Why is Layout so slow!?

Please, for the love, will the developers of this program please fix it?
Sketchup is amazing, but then to get a scaled drawing set Layout it absolutely the worst program I have ever used. I have a beast of a computer/graphics card, etc. I run every typical arch program including Revit, Lumion, Adobe everything. All at the same time even, and have no issues. Then open Layout and be prepared to go back to dial-up speeds. WHY??!! Fix this sh!t already so we can keep using sketchup!!


I’ve used sketchup for over 10 years because I like the modelling environment (and the price). I’ve painfully tolerated layout with small projects but my work has stepped up in scale and it’s just unbearable working in software so slow. It slows my brain.

Besides the ridiculous jumping and lagging trying to navigate and and select things within layout the biggest issue is time taken to save the sketchup model and then wait for subsequent updating model ref in layout. When finalising a drawing set I might need to do this 50 times in an afternoon with 20 sec pinwheel each step.

Forget the usual speal on these forums about making the model smaller, purging unused components and changing my graphic style to rasta. My Sketchup model is the size it needs to be to include the details I need. Unused components are purged regularly. I’m not going to go though the whole document changing pages back and forth from rasta vector. I need vector line work and in many cases I can’t even see the detail of intersecting lines and components if its set to rasta. I want to view the document exactly as it will print the whole time I’m working on it.

Sorry to rant but I too love sketchup, hate layout.


If you are after a technical answer, you probably won’t get a definitive answer. However, it seems to lie in the origins of its development which goes back to Google. They acquired Sketchup in 2006 and sold it on to Trimble in 2012. Apart from some fairly minor tweaks, there has been little development of Layout during Trimble’s time. That means that the software is essentially a decade or so old. In computer time, that’s an age. In the intervening period, we have seen the advent of multi-threaded processors and other hardware development that are crucial to modern render engines but which Layout cannot take advantage of. It needs to if it is to solve the speed issue.

I suppose it is also possible that Google built in some legal stuff that makes it very hard for Trimble to develop Layout in any meaningful way without actually starting from scratch. Some of us here believe that is what is needed since the other madness is that Layout does some very similar things to Sketchup but in a completely different way from Sketchup. It would be nice if the two pieces of software at least looked as if they came from the same stable.

You are by no means the only one. But to be fair, Layout is excellent in its conception. It is the execution that lets the side down.


Really appreciate your thoughts Simon. The possibility of legal terms imposed by Google restricting Layout’s ongoing development by Trimble, had not occurred to me. Pretty stupid if it’s the case.

I totally agree, the documentation side of Sketchup needs to be rebuilt from scratch, and inmy opinion it should happen within Sketchup and not as a separate software application separated by save lag. Surely the expertise and money is there now to do this!? I would have appreciated this far more than all the changes they’ve made in the last few years like expensive geolocation and V-ray plugins.


I for one LOVE the fact that it’s to pieces of software because you can create a nifty layout and swap the model against a more current one or an alternative model, etc. That’s a huge advantage for us. As for speed. It IS embarrassing… Hope that they will fix it soon. The pressure here on the forum sure is hard enough! :slight_smile:


There is some logic to that, I agree. It would make it more like AutoCad with Model Space and Paper Space. But it may not be that easy. For starters, SU has always had a commercial approach that allows people to use SU free for personal use, and paid for for commercial use. One of the big add-ons for the latter is Layout. So they would have to completely rethink their business model. And remember that SU is open source in the sense that ordinary mortals can write extensions for it making it highly customisable.

The other issue may be to do with Layout’s adaptability. One of the things I like about it is that you can import such a wide variety of external files (image files, text files, spreadsheets, etc). You wouldn’t want all that in the CAD model, even if it were possible to have it.

I have mused in this forum recently about the possibility of third parties taking up the mantle. Layout is much like desktop publishing. If DP software could import a SU file and be able to dimension it, annotate it, etc…

Well, that’s the $64,000 question isn’t it? Who knows? Even with money and expertise, there has to be the will, especially when there are more “exciting” projects like Live Components sucking up resources!

BTW, this thread should probably appear in Feature Requests rather than Technical Problems. LO’s slowness is not a problem (in the sense that it is a software glitch), it’s more of an adverse feature.


It’s not just embarrassing. It’s almost beyond what an honest hourly charge out rate can accept

‘Nifty’ and Layout aren’t two words I would have put in the same sentence. I can see some virtue in what your saying about model swapping but I haven’t had a need for that as yet. I’d just be happy if dimensions stopped unexpectedly disconnecting from the model and then refusing to reconnect to things that haven’t even been moved or edited…:neutral_face:


Sorry to disappoint you but not my experience…

IMHO I think most of Layout issues are caused by improper video settings and other computer issues. It works as it should on my end.

Just playing devil’s advocate but I actually find Layout reasonably quick and I use it most days to create fairly detailed documents, often running to 30 pages or more.

Im not suggesting for one second that problems don’t exist, and maybe my models are particularly simple - but I wonder if some workflows are faster than others?

For instance - I never use ‘send to layout’ I always insert my model into my open Layout document and select whatever scene or multiple scenes I require for each page.

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hear, hear

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See my validation here - those of us who are professional users need better performance. When I uploaded my problem file to the forum everyone apart from a SU dev jumped on me saying “you’re file’s too big.” But the point is, that’s what i need to work with. Layout doesn’t seem to be able to work in a professional capacity, it feel like it only works for small/hobby/DIY projects.


Not true!

Like others here I am a professional - I produce detailed professional work for planning and building regulations.

IMHO I think most of Layout issues are caused by improper video settings and other computer issues.

I disagree.
There are almost no computer settings that affect layout. Video cards have little to do with it.

If the video drivers are super old then yes it may not run well, or at all, but thats not a performance issue.

Also, I have noticed when sending models to LayOut that I can easily and quickly prepare a documentation set - until the model becomes large enough that LayOut just “hits the wall.” Then the laggyness creeps in and the whole thing becomes unstable.

Strangely, it’s interface lag that I think people are most annoyed at. Rendering times, etc are not good (at all) but theinterface lag is the one that makes it feel like mud (dimensioning, panning, adding text, etc). Due to interface lag, errors also creep in.


I have begun breaking my documents into two or three separate files instead of having all the sheets (pages) in one file. Then when one file slows down compared to the other I try to find the reason. I wonder if some of the pattern fills are slowing it down?

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Respectfully, try drawing a building and full construction documents for it.

SketchUp is heavily marketed as a BIM competitor and Layout is the single biggest problem in making that so.


Model swapping can be achieved inside of sketchup by using components and the save-as/reload features. I do this all of the time to archive versions as well as importing a building model onto a greater context model. It would be great if SketchUp integrated an “external reference manager” like other CAD software to manage these but it otherwise works amazingly.

In layout as soon as you swap in a different model, every dimension and leader breaks it’s connection and randomizes it’s location about the layout… so there really is no value in being able to hot-swap models in Layout.


I found turning off shadows and profiles solved most of my speed problems and even made me appear more attractive to my wife.


Still waiting to hear from the development team. Are you guys asleep at the wheel over there at Trimble, too many micro brews? What gives with you guys? Please respond, and please provide answers as to why Layout it lacking in so many areas. Right now I’m literally exporting images out of sketchup with graphic scale bars and importing them into Revit to place onto sheet files with titleblock info, dims, etc.
This is absolutely the most ridiculous work-around I’ve had to do, all because I love Sketchup. Let’s all pray Autodesk purchases Trimble in the near future, or at least within our careers so we we can finally utilize Layout for it’s original purposes.

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