‘Please authorize SketchUp’: How to manage your Subscription Activations

Having booted up your fresh new installation of SketchUp Pro 2021, you’re ready to go but you’ve been greeted with a message telling you to ‘Please authorize SketchUp.’

Please authorize SketchUp

You are using SketchUp Pro on too many machines. Please sign-out from another machine, or manage your activations below

No need to panic. It just means you’ve reached your activation limit for SketchUp.
Perhaps you’ve previously installed SketchUp 2019 and 2020 on your Desktop workstation and SketchUp 2020 on your laptop. In attempting to activate SketchUp 2021, we have gone over our activation limit of 3 instances.

Manage Activations

Error message

The first step is to click the “Manage Activations” Button which will take you to the SketchUp and Trimble account management site. If for any reason you struggle to load this, you can access this via a web browser using this link.

Sign in with the email account your SketchUp subscription is allocated to. If you have multiple accounts, choose the sub-account to which your subscription is also attached. In this instance, it is the second option, ”Elmtec.” It may be the case that it is a business name or simply a personal account.

This brings you through to the “My Products” Screen.

On this screen, you’ll now see any active subscriptions (indicated by the green “active” badge) as well as any expired or legacy products you may also own.

Click through into "View included Applications"
Below your current Active Subscription choose “View Included Applications”

My Products

Manage Devices

The above image shows all of the products included with a SketchUp Subscription. This particular subscription is for SketchUp Studio, hence the inclusion of Sefaira.

This is a useful area to know about. It will not just allow us to solve the problem we currently have, but will also allow us to find the download links for all of the products we have access to.

SketchUp Pro is the product we are interested in right now. However, the process for resetting our activation limit in Layout or Style Builder is also the same. Therefore, as in the yellow highlight, click on ‘Manage Devices’.

Confirm Deauthorization

Click ‘Deauthorise All’

SketchUp has now been deauthorised for all the machines and versions it had been activated on previously. Great! Now, all that is left is to sign back into SketchUp.

Restart SketchUp by closing it and reopening it

You are now signed in, and ready to get your SketchUp on again!

School Yourself in SketchUp

Perhaps one of the most awesome things about SketchUp is the incredible community of people who use it. The designers, dreamers, doers. You are never too far from some helpful soul who is on hand to answer any question you may have. Beginner, intermediate, advanced – someone in the community has always got your back. Plus, if English is not your first language – no problem! The SketchUp squad are truly global.

So, where are the best places to seek out SketchUp help and learning resources?

Here are a few of our favourite sources.

Your Reseller

An oft overlooked resource – your UK reseller is a veritable treasure trove of SketchUp information.
Authorized resellers are people that SketchUp and its distributors have been partnering with to make purchasing and using SketchUp as easy for you as possible. SketchUp Pro resellers are local experts who provide consulting, training and support in your language and time zone.

SketchUp Campus

The release of 2019 SketchUp saw this fantastic feature fully realised.

SketchUp Campus is a unique, in-depth learning hub with SketchUp-approved courses, all created by SketchUp’s team member to make learning SketchUp convenient and simple. Oh, and the courses and transcripts can be translated into over 100 languages. Nice!

The courses consist of short videos and quizzes that make learning topics such as Rendering with Photoshop, Layout, and SketchUp Fundamentals fun, quick, and easy. Quiz answers provide immediate feedback and help you see where you’re succeeding and where you could improve.

You can take the courses at your own pace and repeat them whenever you need to. While going through them, track your progress and resume where you left off, no matter where you stop and start.

SketchUp Campus Interface

Have a go here:

  1. Go to https://learn.sketchup.com/
  2. Sign in with your SketchUp login or your Google account
  3. Pick a track and start learning

The learning library will grow over time and so will your skills.

SketchUp Forums

Head on over to the SketchUp Community Forum. Post your own question or rifle through other users queries and tips by filtering via topic.

SketchUp UK Social Media

Once you’ve got going with the basics of SketchUp you’ll find that there are so many plug-ins and extensions that can really up your SketchUp game.

The SketchUp UK Facebook and SketchUp UK Twitter are where you’ll find a range of handy video tutorials for SketchUp shortcuts, plus our pick of the best extensions like PlaceMaker and Profile Builder.

If you’re after inspiring content and to read about how individuals and businesses use SketchUp in their workflow, check out some SketchUp UK Stories.

