This page highlights changes in software functionality from what is mentioned in the last edition of this book (currently the 2nd edition). If there are any errors in printing, those go here as well. I only mention major functional changes here, everything else can be tracked in SketchUp’s Release Notes.

Layers are now Tags (changed with SU 2020)

This is more of a semantic change than a functional one, but starting with this version, layers are now called “tags”. It does make sense to “tag” items in a 3D environment rather than layering them. But if that is the case, then I am missing the possibility to add multiple tags to the same object. Hopefully that will come with a future version.

SketchUp Free / Make (changed with SU 2018)

With the release of SketchUp 2018, Trimble decided to discontinue development on SketchUp Make, which had been the free version of SketchUp Pro. The free version of SketchUp going forward will be the online app that can be found at For the time being, SketchUp Make 2017 (the latest released version) will remain available at the regular download location and can continue to be used.

While the free online version of SketchUp is very powerful (and available simply in a browser without requiring an installation), it has some limitations (compared to SketchUp Make. Here are the main differences:

  • The user interface is different from SketchUp Pro.
  • Extensions are not implemented in the web-based SketchUp app and can’t be used.
  • Editing materials is only available in a subscription based “SketchUp Shop” version, which also adds solid tools and import/export capabilities.
  • LayOut remains only available as part of the SketchUp Pro package.

Extension Manager (introduced with SU 2017)

The new Extension Manager dialog replaces the functionality of the two Preferences tabs shown below:

Extensions tab
Extensions Policy tab

You can reach the Extension Manager from the Windows > Extension Manager menu item. It’ll look like this:

Extension Manager dialog

In this dialog, you can manage extensions (enable, disable, uninstall, update), find out whether they have been signed and even install an extension from an RBZ file using the Install Extension button. You can also set your extension signing preferences from the dialog’s settings, too.