SketchUp and Layout: modeling speed and efficiency

Is there somewhere to get advice on modeling efficiency? I’ve been using SU for years and LO for a while and I thought it was ok for most things, but I’m confused about a few things recently;
For each project I make a model as existing and then save as to create the proposed model and add the extension or loft conversion or whatever. So the size of the two models should be quite similar. However, the latest project has an existing model of 2.9MB and the proposed one of 18.6MB, and I can’t see where the difference is coming from!
Also, since I updated to 2023, Layout is extremely slow on my Mac. Are there particular settings (Vector/Raster, particular Styles in SU, importing pdf files, etc.) that have a big effect on Layout’s speed? I find it much slower than version 2022.
Thank you

A few things I’ve learned so far as a relative n00b of a couple of years:

The vector line setup absolutely kills the speed of LayOut.
I think you should go through and change viewports to Vector only before exporting to PDF if improved line quality over Raster is important.

Too many pages also seem to kill it.

And yesterday I tried to change the scale of something I had drawn in Layout by converting it to a scaled drawing and changing the scale. LayOut practically went on strike.

Interested in reading what others may suggest as it seems I’m more or less in the same boat as you in our line of work.

You’re on Mac Jonny, I’m Windows.

It would seem that, historically, Mac users have had problems that Windows users have not.

And there are many Windows users who have problems too!

I have no problems. I keep my models simple for Layout and draw much of my detail in Layout. I have standard details and drawing groups drawn in Layout that I reuse.

If I need a more detailed model for a client or need to understand how a complicated arrangement would work, I would create a copy of the basic model to work with.

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Mine is a mess! Just putting text notes, labels, and dimensions into Layout is really slow, and that’s (presumably) not related to the images being vector or raster attachments.
The number of pages is also not a problem. When I started getting 12 and 15 MB layout files with just one sheet, I stopped using multiple sheets and started using a separate layout file for each drawing (so my SketchUp model has plan views taken for the drawing plan layout and elevation views taken for a separate Elevation Arrangement drawing). That keeps the project files to a manageable size and is actually easier when it comes to handling revision number etc.
Worst of all, however, is if I try to import a PDF or PNG drawing into my layout file. I need these for location and site plans (UK planning offices require an Ordnance Survey site plan, which I buy in pdf format). But adjusting the size of that once it’s in the layout is really slow

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The design is a real disaster of a program. It desperately needs optimization. Even with best practices, a sheet full of annotations and viewports drags. Then have 30+ sheets for an entire project and it’s a real nightmare.

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I get a map from the digital OS that I use to create the location plan and as the basis for the site plan, very simple and hassle free.

I spread my drawing set into groups of drawings, so usually no more than several pages per layout file.

Most of my construction document sheets are information dense with notes, labels, dimensions, etc. and I’m not slow.

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Are you using LO 23.0.366 on a Mac, Paul?
Mine was pretty slow previously, but since I updated to 2023 mine is terrible.

(and by the way, are digital OS maps expensive? Where from? I pay about £40 for a 1:500 plus a 1:1250)

Paul: I’m on Windows.

I am aware that some Mac users on older versions have serious problems.

I get the digital maps from my OS from MapServe: 2 hectares, £24.88 + VAT.

yes that sounds convenient

Ok, please share the file so we can check if it’s slow.

Here you have turnervisual

Example_for_SU_Forum.Layout (5.1 MB)

Now you can share one of your 30+ sheet files that is a real nightmare so you can check that it is a real nightmare.

It’s actually convenient.

I looked at your file. It shows a crash issue that we think was recently fixed. I added the file to that bug report, thanks.

Other than that, one interesting thing to note is that if you turn off the grid, zooming in and out becomes much smoother.

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Thanks Colin!

He grid…which never occurred to me might affect zoom, not that I’ve ever considered my files to be slow.

In fact, there is an improvement. :thought: i will miss me grid if i turn it off

@Adam, could there be a Hide Grid While Zooming option?

We are investigating various ways to improve the performance of drawing the grid specifically, in addition to other performance improvements. The desired result is that we won’t need to do something like hide the grid while zooming or panning.


Could you upload that layout file in V2022?

I’m really curious how you can keep an entire project in the build documentation stage down to 5.1MB. Very impressive indeed!

I’ll send it to you by DM later.

Like I said, I divide my drawing sets into sections and the attached file is just 3 A1 sheets of my “A4” arrangements.

With the other sections it would add up to over 5Mb and this wasn’t that big of a project so it wasn’t that impressive.

I used to do my drawing sets as one file containing 30+ A3 pages and while I never had any lag or slow issues, splitting up the file was easier to manage.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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