SU6Pro compared to Free SU

Dave Richards

SE Minnesota
Travis Porter asked if there is any reason to upgrade to Pro SU over the free version. I thought that I would make a new thread so that those who are interested in this question might find my babbling more easily.

There aren't a great deal of differences between GSU and SU5Pro. the ones that exist are mostly related to file export. You can't export high res images, CAD files, animations or PDF documents from the free version. You can do all of those from the Pro version. There are a few other differences related to the use of some Ruby scripts. The pro version supports the addition of toolbars related to Plugins. This is mainly a convenience but there are several scripts, Housebuilder, Selection Tools and Projection Tools that each have enough tools to make toolbars useful. If you don't care about those scripts anyway that's moot.

When you get into SU6Pro, there get to be more differences. There are new rendering styles that add greatly to presentation quality, there is 3D Text, Photomatch, direction locking and some other things that were available only through the use of Ruby scripts. In addition to all the new stuff in SU6Pro, there is another application bundled with it called Layout. This gives you the ability to work with SU models to make presentation materials such as PDF documents or slides for a slide show. You can add title bars and text as well as multiple views of models. You can make multi page documents so you could, for example make a package with 3D views, 2D plans and text describing a project.

Of course the other reason for upgrading to Pro is the free version is for personal use only. If you are using SU for commercial use, you are supposed to buy the license for the pro version. When you installed the free one, you agreed to that condition.

FWIW, here are a few examples of SU6Pro output.

This house model was started in SU4 and worked on in SU5. I have a more complete version at home. I was just playing with one of the Sketchy styles.

Here's an example of 3D Text

I've done some other stuff over the last 2 months with SU6 but it's all on the home machine.
I thought of a couple of other things related to the differences between the two. You can set your location in the Pro version for shadow accuracy and you can modify the preset shortcuts and have your modifications stick.
Thanks for that description, Dave! Very helpful.

I do have another question, albeit not completely related to the difference in SU versions. My employer just gave me a "new" laptop (IBM T40). I had to reload all of my personal, "secondary" applications, as they aren't part of the official load :rolleyes: . SU6 is one of them. I know that over the last several months, you have posted many different threads related to initially setting up the application, to make it that much more user friendly. Have you ever taken to consolidating that information into one consise thread (or document), or is it all spread out over many threads, and a couple of different forums :rolleyes: ? I want to make sure that I start out (again!!) on the right foot, with all my plugins/etc. straight.


- Keith
And another thing. You can create watermarks that can be applied to an image so if you want to do a copyright sort of thing you can add it right in SketchUp.
Hi Keith, we must have cross posted and I did indeed miss your question. I guess I should probably try to compile everything related to setting up SketchUp into one thread. There are some things that are different now in SU6Pro so I'll have to see about how to present them to make it clear that it's a difference.

If you still have the machine with SU5Pro on it and you're using a custom template, copy it and add it to the Templates folder in SU6. You can set SU6 to open with that template in the Preferences just like in SU5. If you were using my template, just copy it from the thread here.

Let me see what I can come up with. It might take a day or two to get it together. And even then I might be adding to it.
Thanks, Dave. Unfortunately, I do not have the machine with SUPro5 anymore. In fact, that machine has been completely reformatted. Is there a thread here with your preferences file?

To me, and probably many others here and elsewhere, a fully-compiled thread of all that information would be a HUGE help in getting going. I would greatly appreciate that effort!! :thumb:

Thank you, Sir!!!

- Keith
There is a Sticky with my template file. It's the first one on the Design forum page.

That template carries the preferences for display, units and a few other things. You'll still need to choose the toolbar set, starting template and set up any custom shortcuts you may want to use.

As far as plugins are concerned, there are a lot of them. I would add only a few at least to begin with. There are quite a few that you probably wouldn't use that often and the more scripts in the Plugins folder, the longer it takes SU to open.

Do you have the license info for SU5Pro? You'll need that to get the free upgrade to SU6Pro. If you don't have it, an e-mail to the SketchUp Customer Service folks would be a good idea. Keep in mind that they're going to be pretty swamped for awhile. I know they are working lots of overtime and many of the Google--Boulder folks are at Mac World this week for the unveiling of SU6Pro and Layout. I imagine the office isn't overstaffed at the moment.
Larry, the biggest difference in SU6Pr over SU5Pro that I can show in pictures is in the options for output. Here are a few JPGs of some furniture I've been working on lately. this is part of the Windward collection from Thos. Moser. I intend to complete the collection and go back to draw in the joinery. These are some quick sort of sketchy views of it.





There are many little improvements that would be tough to show such as the little box that pops up next to the Tape Measure tool that displays the length. Some of the functions that are set with the Modifier keys (Ctrl, Alt, Shift) are now set to toggle. Press the key once to toggle one state, press it again to toggle the other. You can lock direction prallel to an axis using the cursor keys which makes drawing on axis easier. There's a bunch of other things as well.

Then there's Layout which gives you the ability to import your SU model into what will be a presentation. You can create various views of the model, add in descriptive text, title blocks, etc. You can have multiple pages which can be shown as a slide show on the monitor or you can output the presentation in PDF format to send to some one else.

There's more I want to write but I need to run off for a bit.