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In 2015, LayOut’s label tool got a lot smarter. It unlocked an enormous amount of data from your model, allowing you to read classification data and dynamic component attributes. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use dynamic components to add text …

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Any time there is a new major release of SketchUp, a rush of fear and panic overcomes you at the thought of having to reinstall plugins, reconfigure settings, and just get everything up to speed on the new version without missing a beat. In this article, I’ll show you how to to make upgrading painless.

One important thing to note about upgrading to a new version of SketchUp, is that you can install it along side of any existing installations of SketchUp you may have. This allows you to test drive the new version, and get all your settings configured at your leisure, but still go back to your previous version to continue working if you’ve got projects that you’re currently working on.

SketchUp 2014 and SketchUp 2015 can be installed at the same time on your computer.

When you install SketchUp 2015, there are actually many settings that will be migrated over from 2014 automatically. Things like keyboard shortcuts, folder preferences, and system preferences will transfer over to 2015.

Migrating to a new version

This is a long article, so I’ve broken it down into sections. For most people, you’ll want to know how to migrate your plugins. If you haven’t done any customizing of materials, components, styles, templates, or scrapbooks, that’s all you need to do. The installation will take care of installing the default libraries, and you’ll be good to go.

But, if you have custom files you need to migrate over, you’ll want to check out the other sections as well.

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SketchUp 2015 has been released, with it comes some great performance improvements as well as some additional tools. Here’s everything you need to know about SketchUp 2015.

NOTE: If you’re upgrading from a previous version of SketchUp PRO, go here to find out how to upgrade 

New Features in SketchUp 2015

  • 64-bit versions of SketchUp & LayOut – SketchUp and LayOut are now available in 64-bit, which means they will now take advantage of your multi-core processor.
  • New drawing tools in SketchUp - The 3 Point Arc tool and the Rotated Rectangle tool have been added to the default toolset in SketchUp.
  • IFC Importer – SketchUp Pro now has the ability to import IFC files directly, further enhancing its BIM capabilities, and helping it communicate with other software within your BIM workflow. The classifier tools has been upgraded as well.
  • Two-segmented labels – The label tool can create two-segmented leader labels, giving you more freedom over the look of your labels.
  • Label Auto-Text – Label autotext took a huge leap forward, unlocking a whole treasure of data from your model, making your labels even smarter. You can access IFC data and dynamic component attributes from within LayOut!
  • Fast Styles badge – Styles have a big effect on how SketchUp performs under pressure. Some styles perform better than others. You’ll now see a special badge next to high performance styles when browsing through the Styles window.
  • New Licensing System - Enterprise and network licenses will now be a lot easier to manage, and you’ll now get a 30 day trial to SketchUp Pro, instead of the previous 8 hour trial.


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New in SketchUp 2015, the Rotated Rectangle tool gives you more control over the way you can draw rectangles in SketchUp. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to get oriented with it.

One of the challenges you’ve probably experienced with the basic Rectangle tool, is that the orientation of the rectangle is highly dependent upon the orientation of the camera. It’s sort of hard to get the rectangle to draw vertically, for example, unless you’re view is aligned almost perfectly with the plane you’re drawing on.

It’s also impossible to draw a rectangle off-axis. You’re only able to draw rectangles that have edges aligned to the blue, red, or green axis. The Rotated Rectangle tool solves all of these issues.

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Did you know that there’s a way to assign an alternate material to the SAME object in SketchUp? In this article, I’ll show you how to use Color By Layer to display materials according to the layer an object is assigned to.

When applying textures to your model, most people take the approach of assigning realistic textures that represent the look of the object in real life. But there are other ways you can approach material selection to provide visual information about the objects in your model. With Color By Layer, you can have the best of both worlds by assigning a second set of materials to your model, according to the layer objects are assigned to.

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