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SketchUp 2020 is here.

We spent a lot of time in 2019 learning more about what you, the user, wish SketchUp did better. So…thanks for speaking up! You helped us discover what you need to improve your workflow.

The result? Some exciting improvements in SketchUp 2020. Read on to learn more.

SketchUp Pro 2020: your 3D creative space

Introducing Outliner

A BIG model organization change: Outliner. In an effort to increase model performance, you no longer have to create Layers upon Layers. Manage and organize your model straight within Outliner. Use the friendly eyeball icon to toggle between the major sections of your model, such as main floor plans and furniture.

New grips on bounding boxes

When you grab a point that is obscured in an object (such as a back corner or center point) and start to move it, your object will automatically go transparent when something in your model interferes with the object you are moving. This works with both the Rotate tool and Move tool. This will literally ‘transform’ your workflow. Don’t take our word for it: start positioning objects in hard to reach places to see what happens!

Better control of hidden objects

You’ll notice in your drop-down menu that we separated hiding objects from hiding geometry. How will this change your workflow? Well, this will give you the ability to better manage hidden geometry and hidden objects for an even easier modeling experience. For example, let’s say you want to edit hidden edges in a landscape or smoothed surface, but you still want to be able to hide objects that are nearby (like trees, bushes, or a building)…well you can do that now!

Updates to your SketchUp dictionary

We have a few updates to the naming conventions we use when talking about SketchUp. This won’t change your workflow…but we want to make sure you know we are saying a few things differently now.

Here’s the run-down! Objects are now a collective term for: groups, components, and dynamic components. This just means we don’t have to say “groups (slash) components” anymore 😀. Also, Layers are now referred to as “Tags”. Keep in mind that these two terms are merely naming conventions and won’t influence your workflow.

LayOut 2020: document control

It’s all about taking back control…document control that is! The focus for LayOut was on improving the interaction between SketchUp & LayOut to save you time and [brain] energy. This means way less back and forth in SketchUp updating scenes to ensure your drawing comes out perfectly. Now you have more editing ability, directly in LayOut.

More power to adjust model views

LayOut now understands a lot more about your SketchUp model and what you’ve overridden. This means you can safely change a style or camera angle directly in LayOut without accidentally losing your changes (!!).

How do you know what’s different in your LayOut viewport versus your model? When you make changes in LayOut, parts of the menu bar will go dark gray, alerting you that you’ve made an override. Keep in mind: just because you made some changes in LayOut, doesn’t mean you’re stuck with those. You can always resync your viewports back to your SketchUp model if needed.

Improved customization of your drawings

Take those LayOut docs to the next level with different models and views. If you have one SketchUp model that exists across several viewports, you can now relink just one of those viewports to another SketchUp model. Previously, you had to delete that viewport, insert a new SKP model, and reset all your scale settings and viewport sizing. More efficient now? Yes!

And that’s not all! You also have the ability to toggle Tag visibility — straight in your LayOut doc! What does this mean for your workflow? You don’t have to create extra scenes just for your LayOut files, saving you a ton of time going back and forth between LayOut and SketchUp. 

Start using 2020 today!

We hope that our latest changes in SketchUp 2020 offer a few tweaks that will have a big impact on improving your workflow. Happy Sketching!

Want to test out the new features? Try SketchUp free for 30 days.

Ready to go Pro? Buy SketchUp.

These new features are available to users with an active SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Studio subscription as well as Classic license holders that are active with Maintenance & Support.

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How to showcase interior design projects with SketchUp

In part 1 of this series, we revealed how to create winning interior design options in SketchUp. Now that you’re finished modelling, what’s next?

We show you how to present your vision to customers and blow them away with your designs. Pssst…sign up to watch a live demo of this workflow in our upcoming webinar.

A SketchUp Pro subscription includes a powerful ecosystem of products to help you communicate your creations. Let’s explore!

Add custom Styles to your design

Adding your personal style is an important part of showcasing designs. StyleBuilder allows you to create customised line styles using imported digital or hand drawn strokes. Think crisp pen lines, wavy pencil marks or marks from a fat stick of graphite. Combine line styles with unique textures, colours and watermarks to inject your creative flair into models, renders and animations.

In SketchUp, you can create and edit styles. Apply your preferred style settings with a single click.

Create stunning 2D drawings and branded presentation documents

Now that you’ve added a style, it’s time to insert the model into LayOut. When you import a 3D model, a viewport is placed on the page. Good news, the scenes you set up in your SketchUp file are ready to use in LayOut.

Combine model views with text and 2D vector illustration to present design details, materials and design options. Many of the tools in LayOut work as they do in SketchUp. That means you can quickly get to drawing, resizing, adding details, making copies and changing styles and scale.

