Sketchup Blog - News and Notes from the Sketchup folks

A brief Leopard update

Posted by Brad Askins, Quality Assurance Engineer

Apple released a new version of its operating system a couple of weeks ago, and it seems as though lots of SketchUp and Mac users are upgrading. We've received a few questions from folks wondering about the interaction between Mac OS 10.5 Leopard and Google SketchUp 6, so we wrote a Help Center article that addresses these questions. In brief, there are still some known issues related to using SketchUp's Google Earth-compatibility features:

  • SketchUp may crash when clicking the "Get Current View" button, or by clicking "Tools" > "Google Earth" > "Get Current View."
  • Clicking the "Place Model" button, or clicking "Tools" > "Google Earth" > "Place Model" will do nothing on a Mac with a PowerPC processor. SketchUp will appear to have not processed the request. To work around this issue, we suggest the following steps:
    1. Click "File" > "Export" > "3D Model..."
    2. Choose "Google Earth 4 (*kmz)" from the "Format" drop-down menu.
    3. Enter a file name and click "Export."
    4. Open Google Earth and click "File" > "Open."
    5. Browse to and select the KMZ file you created and click "Open."
  • Leopard users can't change which font is used by the 3D Text tool.
Please know that we're working on the problems, and we'll let you know as soon as they are resolved.

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tim said...

It's good of you folks to post known problems in this manner BUT your list is missing what seems to me a much more serious issue (the extended beachball 'lock up' when selecting that affects at least MacBook and possibly MBP users. I hope that this is a simple editing boo-boo rather than the problem being unknown to you!

Peter said...

it's not just 3d text - it's ALL text - dimensions, leader text ...

Justin said...

Another one missing from the list is generally bad performance of Sketchup in Leopard. Also, a bug that I have is that when I export a PDF to "scale", it is not really to scale.

Orlando said...

Hi Justin (and all others wondering),

there is one issue, maybe that's your beach-ball problem as well - which comes from SU trying to connect to other machines on your local intranet. SU-Pro does this to find other installed copies of SU-Pro. If you happen to deny any connections with Little Snitch it will render SU Pro virtually unusable.
Generally I'm pretty disapointed - the Leopard Previews were available for quite some months and even up to now nothing happened.

It seems as if the problems of paying SU-customers aren't on top of the to-do-list anymore.
There are bugs around which arent fixed since one and a half year...

Tp put it this way: if anyone else would decide to create another easy-to-use 3D-app with the same functionality I would definitely give it a try.

jbacus said...

Hi guys,

Thanks for the additional bug reports. I'm sure our QA folks are reading them, and will look into the issues you're reporting. Brad didn't mention every issue we are carrying in the bug tracker- just the ones most likely to show up for folks who upgraded to Leopard right away.

Please be patient. OS upgrades always bring unexpected problems. We're working to identify and fix them as quickly as we can.


evmarco said...

Sincerely, sketchup running on Mac OS Leopard SUCKS. i have an intel black macbook, and even archicad runs faster and smoother than sketchup.
some of the issues i've had for example: is when selecting several objects, the "beachball" appears, and i have to wait around 17 seconds till i can do something else. when using the circle tool for the first time, that is, when i open sketchup and use it right away. ANOTHER one, when im using the line tool and i zoom in, sketchup just hangs, its very annoying. the program crashes almost with EVERY tool. its very DISAPPOINTING

tim said...

The good news is that a new iMac does *not* show any of the selection related beachballing problem for me.

jtbearcat said...

I've found SketchUp to be unusable on my 2 Leopard systems. This is very disappointing since I was an avid user of SketchUp and have been singing its praises to friends and family.

It seemed like selecting anything was cause a beachball to appear. Often times it would lock up. I read a post about hardware acceleration so I disabled it. I started using SketchUp to modify a model I've been working on but now it crashes every 5 minutes or so.

Isn't there anything I can do to make SketchUp usable again?

Anonymous said...

This is interesting, as I have been running it with no problems with the latest update that fixed the fonts problem. Makes me suspect the maybe a conflict of some sort and not just Leopard

James Lee said...

iMac Leopard OS: No problems with Sketchup, but Layout keeps crashing. Layout is not Leopard compatible yet. Anyone know when this will be addressed?

Luckily I have not upgraded to Leopard on all my Macs. I would advise to hold off doing so until SU and Layout are fully Leopard compatible.

adamnieman said...

Just to add to the list - I have been having severe problems with Sketchup Pro 6.4.120 running on a MacBook Pro with Leopard (OS X 10.5.3). The program hangs every few minutes in a way that requires a complete re-start of the computer (i.e. I'm unable to save any open documents in other programs). I think this is the 'extended beachball lock up' mentioned above. It makes Sketchup unusable for me.

marc said...

