Leaders and dimensions chaotic and unpredictable dispersal

I recently updated my model reference in Layout, only to receive the following output:

Luckily I managed to save within a few minutes of this and just closed without saving. The next update of the model had better results… That being said, this is an issue that has had less luck for me on other occasions.

Most commonly I find that my dimension lines tend to move around a lot when I update my model reference as shown in this image:

Just another example of why Layout is a serious pain in the ass when it comes to professional use.

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There is a reason for this behavior, please upload the layout file for examination and explanation.

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Yes, obviously there is a reason.

I’m open to comments, this is what I know:

In the first example, I moved a section cut slightly so that some of the geometry that had been previously cut was no longer cut. In more depth, I’m using Curic’s wonderful section tools to generate tag-based shading in my drawings. If I adjust the location of the section plane or update the geometry, the plugin creates a new group with new 2D lines, filled regions, etc. Therefore, all leaders who were targeting a face from a former shaded region no longer have that specific face to snap to (see complaints about face snapping).

In the second example, the section plane never had to be moved, I just changed the locations of some of the windows in my model. Updating the section cutline with the same plugin, again, creates a new 2D geometry that removes all dimensions and fitted leaders. A lot of the time, because the Dimensions were correctly snapped to an endpoint, Layout does a pretty decent job of “rewiring to the geometry”, but it often shakes up all my previously clean, organized strings of dimensions.

My best solution is to set a keyboard shortcut to disable snapping to objects in Layout so I can prevent the guide points from snapping to faces. This is hugely annoying because even if the object snap is turned off, it turns back on the moment I edit a snap point, which means I have to turn it off every time I place/adjust a leader. Obviously, this solution won’t work with dimensions, as I need precise measurements to fit the geometry, and as long as my section geometry isn’t too different from its previous state, I only get the occasional unreferenced dimension, conveniently highlighted in red with all the other dimensions of the page, now that I have new 2D section geometry.

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Is there a fix for this yet? I’ve had this exact problem since the beginning with v2022. The advice tech support gave me when it first happened to me was to go back to using v2021. Hopefully there is already a solution. I was hoping v2023 would come out soon and resolve this.

One solution I found was

  1. Turn off “Auto Scale” on all dimensions and set the correct scale manually. You can select all dimensions and do this in one step.
  2. “Group” all leaders and dimensions (I also do text only to keep it all together).
  3. Copy using “Ctrl + D” which offsets the copy exactly 4 “Shift + Arrow” clicks to the right and down.
  4. Delete the original group and precisely move the copy in its place.

This removes the broken anchors from the model. Of course you lose the ability to update your dimensions and leaders when something legitimately moves in your model, but that’s better than having random scattering which can cause significant errors in professionally responsible work. Note that any time you add or change a leader or dimension, you’ll need to do so within the Group and then copy, delete the old one, and put it back in its place.

This is all too much work for something that shouldn’t be acceptable behavior. I love SketchUp and use it daily, but this bug is dangerous and needs to be fixed. Please let me know if a solution already exists, and if not, please prioritize fixing this issue as soon as possible.

Thank you


2023 is here, fingers crossed…

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A faster way that I figured out is to simply cut out all the dimensions and leaders and paste them in place. This removes all broken anchor information in just two steps. Of course “auto scaling” has to be turned off and you have to select the correct scale manually.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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