SketchUp comes in different “flavors”. First, choose which one you need based on what your project or class requirements are:
- Online SketchUp App: Use this for general 3D modeling. You can even exchange files between the online app and the installed Pro version anytime. The main limitations are that you don’t have access to the drawing-generation software LayOut and that you cannot use any Extensions (add-on software for SketchUp). You can use the online app in a limited mode (available freely for anyone) or in an enhanced mode where you need an active SketchUp subscription.
- Installed SketchUp Pro (Windows, Mac): This is the full program that gives you all the capabilities (including LayOut) and allows for installing extensions.
- Phone and tablet SketchUp apps (iOS, Android): These are mainly viewers but they also let you view models using AR (augmented reality).
If you don’t know what you need, then it is likely easiest to start with the online app and then switch to the installed version when you need additional capabilities.
All of the SketchUp and other Trimble products now need a Trimble account. You can set a free account up when you use or download any of their software. When you need a license to access full features (e.g. SketchUp Pro), send us a request through our contact form (select “Software inquiry”). The license will be tied to your @umass.edu account and covers all versions of SketchUp (installed/online/viewers).
Installing SketchUp Pro
- Download the appropriate version from SketchUp’s download page (you will need a Trimble account for that. Create a free one with your @umass.edu email if you don’t have one yet.)
- Installation is usually quite unproblematic (and does not give you many options).
- When you start SketchUp Pro, you will be asked to enter your Trimble account. It also needs to be set up with the full license, which you can request using the information above. Once you enter your information, SketchUp Pro will start.
- If you need additional functionality in SketchUp, consider installing an appropriate extension. Once the extension has installed, it will remain available in SketchUp Pro every time you start the software. You can typically find the extension’s functionality under the “Extensions” menu or in other menu locations (e.g. Toolbars):
- Keep in mind that the drawing-generation program LayOut is a separate software (that gets installed when you install SketchUp Pro). You can use it by going to File > Send to LayOut… in SketchUp’s menu. Your model then gets live-linked to LayOut and your changes will always update.