How to Build a LayOut Document

LayOut enables you to create documents for presenting your 3D Google SketchUp 8 models, both on paper and onscreen. LayOut was designed to be easy to use, quick to learn, and tightly integrated with SketchUp.

LayOut gives you the tools to create cover pages, title blocks, callouts, and symbols — whatever needs to accompany views of your model. You can create presentations that are just about any physical size and export them as PDF files or images to send to other people. Best of all, when your design changes in SketchUp, you can easily update your model views in LayOut to reflect the changes. If you make your living designing and presenting ideas in 3D, LayOut can save you boatloads of time.

Templates are the quickest way to get up and running with a new LayOut project. Follow these steps to load a LayOut template and customize it for your own purposes:

  1. Launch LayOut.

    Keep in mind that LayOut and SketchUp are separate software programs, so you need to launch them individually.

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  2. In the Getting Started dialog box, click the New tab.

  3. Choose a template to use.

    Expand the items in the list on the left to see the available templates by category. Browse the list, select one you want to use, and click the Open (Choose on a Mac) button to work with that template.

    If you change your mind about the template you picked, close the file you just created and choose File, New to pick another one.

  4. Unlock all your new document’s layers.

    In the Layers panel, unlock all the locked layers by clicking their little lock icons one at a time.

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  5. Edit the default text on the page.

    With the Select tool, double-click text to edit it. Click somewhere else on the page to stop editing.

  6. Edit the default text on all your other pages.

    Most of the more interesting templates include at least two pages; many templates open on the second page. Use the Pages panel to switch between pages in your document.

  7. (Optional) Change colors and line styles.

    Sometimes the entity you’re trying to edit is buried inside a group. Double-click a group to edit it. Sound familiar? SketchUp and LayOut are, after all, siblings.

  8. Swap out the generic logo for your own.

    Delete the generic logo wherever it appears in your document by selecting it and hitting Delete on your keyboard. Follow these steps to bring in a logo of your own:

    1. Make sure you’re not on your document’s cover page.

    2. In the Layers panel, click the On Every Inside Page layer to make it the active one and then choose File, Insert.

    3. Find the logo image you want to use and click the Open button.

    4. Activate the Select tool; then resize your logo by dragging its blue corner grips and pressing down the Shift key to keep from stretching your logo while you resize it.

    5. Click and drag your logo to put it where you want on the page and then choose Edit, Copy to copy your logo to the clipboard.

    6. Switch to your document’s cover page and make the Cover Page layer active by clicking its name in the Layers panel.

    7. Choose Edit, Paste to paste your logo on the page.

    8. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 from this list to place your logo where you want it, and then make the Default layer the active one before you forget.

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