing the elevations.

The real fix is for Trimble to improve LO…
Controlling what is seen in viewports should be independent of what is set up in scenes in SU…
SU for content creation
LO for content presentation…
Now it is a confused clunky mess

Your’e right, I should have had them in parallel projection from the start. I usually do but must have forgotten to do that on this one. The strange thing is that I know that I made changes in the sketchup file and updated throughout my process of labeling this without having this issue. How would it go from letting me update it without this issue to suddenly scrambling hundreds of labels? The only new factor was that I labeled this before the sketchup 2020 update and then tried to again after the update and this happened. Thank you for your help. I just want to understand this because I can’t afford to keep making this mistake.

What you’re suggesting did get improved in the 2020 version. Previously you had to do a lot of work in SketchUp, to enable LayOut to easily setup viewports in any useful way. Now you can do most or all of that with a single scene SketchUp file, and leave Layout to set the camera and SketchUp tag visibilities.

Yes Colin, agree its getting better… but right now its some things controlled here, somethings controlled there… somethings controlled in both… somethings controlled in none… it should be independent in both, hopefully that is an urgent priority… I ran the Autocad documentation for the Sydney 2000 Olympics… I have no love of Autocad but a key factor was the ability to separate the content creation from content presentation… keeping them independently controlled…

Cullivans small mistake caused potentiality a huge amount of rectification effort, it may be an occasional nuisance in a small document set but can be debilitating on a large complex set of documents…

Maybe the problem stems from SU/LO being perceived as being used only in sole operator offices…, and not in a team environment where many staff may work on the model, and other staff only concerned with presentation, if fact you don’t want them going near the model…

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I don’t know about that but the problems with LO go much deeper in my view. Enough people have commented in this forum about their woes with LO. It’s a shame because it really is an elephant in the room.

Deciding to make LO a standalone package may have been for both commercial and practical reasons. And it is a great thing in many ways, allowing you to pull in all sorts of material besides actual SU drawings. But understanding it has become tricky. As you point out, you can do many tasks in both SU and LO (though usually rather obviously better in one of them). Some things that you need to be able to do in both (like moving stuff) work differently. It has the hallmarks of something that was developed by a separate team from SU and then shoehorned into the SU environment. We are still stuck with the early development decisions years later and the cracks keep widening. Sure, there are tweaks and improvements here and there, but the really big things like slowness never get addressed.

LO needs a root and branch revamp. Bring it on!


Hey Simon,
Very well said, as usual! LayOut needs new leaves, branches, limbs, and trunk!
Right now all it seems to have is a lot of fertilizer …
Let’s hope that Trimble can get their LayOut act together in 2021!
Happy New Year! (I hope!)

I am having the same issues with layout again and this time I am positive my scenes were set up correctly. I am finding myself spending way too much time having to redo dimensions. Can anyone tell what might be going wrong here? I would share the file but it is over the 16 MB limit to share.


It’s hard to tell exactly from just the screenshot. It looks to me as if you might have modified the scene’s Camera properties in LayOut and then later after adding dimensions, hit Reset.

As for the red, disconnected dimensions, you could try selecting them and choosing Reconnect in the Context menu.

When I get my model into Layout the first thing I do is adjust the scale and resize the viewport so that it isn’t hanging off of the page, and by this I mean just clicking once on the model and dragging the blue highlighted edges to where I want them. I then change the scene style to what I need for that particular page. My scenes in Sketchup are set to parallel projection. Occasionally I will go back into sketchup and make an edit like hide a layer and update the scene. When I do this I am very careful to not move the camera or model as I know this would disconnect my dimensions.

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