Paul Hensey: SketchUp Stories


No surprises here. YouTube is awash with incredible SketchUp content. Best place to start is the SketchUp YouTube Channel. Look for more meaty topics and tutorials or head straight for a ‘Quick Win’ like this Push/Pull Tip. Quick Wins are all under 90 second videos for smart hacks that take seconds but could save you hours of pulling your hair out.

Aaron from the SketchUp team shows you how to set up Scenes, Styles, and Sections and use Outliner to make it quick and easy to generate drawings in LayOut.


Yes, the front page of the internet has a SketchUp forum with nearly 8,000 subscribers in there providing tips, tricks, feedback and, sometimes, just some good ol’ fashioned inspiring work to get your creative chops around.

Ok, that’s good for starters! But do you have another secret resource you love to turn to for SketchUp tips? Maybe you even have your own blog or YouTube channel? Let us know.

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SketchUp 2019: License FAQ’s

SketchUp 2019 landed yesterday! In case you missed the list of features, you can whizz over to here and check them out.

There is also a brand new way to access SketchUp; a subscription option is now available – as well as the classic perpetual license. So what does this mean for you?

I have a SketchUp Pro 2018 license, what now?

If your license has an active maintenance and support contract, your UK reseller will be sending out your 2019 licence information – the serial number and authorisation code you will need to access SketchUp Pro 2019. If you are yet to receive this, please contact us at sales@elmtec.co.uk

How do I activate my SketchUp Pro 2019 Classic licence?

Once you’ve downloaded and installed version 2019, you will see the following screen – make sure you hit the ‘Classic License’ option:

You will then be prompted to enter your 2019 license details as follows:

Enter your details (provided by your UK reseller) and ‘Add License’ to authorise SketchUp Pro 2019.

Once you are in SketchUp Pro 2019 – you can go to Help → Manage License to see your status:

The ‘Classic’ tab will show as active. The Subscription tab will show as in trial mode, since you have a Classic Perpetual licence and not a subscription license.

What happens to my previous license when I upgrade to 2019?

If you had a 2018 single user license, your current 2018 version will continue to run as an existing installation and you can run 2019 alongside 2018 if you wish to.  You can’t install 2018 on a new machine.

If you had a 2018  network license, authorising your new 2019 licence on a single machine starts a 60 day countdown, after which your previous license will be disabled on all machines.

We recommend keeping your existing version of SketchUp installed until you know that 2019 is running smoothly on your machine.

I had an older version of SketchUp Pro but my maintenance contract has expired. What are my options?

If your maintenance contract expired within the past 3 years, you can still upgrade that license to version 2019, as a perpetual license. Contact the reseller you ordered through originally for a quote. If you are unsure who your reseller was, let us know and we can assist.

Instead of upgrading this license, you may instead purchase a new SketchUp Pro Subscription if you wish to. Again, your reseller can assist.

My SketchUp Pro maintenance contract expired over 3 years ago – what now?

That  license can no longer be upgraded. You can either purchase a new SketchUp Pro 2019 perpetual license with a maintenance and support contract, or you can of course choose to subscribe to SketchUp Pro. The choice is yours!

What are the differences between a SketchUp Pro 2019 Classic (perpetual license) and a SketchUp Pro Subscription?

The SketchUp Pro perpetual license does not expire – it is only the maintenance and support contract against it that is renewed. The maintenance contract gives you access to new versions as they are released and technical support. If you choose not to renew the M+S contract once it expires; SketchUp will continue to run.

The Subscription is annual access to SketchUp Pro. If you choose not to renew your subscription, you will not have access to SketchUp Pro.

In terms of features, this is what each option offers:

What is SketchUp Free?

SketchUp free is ideal for hobbyist. It is not permitted for commercial use. If you’re not using Pro you’re missing out on a wide range of features designed for producing professional-grade work.

I’m still not sure what SketchUp I should buy/subscribe to! Can I talk to a real human for some more advice?

Sure can! Give us a call on 01844 263750 and we will be happy to talk you through all of your options.

Happy SketchUpping!

What’s new for SketchUp in 2019?

SketchUp Pro 2019 is here, it’s faster and more powerful than ever, with big fixes, system improvements, and some shiny new features. Here are a few of the highlights:

SketchUp 2019 is here

SketchUp Pro 2019 for Desktop

You’ll notice a nifty upgrade to your welcome window where you can easily locate recent projects and find lots of helpful learning content.