Present your ideas with SketchUp Viewer

Are printed drawings or a pdf the only way to showcase your work? Of course not! SketchUp Viewer for Mobile gives you the power to view and share your portfolio on iOS and Android devices. Take advantage of Augmented Reality to evaluate design options in real-world scale. Switch between scenes to showcase designs on the go while retaining your model’s style.

Model on the go with SketchUp for Web

Not all CAD tools are fully editable on the web, SketchUp is! Handy if you need to make on-the-fly changes when you’re away from your desktop computer. Let’s say you’re in a meeting at a client’s office and they want to see a project with a revised furniture layout. Open a model to SketchUp for Web directly from Trimble Connect on any web device to make the changes in real-time. Save the file to Trimble Connect for easy access back at the office.

Create rendered images with Trimble Connect visualizer

We’ll wrap this up with something that we are very excited about. Rendering! With a SketchUp Pro Subscription, you can create simplified renders using Trimble Connect for Desktop and the brand new Trimble Connect Visualizer. Note: this feature is currently available for Windows only.

Step into AR/VR to experience designs before they’re built

Do you have access to a VR or Mixed Reality device? If your answer is yes, you can bring 3D models to life in mixed or virtual reality. Step into a powerful new way to explore, understand, and share your work. The best part? It’s part of a SketchUp Pro Subscription.

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How to win interior design projects with SketchUp

Pitching for a new project is one of the most exciting parts of the design process. Creativity needs to flow but deadlines are around the corner. You want to get ideas out of your head quickly and turn them into winning results that will wow your client, boss or team.

Leverage the full power of a SketchUp Pro subscription at every stage of your creative process to deliver impactful concepts, quickly. Watch us do it live by signing up for our upcoming webinar (and keep reading for a sneak peak!)

In Part 1 of this series, we’ll teach you how to start from scratch and create design options with ease. In Part 2, you’ll learn how to showcase those designs in their best light, leaving your audience mesmerized. The examples used are interior design focused but don’t worry, these concepts can be applied to almost any industry!

Get started with a 2D sketch, floorplan or photo in SketchUp Pro

There are a few different ways to bring your project into SketchUp right from the start. Don’t be afraid to use what you have depending on the project, whether a sketch, photograph (check out how to use Match Photo) or a 2D plan:

    1. Working from a hand-drawn sketch? Import the hand drawing as an image and start tracing with the Line tool to create a floorplan. This is an easy (and thus popular) way to bring a floorplan into SketchUp.
    2. Have a set of plans? Import a floor plan in CAD, image or PDF. Draw the outline of your project by scaling and drawing from the plan as a reference.

Bring the outline into 3D

Once you have an outline, you’re ready to draw exterior walls. This workflow highlights how to use imported CAD geometry as your starting point.

Create multiple design options using 3D Warehouse

It’s time to bring your space to life. Apply colors and textures with materials to add detail and realism to your models. Visualize your design ideas fast by importing real products from 3D Warehouse.

SketchUp lets you quickly work through configurations and build upon the ones you like. Show off options for furnishings or add in various types of greenery to brighten the space and give your design some personality.

The key to showcasing and organising design options for your projects in SketchUp is use of Layers and Scenes. Layers help you organise your model, and Scenes help you present designs easily by adjusting layers, objects, styles and more!

Save your project to Trimble Connect

Now that you have your design options in hand, it’s time to save your project to the cloud. Trimble Connect offers you unlimited cloud storage with full version control. The best part? It’s included in a SketchUp Pro subscription.

Part of a design team?
Working together just got a little easier with Trimble Connect. Let’s say you’re working on the interior design at the same time another team member is working on the MEP design.

You can import a reference model into SketchUp from Trimble Connect. You won’t be able to modify the model, but you can use it as context to more easily coordinate the project. This is useful when you have a team of designers working on different areas.

Invite other people to your project, create groups with different permissions to control which files members can access. You can also utilize version control to track project history and progress.

Flying solo?
Each time you upload a copy of your design file, Trimble Connect will keep track of the versions. Use version control to manage different iterations of your model and share those as design options with your client. Assign to-dos and quickly work through client feedback, all within Trimble Connect.



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Customizing Your Keyboard and Mouse

Drawing 3D models in SketchUp requires a lot of back and forth between your keyboard and mouse. As you become a more experienced SketchUp modeler, you develop a sense of what commands and tools you use most often and what you do and don’t like about the default keyboard and mouse settings.

