Are you using SketchUp Pro on multiple computers? As I mention in Chapter 2, it may make sense to leverage one of the many cloud storage services (that you may already be using) like Dropbox, OneDrive, GDrive, etc. to make your life easier by synchronizing those. In essence, using the approach presented here, you can off-load extensions that you want to have available on both machines onto a shared drive, and then you load them back from the respective computers using the script shown below.
Step 1: Designate a folder on your cloud drive
First, designate a folder on your cloud-synchronized drive as the
Plugins folder. As you can see in my example below, I am using OneDrive (at
C:/Users/<username>/OneDrive/SketchUp/Plugins), but you can use any other service, too (e.g. for Dropbox on Windows it would likely be
C:/Users/<username>/Dropbox/). Of course, for this to work you need to have a cloud-synchronized local folder, not just an online folder. And that folder needs to be synchronized on all computers.
Step 2: Install a tiny little loader file
Download the following source file from Github by right-clicking on “view raw” and then saving that file. Alternatively, you can use a text editor to create a file with an RB file extension and then just copy the following lines of code into it. Make sure you edit the file path (from Step 1) in the code as needed.
To force SketchUp to run this file and thereby load your cloud-hosted extensions, you will need to move the
load_from_shared.rb file into SketchUp’s Plugins directory, which can be found (on Windows) at
C:/Users/<username>/AppData/Roaming/SketchUp/SketchUp <version>/SketchUp/Plugins/. Repeat this for each computer that should load the cloud-hosted extensions. Your computer setup should now look like this:
Step 3: Move extensions to the cloud
Next, move whichever extensions you need to make available with this method from SketchUp’s original Plugins folder to the cloud-sunchronized folder. Just remember that each extension has two parts: a loader RB file and a folder. The arrows in the image below show this for the Dynamic Components extension (yes, that is actually an extension).
When you start SketchUp next time, it will look in its own Plugins folder for files to load, where it will find your new
load_from_shared.rb file. That in turn will load the extensions from your cloud location. A benefit of this approach is that you can easily migrate to a newer SketchUp version by simply copying the
load_from_shared.rb file from the old version’s Plugins folder to the new one.
There are some caveats, of course: This system bypasses SketchUp’s extensions management system to some extent and may force you to manually upgrade extensions. Also, extensions that are linked to specific computers for licensing may not work properly. And finally, your
load_from_shared.rb Ruby file is not a signed file and therefore may give you a warning based on your Extensions Loading Policy settings.
I.e. use this approach with caution!