Recent project finder

Brand new for 2019, SketchUp Pro & LayOut: Layers now have dashes. A much-anticipated feature, dashed lines allow you to simplify your drawings with effective drawing communication. Learn how to use dashed lines and make your drawings communicate more effectively.

Dashed lines

The Tape Measure tool got a face-lift this year. Now you can see measurement info right where you’re modelling. Model more accurately — and more efficiently — right where you’re working.

Tape Measure tool


In both SketchUp and LayOut, improvements have been made to the .dwg import and export feature. Including but not limited to support for AutoCAD 2018 file format, increased precision and stability. There is now the added ability to import and export with materials for better BIM interoperability and workflows using the .dwg format.

The handshake between SketchUp and LayOut has also improved by creating an “Export for SketchUp” feature for the .dwg exporter that sends all LayOut entities along with any SketchUp viewport data to the model space. Now any filled shape created in LayOut will be passed over to SketchUp as face ready to be Push/Pull’d. So now, SketchUp & LayOut work even better together.

LayOut will also now let you know which files are already open so you’re not creating multiple versions.
Also new this year, an easy way to learn the basics of LayOut.  It’s time to go 2D: What are you waiting for?

SketchUp Campus

Better than textbooks: the official learning hub is here. SketchUp-built courses, all created by the SketchUp in-house team, make learning SketchUp convenient and simple. Plus, more content is always being uploaded

SketchUp Campus: One stop learning shop

No matter your skill level, SketchUp Campus guides you through official SketchUp training with different tracks and sequential courses to get you up to speed. The classes consist of short videos and quizzes that make learning topics such as Rendering, LayOut, and SketchUp Fundamentals, fun, quick, and easy.
Learn more about SketchUp Campus, or dive right in!

3D Warehouse

With millions of models and 17 languages, it’s not always easy to find exactly what you’re looking for on 3D Warehouse. Say ‘hello’ to categories! This update boasts better browsing, search refinement, subcategories, and filtering by real products. This year, 3D Warehouse enables you to spend less time searching and more time creating.

Head to the warehouse to give it a try!

That’s a whole lot of new things for you to explore. Ready for the new SketchUp? Contact us or visit our website.

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Why Go Pro?

What’s the difference between SketchUp Free and SketchUp Pro?

First things first – SketchUp Free is for non-commercial use ONLY. If you are using SketchUp commercially, you will need to purchase a licence of SketchUp Pro.

If you’re not using Pro, you’re missing out on a range of features designed for producing professional-grade work.

SketchUp Free is a very capable and powerful tool for drawing in 3D, so why would you want to upgrade to SketchUp Pro? Here are our pick of the key features that SketchUp Pro can offer:

  • Design Presentation Features

Rendering and Walk-through Animations in High Resolution

Imagine shrinking into a tiny person and jumping into your computer to check out (or show off) your 3D models.That’s basically what SketchUp’s walkthrough tools enable you to do. But instead of altering your entire body composition, you just click a few tools — namely the Position Camera, Look Around, and Walk tools.

SketchUp can animate scenes of a 3D model. Animations are a great way to show off your model from different angles or share shadow studies. For example, say you create a scene with a morning shadow, another scene with a noon shadow, and a third with an evening shadow. With SketchUp’s animation feature, you can watch the shadow transition from morning to evening. Then there’s rendering; that’s what’s really going to bump up your whole game.

Rendering using SU Podium

Design Presentations with LayOut and Create Detailed Construction Documents

We’ve written at length before on LayOut. LayOut and SketchUp Pro are designed to work together. Obviously we use 2D drawings to convey design and details when presenting work to clients. However, LayOut is the most efficient way to turn SketchUp models into diagrams, drawings, CD sets, presentations, or even just scaled prints. With SketchUp and LayOut, there’s no need for ourher providers; it does it all. We love it and so will you.

LayOut and SketchUp

  • Workflow Features

Start from As-Built Drawings

With Pro, import whatever drawings you like.

Export to Other Software

SketchUp plays nicely with all the others out there.

  • Pro Power Tools

Sandbox Tools

This is native to Pro. Terrain is important to many SketchUp modellers: Your building needs ground to stand on, or maybe you’re modelling the ground itself to create a landscape. But wait. SketchUp’s Sandbox tools — the tools you use to model terrain — can also create forms completely unrelated to terrain. How can terrain include all these other possibilities? The secret is in the hidden geometry. When you’re modelling terrain (or other shapes) with the Sandbox tools, you’re technically sculpting a special type of geometry called a TIN, or triangulated irregular network. That’s a fancy way of saying, “a group comprised of triangles.”

