What's new in SketchUp for Web?

SketchUp for Web 2019 Updates
 

So, what's up with SketchUp for Web? 

Even if you use our web modeler on a regular basis, you might not notice some of the changes and fixes that we push out regularly. For instance, have you noticed that two improvements in the recent SketchUp Pro release -- Invert Selection and the new ‘un-Erase’ modifier -- are also available in SketchUp for Web?

There are also some bigger changes we think you should know about (including a new scale figure). If you’re curious about what’s new in SketchUp for Web, by all means: read on!

Where was that again? Search for tools or commands in SketchUp…
Have you ever forgotten where the Section Plane tool is in SketchUp? Maybe you’ve forgotten what that model-slicing thingy is even called! In SketchUp for Web and SketchUp for Schools, we’re introducing a new way to search for and activate modeling commands whenever you need them. Use the new icon at the top of the toolbar to pull up our new Search box.
 

SketchUp for Web Command Search
Stop looking around for what you need... start searching for it!

As you start typing, you’ll notice that SketchUp will suggest results based on what you’ve typed so far. You’ll find that it’s pretty quick to call up ‘X-ray’ mode, and that searching for ‘View’ will yield a bunch of related results. So, if you’re still not sure where the Section Plane tool is, now you don’t even have to know: just start searching for ‘Sect…’ and hit enter to activate the first command in your results list.

SketchUp for Web Hide Rest of Model
Cycle through search results with the up/down arrows on your keyboard; or hit enter if the first result is what you want! (Model courtesy of David Heim)

This new search (which you can call up with its shortcut Shift + / ) also matches queries that are broadly related to SketchUp modeling, so you have a better shot at finding things if you don’t know what they’re called. Wondering if SketchUp has a ‘lathe’ tool? You’ll find Follow Me. How would you evaluate ‘line of sight’ in a model? Position Camera, of course!
 

SketchUp for Web Search concept
Not sure how to pull something off in SketchUp? We've packed our search with modeling concepts that tie to SketchUp commands.

Concept searching is definitely subjective, so we’re eager for your feedback on how search works in SketchUp for Web. We have some more commands to add to our index -- and plans to support more languages -- so your feedback could really help us sharpen search in SketchUp for Web (before it shows up in other SketchUp places).

Improved quality in image export and printing
Earlier this year, we introduced a handy way to preview image compositions for PNG exports and page-based PDF prints. This preview lets you use core navigation tools to orient a model to best fit your desired image or paper size. We think this takes out a lot of the guesswork involved in exporting images.
 

SketchUp for Web PNG
Preview and compose your model in context before printing or exporting PNG files.

Soon enough, we got some feedback that the resulting outputs were disappointing. Often, the exported linework looked fuzzy or jagged. And if you increased the size of your export (or printed a large page), the result would be reeallllly tiny lines. 

The point of our image/printing preview is to reduce the back-and-forth nature of exporting images from SketchUp, so we knew we had some work to do to improve it. With our latest update, you’ll find much higher quality images exporting out of SketchUp for Web that look much more like what you expect them to. 

And if you want an even higher quality image, just increase the pixel size of your preview: SketchUp will export with higher-pixel lines, auto-scaled so that your image matches what you saw in the modeler. 
 

SketchUp for Web image exporting
Depending on how big of a file you want, you can now generate raster images such that the linework in your export is as crisp (or crisper!) than what you saw in SketchUp for Web.

Solid Inspector in SketchUp for Web
Another recent addition to SketchUp for Web is an adaptation of the popular extension, Solid Inspector. Available to paid subscribers (and SketchUp for Schools users), Solid Inspector identifies issues that would prevent a model from being 3D printable.
 

 

You can read more about the ins and outs of Solid Inspector on our Help Center. Just like the extension, Solid Inspector can fix some issues automagically; for manual fixes, the Inspector can jump SketchUp’s camera between highlighted issues, so that you can get a better look for hands-on repair.

While Solid Inspector requires a paid subscription, the other two improvements in this post-- search and export quality -- are included in the free version of SketchUp for Web. We hope you’ll give them a try and let us know what you think on the SketchUp Forums.

Happy sketching!

About the Author

Mark Harrison

A product manager on the SketchUp team, Mark is also an avid Colorado outdoorsman. You’re likely to find him roaming Boulder's mountain bike trails, scaring up marmots, pikas, and black bears.

More Content by Mark Harrison
Previous Video
Workplace design in SketchUp with M Moser Associates
Workplace design in SketchUp with M Moser Associates

M Moser Associates, a commercial interior design firm, has embraced SketchUp as an enterprise-wide design a...

Next Article
Strumming the chords of creativity
Strumming the chords of creativity

Ready to push your limits and "strum the chords" of creativity? Join us as Steve Guzman guides us through h...