Now that SketchUp 7.1 is out the door, I thought it'd be a good idea to tell you a little bit more about its 2D, Pro counterpart: LayOut 2.1 is more powerful than ever. We added features that should let you use SketchUp Pro for an even larger chunk of your workflow:
LayOut isn't just for presentation documents anymore. LayOut 2.1 gives you the ability to add precise dimensions to your work. Use the new Dimension tool on any inserted SketchUp model to produce a set of dimensioned drawings quickly and easily. But enough tooting our own horn; here's what some of our esteemed beta testers have been saying over the last few weeks:
"To all the Googies! Dimensioning in LO is the best thing since sliced bread and eating half a loaf a day this is SO welcomed! Getting fat though!" – Richard Jeffrey
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for the dimensioning tool in Layout. We’ve been praying for this for a long time. I can’t adequately express how much it means to my work process." – rdwilkins
"When Google introduce Layout, I asking myself what to do with it. Then I use Layout for a building permission and get congratulation from the mayor of the city. Then, I burn the license of the bad 2D CAD program I use with SketchUp." – Christophe Hébert
"I have just attempted my first set of construction dwgs with LO. Although a simple project it was good to see how the new dimension tool in LO would help." – Andrew Carter
"...Dims in LO is fantastic. I am now taking LayOut VERY seriously as a Con Doc Production app rather than just a presentation app as I had been doing until now." – "Mayor" Mike Lucey
"AutoCAD and I just broke up!" – Eric Schimelpfenig
You can watch a short video I made about Dimensions in LayOut 2.1, then check out this how-to video from Tyson:
Snap to SketchUp Model
Elements like lines, labels and dimensions automatically snap to points in the SketchUp models you insert in LayOut 2.1. When Object Snap (Arrange > Object Snap) is enabled, colored point inferences appear as you hover over edges, endpoints and faces in inserted SketchUp model views. Elements you create while snapped to points in a model are sticky; they remain attached when the underlying model view is moved around on your page. Naturally, this applies to dimensions, but it also works with labels and shapes (like door swings).
Improved Freehand tool
We tweaked the Freehand tool to make it even easier to draw smooth, perfect vector lines with a mouse. As you draw, LayOut figures out where to put the control points so that your shape stays recognizable but editable. Now you can draw things like scale figures, free-form graphics and foliage right inside LayOut.
Bulleted and Numbered Lists
LayOut 2 makes it easy to include lists – bulleted or numbered – in your text. Before, only Mac users could do this. Now, everyone can.
In LayOut 2.1, you can choose to display your grid as dots instead of lines; sometimes this makes it easier to see what you're doing. You can also tell LayOut to draw your grid (dots or lines) in front of your drawing elements. After all – what good is a grid if you can't see it?
We've made it easier to move elements like graphics and text between LayOut 2 and the other programs in your design toolbox.
Tweaks and other goodness
Needless to say, we didn't just add a bunch of new features in 2.1. Our crack team of amiable nerd-types have been squashing bugs and fiddling with code for months. And as always, many thanks go out to the selfless beta testers who've helped make LayOut better with every release.
Posted by Aidan Chopra, SketchUp (and LayOut) Evangelist