Viewer Category Creation/Reorganization Request



I just yesterday noticed that there is now a viewer available for SketchUp on non mobile devices:

Given this, I think we should have two new subcategories of the SketchUp Viewer category as follows:
SketchUp Viewer --> Windows
SketchUp Viewer --> Mac

Additionally, the description of the main topic (SketchUp Viewer) as well as the pinned topic should be changed to reflect that there now exists non mobile viewers.


Windows and Mac viewers have been available for as long as I have been using SU - at least since about v8.

They aren’t new for 2017.


I freely admit that I was unaware of this. But my ignorance of it’s long existence doesn’t change my desire to make the subcategory changes I suggest. There is currently a specific place to discuss the mobile viewers that, by it’s description and sub-categorization, fails to give us a place to discuss the desktop viewers.


That still makes sense. Maybe there’s a reason I’m not aware of why that hasn’t happened before. Perhaps there just isn’t much to say about them? Perhaps they use the same display code as SU itself?


I noticed this from the beginning of the new Discourse forums.

There once was a major discussion of an overhaul of the Desktop Viewer, which included the idea that it might be better to change the Make edition to run in read-only mode (and that way the Dynamic Components extensions would run.) Also, that an encrypted read-only (password protected) file format is needed, that only the Pro edition can create, and that the viewer could open.
Ie, that then the Desktop Viewer would be unneeded.

The discussion was basically ended by a staff manager who said that they had some better ideas that would solve these issues, and we should stand by and wait.

Well, what came about (firstly) was the two Mobile Viewer applets, neither of which I use because I do not use mobile devices, and neither of which solved the password-protected FR, but do use their own file format. (No idea if it is encrypted, or protects the intellectual property of the model.)
Secondly, was Trimble Connect. Again not anything I need at the present. Everything I see about it seems cumbersome. (But then I abhor social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. And don’t use them.)
Thirdly, we have (now SketchUp Free,) which is leveraged for the 3DW model webviewer and the two mobile viewer applets. These result from the new overhaul of the main SketchUp graphics pipeline. (Yes, it is good to have common core code driving all these products.)

It is kind of obvious they are not promoting the old Desktop Viewer much anymore.
So, we sort of wasted our time even talking about the overhaul of the Desktop Viewer.

I feel there still is a need for it. Some professionals do not want to try to teach their prospective clients how to use Trimble Connect. They just want to send the client a read-only file, and let them view it in a simple viewer.
What has happened is that 3rd party viewers have filled the gap. This (usually) requires a paid plugin to export a model in some proprietary file format, and the receiving person to install some viewer applet. (LightUp is an example.)

In conclusion, I will not be surprised if the free Desktop Viewer is discontinued in the near future, as it raises no revenue directly.


Back on the topic of categories:

I think a single common “DeskTop Viewer” sub-category would fit the need.

Any user question will apply to both, as well as a feature request.



Since I don’t have a Mac, I can’t see whether or not it differs enough from the Windows viewer to justify distinct sub-categories.

I also have no iPad. I’m an Android user (Pixel C). I’ve assumed the two mobile viewers were different enough to justify two sub-categories. Now I question that assumption.


Bumping this. If you wish to find topics about the Desktop Viewer only, it is very difficult.

The viewer category was renamed (after this topic was posted) to be “SketchUp Viewer”.
(It originally was “SketchUp Mobile Viewer”.)

If you go into this category, you see all of it’s top level threads mixed with all of it’s sub-category threads!
There is no way to filter out the mobile viewer sub-category postings in the listing.

This is annoying. And is leading to confusion. Evidence this thread:
SketchUp 2017 Files Won’t Open With Older SketchUp Viewer Versions

It wasn’t clear to begin with which viewer product the OP was talking about. You had to read carefully to realize that she was speaking of the Desktop Viewer. Then near the bottom, a mobile viewer customer started posting about one of the mobile viewer applets in this thread.

Really, it would be better if there was a dedicated “Desktop Viewer” sub-category of the main toplevel viewer category. (This would be where users would go looking for a category and threads re the desktop viewer edition.)


I just noticed, for the first time, the “Windows Holographic” subcategory of the “SketchUp Viewer” category. So there are 3 specific categories, two for mobile OSs and one for a specific non-mobile environment. Yet there is still no way to categorize the “generic” non-mobile viewer.

After having “found” the Desktop Viewer for Windows, I find that I’m not using it - despite my expectation that I would. Since there is no differentiation between Windows and Mac in other subcategorization, the question becomes: Do we want to be consistent with the rest of the Forum subcategorization?

If “Yes” then the subcategories should be: Desktop, Mobile, App Specific (to account for Windows Hololens)

If “No”, then the subcategories should be: Windows, Mac, iOs, Android, and Windows Hololens - with the expectation that if other App Specific viewers appear, they’d get their own subcategory.

I can go either way.


I’m not that hard up for one mode or the other. I can live with a mixed-mode. (I do not really see any “tangible” consistency with the Forum subcategorization. Ie, I’ve long thought the LayOut cat needs it’s own Technical Issues sub-cat, but doesn’t get one, then my.sketchup does. Go figure.)

The iOS and Android sub-cats came about because I think at that time there were differences (UI, operation, etc.) and they are sold as specific separate products (sold on different online stores.)

Re, the Desktop viewer is basically the main application with all the editing tools stripped out. (The main reason why modelers don’t use it much is because DCs don’t work, and there is no interrogation of objects, ie, no selection tool nor Entity Info dialog.)


This part has been solved.

A category for LayOut Technical Problems was just created. (Thank you @jody.)

All the viewers get a common Viewer Technical Problems category as well.