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Dig a bit deeper with SketchUp 2016


For instance, you can draw edges and faces without all the ins and outs of inferencing. You can create geometry without creating groups, and make copies but not components. It’s certainly possible to export images without using LayOut, and to set styles without configuring them just so. You can use SketchUp the way you want, without getting lost in the weeds.

We love that, but we always encourage people to learn that extra bit of SketchUp goodness. With inferencing and shortcuts, drawing in 3D almost feels like playing an instrument. When you work with components, your entire model operates better (maybe even your entire computer, too). And when you finally get around to trying LayOut*, you discover a new dimension of just how good your models can look on a page.

*Ed. note: Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Today, SketchUp 2016 is available to download, and it works just like that. Use as much of our software as you’d like and be productive. Or, dig a bit deeper, learn something new, and find that SketchUp tends to take off underneath you. Here’s a look at what’s new in this release, courtesy of a few folks that worked on it...


Of course, we encourage you to download the new version now, but if you are interested to dig a bit deeper, there are a few changes we think you should pay attention to.

For starters, if you’re already mind-melded with SketchUp’s inference engine, you’ll definitely want to explore the improvements we’ve made to inferencing. Parallel and perpendicular inferences with highlighting, expanded arrow key locking, smart center-pointing for circles and arcs: these are subtle, useful changes that may quickly become part of how you draw in 3D. Equally great is that these improvements don’t have to change the way you model at all: they’re always handy and completely out of your way at the same time.

In the spirit of getting things out of the way, utility dialogs on Windows machines do that quite nicely in SketchUp 2016. Now you can pull these supplemental menus (like Styles, Materials, and Outliner) into customizable, collapsible trays. And if you want to let them float, they still do that too.

Introducing custom trays for Windows machines, and our new scale figure, Lisanne (a member of our customer support team). Both are extremely helpful!

You can also organize dialogs you might use together into grouped trays. For instance, designate a custom ‘Model Organization’ tray for Entity Info, Layers, and Scenes. We think this functionality is incredibly useful for calling up and hiding go-to utilities. And, as an added bonus, these dialogs will no longer disappear into the dark universe just off your screen.

Organization is also pretty important in LayOut too. Our engineers took a close look at LayOut’s object model (how a file is organized) and spotted an opportunity to greatly simplify how layers and groups work. So that's what they did.

While they were poking around in LayOut, the team also built the foundation for a new C API. We’re proud to open a new chapter of extensibility for LayOut, and excited to see what the ever-amazing SketchUp Developer community comes up with next.

Finally, we continued our effort to make SketchUp work better with people, information, and tools outside of SketchUp. When you export information from a .skp, we thought that you should have more control of what data gets pulled and how it’s organized. Our refreshed Generate Report tool lets you pick the exact attributes you’d like in your takeoffs and estimates. You can also save your custom reports as templates to use again and again . Can you hear all the data crunching!?

It’s been about a year since our last major release, and also a year since we announced Trimble Connect, a new way to collaborate on projects. This year, we’re proud to introduce Trimble Connect to all SketchUp Pro users. Sign-up for a free account, and start publishing to shared project folders, importing reference models from Connect into your project, and publishing updated models directly from SketchUp. Then manage your project files from a browser: compare versions, annotate models, create to-dos and lots more.

That’s probably enough digging for now. If you really want to geek out, please read the posts we linked to above, or check out our release notes. And if you are a SketchUp Pro customer… well, thanks! You can look up (or renew) your license information here. We’ve had a lot of fun working on this new version; we hope you have even more fun working with it.