Other Notable SketchUp Pro 2018 improvements

Sketch Up 2018 Pro Dark 500

​SketchUp Engineers and Designers are constantly thinking of minor tweaks that make a real difference in your daily use of SketchUp. Below are a few changes which may not make headlines but still stand to majorly improve your workflows.


While adding support for Section Planes, we also improved Outliner’s overall load performance and sort order so that your component names load in alphabetical and numerical order.

Drawing Improvements

Draw a rectangle about its center using modifier keys. Use simplified inferencing options for line and arc drawing. Employ quicker control for rotated rectangles. Small, smart changes that help you draw exactly what you want.

STL Import/Export

The SketchUp STL extension is by far the most popular download from Extension Warehouse. Going forward it might not be, because now SketchUp natively supports the import and export of STL files (on both desktop and web).

Preferences Refactor

We’ve improved SketchUp and LayOut preferences so that they are organized and migrated the same way between version upgrades. It should be easy to use the latest, greatest versions of our software!

Mac Improvements

For Mac users, we’ve added anti-alias settings. Go to SketchUp > Preferences > OpenGL to control the pixel blending, which is the resolution of smoothness in your geometry.

SAAW Lines

SAAW (Stippled Anti-Aliased Wide) Lines are an entirely new way that SketchUp renders lines (e.g., edges, axes, guides, text/dimension leader lines, rubber band lines as you draw, component bounding boxes, section plane borders/cuts… ) Sounds pretty fundamental to SketchUp, right? It is, and the good news is that you should barely notice it. This type of line rendering is supported by WebGL and required by OpenGL 3.0, as well as the technologies we expect to use for years to come. We won’t be talking to our users much about this directly, but it’s good for the inner circle to understand more about how drawing works!

And still… other SketchUp Improvements

At the heart of SketchUp is a commitment to continuous improvement in performance and usability. This means, every release, you can expect a variety of changes you might not notice because things just work better.

There are even more bug fixes and performance improvements you can swot up on in the release notes.

Better LayOut, Much Better Drawings

LayOut is where people harvest their 3D work in SketchUp to produce excellent drawings. Our commitment for LayOut is to help professionals make much better drawings, much quicker, and with as much control as they need.

Scaled Vector Drawing

Now you can use LayOut’s vector illustration tools to draft in 2D at scale. Use your SketchUp model as a base for accurately scaled construction details, or just sketch a detail from scratch in LayOut (which is what a lot of LayOut users want to do). Re-set scales as you wish and your work will resize as necessary. As you would expect, your scaled illustrations are fully supported by LayOut’s Dimension and Label tools.

DWG Imports

One reason that drawing in 2D at scale is important is that a lot of LayOut users are trying to work with imported AutoCAD geometry via the DWG format. So in this release, we’re introducing LayOut’s ability to import DWG files. DWG projects import at scale and support the pages, title blocks, and blocks. Even better, LayOut users can now help themselves to the vast world of free DWG libraries. And yes, we also improved the quality of DWG files you export from LayOut.

Group Edit

To support scaled drawings, we made a juicy change we think LayOut regulars will notice right away: Editing grouped entities in LayOut now works just like it does in SketchUp. That means it’s way easier to draw and manipulate grouped entities. LayOut users can also control “rest of document” visibility when editing within a group.

Drawing Tool Improvements

For 2018 there will be a range of improved drawing tools in LayOut. Inferencing, chamfering and filleting, arcs, offset arrays, selections: LayOut will be better at everything you need to draw details or create beautiful illustrations.

Multi Viewport Dimensioning

What sounds like an enabling physics concept for teleportation is actually a pretty simple LayOut idea. Users will be able to draw dimensions across SketchUp viewports in order to create a specific section detail.

Precise Dimensions

LayOut dimensions can now be as precise as SketchUp dimensions. That’s up to 0.000001 inches. Do the math: that means LayOut can show the decimal equivalent of 1/64” (0.015625”).

Advanced Attribute Labels

Like all of the information in your model, SketchUp’s new advanced attributes are easily available when drawing LayOut labels.

Other LayOut Improvements

Entity Locking

Similar to group editing, locking entities is fundamental to how many people organize and navigate projects (both models and documents). Now you can easily lock individual LayOut entities to cut down on accidental selections.

Unicode Font Support

With Unicode font support, LayOut will work much better in languages that don’t use Roman characters.

Create LayOut drawings using the SketchUp Ruby API.

Now you can use SketchUp’s Ruby API to tell LayOut to create a set of drawings from your 3D model.

C API Parity

We’re transitioning off our C++ aPI to a C API. The C API is now just as good as the C++ API.

Other work

The SketchUp extensibility team has also worked on:

  • DWG Import Improvements
  • Ruby API Fixes and improvements