Everything you need to know about SketchUp 2015

Matt Donley News, Uncategorized 14 Comments

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 .  Also, keep in mind, installing 2015 will NOT affect other previous installations of SketchUp on your system. So you can keep using 2014, for example, while you get SketchUp 2015 set up in your spare time.

New Features in SketchUp 2015sketchup2015

  • 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.


  • Sketchup.com – What’s new in SketchUp 2015? Here’s an overview of what is included in SketchUp 2015, highlighting the major improvements and new features.
  • SketchUp.com – Sketchup 2015 Release Notes If you’re interested in discovering all the nitty gritty details of what’s included in this release, this is the list you want to look at.
  • SketchUp.com – 64-bit version SketchUp is now available in 64-bit. This help article goes over some details on what this means for you.
  • SketchUpdate – SketchUp 2015 – SketchUp blog new version announcement.
  • TUTORIAL – Rotated Rectangle tool – What it is, and how to use it.  This is a great new tool, it’s worth reading through this at least once, so a year from now you don’t look back and say “Man, I never knew I could do THAT with the rotated Rectangle tool.”
  • SketchUpforDesign – What’s new with SketchUp 2015 – A great article from author, Alex Schreyer. He also reviews some of the new extensions released by Trimble.

Where to Get it?

Download SketchUp

There are two versions of SketchUp available: SketchUp Make, and SketchUp Pro.

SketchUp Make 2015 is a fully functioning FREE 3D modeling program licensed for personal (non-commercial) use. Just be aware that when you download SketchUp Make, you’ll automatically get a 30 day SketchUp Pro trial, so you’ll get to check out all the features of SketchUp Pro. After the trial is up, it will revert back to the free SketchUp Make.

SketchUp Pro 2015 has some additional features geared towards the professional user, including two programs: LayOut 2015 and Style Builder. LayOut is a separate program from SketchUp that allows you to create 2D presentations of your SketchUp models. A SketchUp Pro license is required if you’re using SketchUp for commercial use. The SketchUp Pro package costs $495, plus an additional $95 maintenance fee that gets you free upgrades for a year.

Purchasing a new license

Are you ready to buy? If so, you can purchase a brand new SketchUp Pro 2015 license for $590. That’s $495 for the license, and $95 for a mandatory maintenance package which will get you one year of free upgrades (Including any major releases). Remember, SketchUp Pro includes LayOut, Style Builder, and of course, SketchUp Pro. If you are a previous owner of SketchUp Pro, you may not have to pay full price for 2015, in fact, you might not have to pay anything at all.

Purchase a new SketchUp license

Upgrading SketchUp Pro

As part of the Maintenance program, if you’ve purchased SketchUp Pro within the past year, you’ll be eligible to upgrade to SketchUp Pro 2015 at no additional cost. To find out your upgrade status, click the link below.

How to Upgrade to SketchUp Pro 2015

SketchUp to LayOut Book

Are you going to be diving into LayOut for the first time? Learn how to create construction documents using SketchUp and LayOut with my book, www.sketchuptolayout.com. I’ve just updated the page with some great reviews some of my readers have written.

Be sure to check out the Professional Package, as well as the Video Course Package, which includes over 3-hours of self-paced tutorials. Go to www.sketchuptolayout.com to learn more. 


Comments 14

  1. Hi Matt, thanks for the quick response on sketchup 2015. and Article. I follow all your explanations about the tools and tricks and lessons. and offcourse I bought your book and learn a lot ,
    Thanks for all the great work

  2. Matt, This is good news. How is SketchUp 2015 going to work with the plug-ins that were made as 32-bit? Will it pick them up, but they wouldn’t be able to avail themselves of 64-bit features? I don’t have many installed, am going to purchase SketchUp 2015 Pro, and was just wondering how that is going to be handled.
    Thanks for all your help. CF

  3. I apologize that the overall feedback I have is negative. I love SketchUp, I also rely on it for my business and use it daily in a professional capacity. I’ve only just recently upgraded to 2015 from SketchUp 8.

    So far here are some of the problems:

    The new icon design is not helpful, the icon design is less obvious in terms of interpreting the symbol and its use. Why did this need to be changed the old icons were great and part of the intelligent design of the software.

    Selection marquee when inside a group leaves “traces” of itself multiple design like the code is not written correctly – a very obvious bug

    The software does not “remember” the last settings used i.e. location of toolbars, which toolbars are open at the time of exiting the software.

    The “tiling” or “docking” of these toobars does not work anywhere near as well as in the Sketchup 8.

    So far this version is a step backwards. Very disappointing.

  4. Thanks for the clear explanation about the 30-day free trial of Pro. Perhaps you can add to it. Is there a way to “turn off” the Pro features in an installation of Make 2015? I want to know whether I can accomplish my little “make a model of my home” project for free! Thanks.

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  5. Hi,

    I have downloaded and installed SketchUp Pro 2015 twice in the last couple weeks. Initially the desktop icons appear normally and the new version comes up fine. The next time I turn on the computer, however, all of the 2015 version icons are gone. I believe my license is current and would like to upgrade my current pro license at some point.

    Help, please.


  6. I am looking for a new updated Sketchup Make quick reference guide…. any ideas? Also.. my middle button will NOT orbit when used… what gives? do I need to turn something on?

  7. Something you need to know:

    64-bit versions and multi-core support is totally different things, so it never mean that it can take advantage of the multi-core processor.

    In fact, they already mentioned that “SketchUp will run on multiple-processor machines; however, SketchUp will only use one processor. SketchUp doesn’t support hyper-threading or multi-threading at this time.”. (from http://help.sketchup.com/en/article/36208 )

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  8. I have the same question as Nancy, but am hoping for a clearer answer. I’ve downloaded Sketchup Make to do a couple of little virtual hobby type projects, but with the free trial of Pro that’s included I really don’t have any idea what’s Make and what’s Pro. I’ve looked at the comparison chart, but I’m afraid it’s pretty much Greek to a beginner like myself.

    I’m well aware that the trial will expire in 30 days on it’s own, but I’d prefer not to have to wait 30 days to find out what’s what. I’ll be blunt…this is just something I’m looking to experiment with and maybe make a few objects for personal use in an online game. It wouldn’t be realistic for me to hand over $590 for Pro for this. I’d just like to know if the free version is able to accomplish this or not. Is there any way to disable the trial before the 30 days so I can tell if this will work for me or not?

  9. I have faced 2 annoying problems in SketchUp 2015. Can you please help me with it?

    1. When i edit a group and i try to zoom in to draw a small detail, it either zooms in too much or zooms out too much, there is no in between. So its very difficult to draw small details.

    2. When i try to orbit it just send me somewhere else. it the view just gets lost somewhere in the file.

    I have tried opening a completely new file and starting everything from scratch but i still face the above mentioned problems.

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      The zoom “ratio” will change depending upon what your mouse is hovering over. Try hovering over the detail you want to zoom to, and it should smooth out for you. The orbit tool is similar, in that it depends on what your mouse is hovering over when you start to orbit.

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