Solid Tools

With SketchUp’s Solid tools, you can create new shapes by combining or cutting one shape with another, making it easy to model an outer shell or joinery. SketchUp’s Solid tools work only on SketchUp solids. In SketchUp, a solid is any 3D model (component or group) that has a finite closed volume. A SketchUp solid cannot have any leaks (missing faces or faces that do not meet at an edge).

Dynamic Component Tools

SketchUp components enable you to reuse objects. For example, pretty much every building has at least one door and window. Instead of modelling these common objects, you can insert a component that someone else has already made. Hours, if not days, of work time saved with this one feature alone.

Advanced Camera Tools

The Advanced Camera Tools (ACT) are designed for people in the film and television industry who use SketchUp pro to create storyboards, design sets, visualize scenes, and plan locations. Use ACT to place real-world cameras in your SketchUp models and preview real camera shots.


Feast your eyes on this. Extensions bring SketchUp Pro to a whole new fun and efficient way of working. Have a read of our pick of the best free extensions in Pro here.

The Extension Warehouse. All this could be yours! But only with Pro 😉

Questions about SketchUp Free? SketchUp Pro? Send them our way!

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Get Speedy with SketchUp: Our Top 5 Tips

We’re all familiar with the old adage, ‘seconds turn into minutes and minutes turn into hours.’ So no matter if you’ve been using SketchUp for years or are a newcomer, we’ve compiled five of our favourite tips that will get you designing smarter – and faster.


  • Use the Shortcuts

Yep, we’re going with the most obvious one first. SketchUp comes with a predefined set of shortcuts, but you can customise these to best suit you. Using shortcuts will help you work faster, make your user interface cleaner, and allow for more screen space for you to model. When shortcuts are used efficiently, they’ll enable you to skip menus and toolbars and boost productivity. Some SketchUp users tell us they barely even use the standard menu for their work and keeping only those related to plug-ins that can’t be conveniently switched to a shortcut. Need more information on customizing the keyboard? Have a look here.

  • Guidelines are your friends

Actually, maybe they’re better than your friends. Unless your friends happen to be multi-directional and infinitely flexible, too. They really are an amazing tool for speeding up your workflow unless you have super-human abilities to mentally visualize the model you’re working one (if you do, tell us how!). Add parallel guidelines and check distances using the Tape Measure tool. Check angles and set slopes using the Protractor tool. Added bonus: Too many guidelines? Just clear ’em all out with one shortcut and start all over again.

  • Group first, Layer later

Remembering ‘group first, layer later’ is an excellent rule of thumb when using SketchUp. By grouping first you can separate your geometry while also ensuring that the base geometry of the grouped object stays on Layer0. Having two levels of information separation allows it to be enhanced by using the scene system for more than just saving viewpoints.

  • Photo Matching

Success in using SketchUp’s photo matching relies on two things. First, you must ensure you’re using unedited original photography. Second, you need to ensure your model matches the scale of the subjects in the photo. A further tip is to get the camera’s focal length to match to the photo you’ve selected. To do this, place your yellow origin mark at the spot on the photo where you will place your model. From there, align the green and red axes to the features of the subjects in the photo to ensure everything is following the same direction.

  • Get in the habit of Good Housekeeping

Because SketchUp models save all the information inside the file, you’ll need to keep this in mind – the information stays inside even if you delete it from the workspace. This can clearly slow down your file performance. Therefore, a good tip is to do some regular housekeeping in order to keep your workflow speedy and snappy. To clean the excess element, go to ‘Purge Unused’ command in the components, material and layers.


So there we have it. Five of our favourite tips for speeding up your SketchUp workflow.
Let us know in the comments if you have a great tip to share!


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SketchUp + SU Podium

These images show how invaluable SketchUp can prove to be at the early stages of design, through to manufacture and fit out. The model was produced in SketchUp, and then rendered in SU Podium.

Credit to James Ogston from our UK reseller, SEE-IT-3D, who created these images for Simply Ace, a display and signage company.

(click images to view full size)

About Elmtec

Elmtec have been the UK distribution partner for SketchUp since 2010, and service a network of UK and Irish resellers. We have over 22 years’ experience within the digital design community.

Contact Us

T: 01844 263750
E: sales@elmtec.co.uk
W: www.elmtec.co.uk/sketchup