I'm having the same problem with SU and Mac OS 10.5. Keeps crashing all the time. I'm a long time fan of SU and I've used it with Macs and PCs since version 3. This problem is driving me crazy, any word yet on what's causing it?

Anonymous said...

Sketchup Pro works fine on my old PowerBookG4. I just installed the last release SketchUp Pro on my new MacBook Pro 17". It doesn't crash (until now) but it is very slow, very sluggish. Looking at the Activity Monitor I notice that, even on idle (so doing nothing) it may catch between 20% to 50% of the processor, and not 0% ! It may be a reason for the sluggish comportment of SketchUp when I begin to do something (rotating for instance).
Any one has an idea about that ?
Thank you ! said...

Frankly, I am disappointed. I love google and mac products, and this is a mix between the two! I love SketchUp, yet it is unbearable to use it on Leopard. Apparently this problem has been around for a while also.

I still love you google, but fix this please. You will lose a lot of your fan base if it doesn't get the attention it deserves.

marc said...

The latest update, 6.4.245, fixed all the beachball problems for me.
MBP running OS X 10.5.2 on 2GB RAM.

Anonymous said...

I too am having a lot of trouble with my brand new macbook pro and SU6. OS10.5.2 beach ball every 10 minutes, randomly, and cannot force quit or do anything but manually shut down and restart. tremendously frustrating, especially since this is the "latest and greatest" system that everyone wants.

do I have to install windows so that I can use windows SU? booo!

Anonymous said...

What verson of SketchUp are you using? The 6.4.245 solved the beachballing issues for me.

Anonymous said...

Please upgrade Mac OS X to 10.5.2 and the Leopard Graphics Update, and make sure you have the current SketchUp. If you do have a case you can reproduce, post your machine type with graphics card information to and we will get the same model and test. Thanks...


Marcus said...

I have a brand new (like today) 2.8 ghz imac, 2 gb memory, ati graphics card. All software completely up to date.

Sketchup is completely unusable - freezes up within a minute of starting use, before that it's impossibly jerky....

Have tried it with both hardware acceleration and fast feedback disabled

This is a big problem for me - the main reason i bought the mac with a 24" screen was to use sketch up which is my main design tool, I previously used it on a PC with no problem.

Please can you let me know if there is a fix or when this problem will be sorted?

marcel said...

Are you using SketchUp 6.4.245? That solved all my problems. I thought only MacBooks and MBPs were having problems.

Marcus said...

Yes, I have 6.4.245! Downloaded it this afternoon

marcel said...

That's weird. I don't know about other systems, but mine was totally crippled by SketchUp until the upgrade. The only solution was to shut down and reboot. 6.4.245 fixed it good.

SketchUp Guide Barry said...

Marcus - there are 2 options of video cards on this model: ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO or NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS. Which one do you have? And have you run software update on this machine? Please do to verify that the Leopard Graphics update has been applied (although with hw accel off, it almost sounds like you didn't get a clean install of SketchUp, so I'd also try reinstalling). We will get on a machine like yours today - please post to SketchUp in Google Groups or to Sketchucation and we'll help further to find out the cause.


SketchUp Guide Barry said...

Ah, ati (ATI)... I personally have an iMac with this card, 10.5.2 and the Graphics Update, and while I've heard of people having issues, we have been unable to reproduce them. Follow up on


Colin Coutts said...

Just started to use SketchUp Pro 6 on my new Mac Pro (Dual 2.8GHz, Quad Core, 6GB RAM), running 10.5.2 and it runs very slowly - spinning ball and elasticated panning/orbiting as described by others here. I'm using the standard 256MB ATI Radeon HD 2600 card, and all the software is up to date at time of writing, including the recent ROM update.

I built the model I am now having problems with on my 867MHz 12" G4 Powerbook (1GB RAM), running 10.4.11 and I can still interact quickly with it on that machine.

The model is small (just 572 KB) and I can see no reason why there should be this speed problem on the Mac Pro.

The Mac Pro is devouring previously unwieldy Photoshop files, and I've been stitching panoramic images up to 500GB in file size.

SketchUp is the only application I am experiencing display and speed issues with. I am running SketchUp v6.4.245.

Any advice?


Colin Coutts said...


My last post should, of course, have read;

"The Mac Pro is devouring previously unwieldy Photoshop files, and I've been stitching panoramic images up to 500MB in file size."


Stefan said...

This link may help some of you:

"Leopard Hang Fix"

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