Tip: Keyboard shortcuts are one of the most flexible ways you can tailor SketchUp to your unique modeling quirks and desires. If you’ve ever wished you could open a specific feature with a single keystroke, get ready to fall in love with the Shortcuts preferences panel. It’ll be one of the easiest relationships you’ve ever had.

Because SketchUp relies so heavily on mouse and keystroke combinations already, the mouse customizations aren’t quite as flexible as the keyboard shortcuts. However, you can change the scroll wheel zooming and the way the mouse and Line tool interact. The following sections explain all the details.

Creating keyboard shortcuts

In SketchUp, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to the commands you use most often, so that the commands are literally at your fingertips.

For the most part, you can customize the keyboard shortcuts however you like, but here are a few guidelines to help you understand what you can and can’t do as you assign shortcuts:

    • You can’t start with a number because that would conflict with the functionality of SketchUp’s Measurements box, and you can’t use a few other reserved commands.
    • You can add modifier keys, such as the Shift key.
    • You can’t use shortcuts that your operating system has reserved. If a shortcut is unavailable, SketchUp lets you know.
    • You can reassign a keyboard shortcut that already exists in SketchUp. For example, by default, the O key is the shortcut for the Orbit tool, but you can reassign the O key to the Open command if you like.

To create your own keyboard shortcuts, follow these steps:

    1. Select Window > Preferences.
    2. In the Preferences dialog box that appears, select Shortcuts in the sidebar on the left.
    3. In the Function list box, select the command to which you want assign a keyboard shortcut. If your selection already has a keyboard shortcut assigned to it, that shortcut appears in the Assigned box.

Tip: When you type all or part of a command’s name in the Filter text box, the Function list box options are filtered to only those options that include the characters you type. For example, typing mater filters the list down to three commands related to materials, as shown in the following figure.

4. In the Add Shortcut text box, type the keyboard shortcut that you want to assign to the command and click the + button. The shortcut you type moves to the Assigned box. If the shortcut you chose is already assigned to another command, SketchUp asks whether you want to reassign the shortcut to the command you selected in Step 3.

5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you’ve created all your desired shortcuts. When you’re done, click OK.

Tip: If a shortcut is getting in your way, you can remove it. Simply select the command with the offending shortcut in the Function list box. Then select its shortcut in the Assigned box and click the minus sign button. The shortcut vanishes from the Assigned box — nay, from your copy of SketchUp.

If you ever want to reset all your keyboard shortcuts to the defaults, click the Reset All button on the Shortcuts preference panel. If you want to load your keyboard shortcuts onto another copy of SketchUp, find out how to export and import preferences in Customizing Your Workspace

Inverting the scroll wheel

If you use SketchUp with a scroll wheel mouse — which makes drawing in SketchUp much easier, by the way — by default, you roll the scroll wheel up to zoom in and roll down to zoom out.

On Microsoft Windows, you can flip this behavior by following these steps:

    1. Select Window > Preferences.
    2. In the sidebar on the left, select Compatibility.
    3. In the Mouse Wheel Style area, select the Invert checkbox.
    4. Click OK and take your inverted scroll wheel for a test drive.

Remapping mouse buttons

Remapping your mouse buttons refers to customizing the way the buttons work. If you’ve used your operating system preferences to flip the right and left mouse buttons because you’re left-handed, your remapped mouse should work fine in SketchUp.

However, if you’ve used a special utility to assign commands to your mouse buttons, you may experience unpredictable behavior or lose functionality in SketchUp.

Warning: Because SketchUp makes extensive use of the mouse buttons in combination with various modifier keys (Ctrl, Alt, Shift), you can easily lose functionality by remapping the mouse buttons.

Choosing mouse-clicking preferences for the Line tool

If you want to customize how the Line tool cursor responds to your clicks, you find a few options on the Drawing preferences panel. Here’s a quick look how you can customize the Line tool’s behavior:

    • Click-Drag-Release radio button: Select this option if you want the Line tool to draw a line only if you click and hold the mouse button to define the line’s start point, drag to extend the line, and release the mouse to set the line’s end point.
    • Auto Detect radio button: When this option is selected (it’s the default), you can either click-drag-release or click-move-click as necessary.
    • Click-Move-Click radio button: Force the Line tool to draw by clicking to define the line’s start point, moving the mouse to extend the line, and clicking again to establish the line’s end point.
    • Continue Line Drawing check box: When either Auto Detect or Click-Move-Click is selected, you can choose whether to select or deselect this checkbox. (It’s selected by default.) When the checkbox is selected, the Line tool treats an end point as the start of a new line, saving you the extra click required set a new start point. If that behavior isn’t your cup of tea, deselect the checkbox. Then go enjoy a cup of tea, knowing that the Line tool now works the way you always wanted.

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