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Setting Preferences

In the LayOut Preferences dialog box, you can set global preferences for companion applications, backups, default folders, and more.

To open the LayOut Preferences dialog box, select Edit > Preferences (Microsoft Windows) or LayOut > Preferences (Mac OS X). When you’re done selecting preferences options, click the Close button.

The following sections cover most of the preference panes, but for details about Presentation preferences, see Presenting Your LayOut Project. For details about Scales preferences, see Editing a SketchUp Model’s View and Style Settings in LayOut. The Shortcuts preferences are covered in Adding and Editing Keyboard Shortcuts.

Applications preferences

Select Applications in the sidebar on the left of the LayOut Preferences dialog box to set the following preferences:

  • Default image editor: Click the Choose button and navigate to your preferred image-editing application. You can insert images into LayOut or use images as patterns.
  • Default text editor: Click the Choose button and navigate to your preferred application for editing text files. If you extract text from LayOut, the text opens in the application specified in this preference setting.

Backup preferences

As you work on any LayOut document, by default, LayOut is backing up your work in a backup file. On this preferences pane, you can select the following options:

  • Choose whether LayOut creates a backup file: By default, LayOut creates the backup, but you can tell it not to by deselecting the Create Backup File When Saving checkbox (Microsoft Windows) or the Create Backup checkbox (Mac OS X). If you ever need the backup file, you can find in the same folder where the LayOut document file is saved.
  • Set Auto-Save preferences: By default, LayOut automatically saves your work every 5 minutes. When auto-saving is enabled, you can type a value or click the up or down arrows to set how frequently LayOut auto-saves. To make LayOut stop automatically saving, deselect the Auto-Save checkbox. If LayOut ever quits abruptly, you can find your last auto-saved file among your Recent files when you relaunch LayOut.

Folders preferences

LayOut has default folders for templates, scrapbooks, and pattern-fill images. To change the default folder locations, use Folders preferences pane, as shown in the following figure.

You can manage LayOuts default folders for templates, scrapbooks, and pattern-fill images.

For each folder, you can do the following:

  • Add a folder location: Click the + button, and in the dialog box that appears, navigate to and select the folder you want to add. Or click Make a New Folder if your desired folder doesn’t already exist. Click OK (Microsoft Windows) or Open (Mac OS X) when you’re done, and the folder location appears in the list box.
  • Remove a folder location: Select a folder path in the list box and click the - button to remove the folder from the list box.
  • Restore the defaults: Click the Restore Defaults button to restore the default locations and remove any custom locations that you’ve added.

General preferences

Here you set how LayOut renders SketchUp model entities and the color of the handles on the selection box in the drawing area.

By default, LayOut renders SketchUp model entities as needed, but if your model is large, rendering can take awhile. To tell LayOut to stop automatically rendering, deselect the Automatically Re-render SketchUp Models As Needed checkbox. For an introduction to rendering SketchUp model entities, see Managing Changes and Updates to SketchUp Files within LayOut.

When you select entities in the drawing area with the Select tool (), a blue selection box appears with tools and handles for arranging, moving, rotating, and scaling entities. To change the color of the box’s tools and handles, click the color well in the Tool Color area and choose a new color in the Colors panel. You can reset the color to the default blue by clicking the Reset button.

If you adjust the colors of SketchUp's modeling cues on the Accessibility Preferences pane, you see your preferred colors in LayOut, too. Specifically, in LayOut, these colors appear when you're editing in a SketchUp model viewport and when inference lines appear for the x or y axis or for parallel or perpendicular lines. For details about the Accessibility Preferences pane in SketchUp, see Changing colors of selected items and other on-screen aids in the SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro area of the Help Center.

Startup preferences

The Startup pane tells LayOut what to do when you first open the application. You can also set a few options for how the application window appears. Last but not least, this pane is where you find preferences for software updates.

Your Startup preferences options are different for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, so here you see the options for your current operating system.

In the Startup area of the pane, you set what LayOut does when you start the application. Select one of the following radio buttons:

  • Create a new document: Select the Create a New Document radio button to create a new document when starting LayOut.
  • Reopen files from last session: Select the Re-open Files from Last Session radio button, and LayOut opens the files that were open the last time you closed LayOut.

  • Don’t open anything: When the Don’t Open Anything radio button is selected, LayOut doesn’t open any files on startup.

In the Software Updates area, Automatically Check for Updates is selected. To turn off this feature, deselect the checkbox.

In the New Document area, you can tell LayOut what you’d like it to do when you create a new document, whether that document is created by launching LayOut or by selecting File > New. Select one of the following radio buttons:

  • Open Getting Started: When this option is selected (it’s the default), the Getting Started dialog box appears whenever you create a new document. For details about this dialog box, see Creating and Saving a LayOut Document.

  • Create a Blank New Document: When this radio button is selected, LayOut creates a new, blank document on startup, bypassing the Getting Started dialog box.
  • Use Default Template to Create a New Document: Select this option to bypass the Getting Started dialog box and create a new document based on a specific template. To select the template you want to use, click the Choose button and select your desired template. See Creating and Saving a LayOut Document for details about selecting a preset or custom template. For help creating a custom template, see Creating a Template in LayOut.

At the top of the Startup pane, you can select one of three radio buttons to set what LayOut does when you start the application:

  • Prompt for Template: When this radio button is selected, you see the Getting Started dialog box, where you can select a preset or custom template. Creating and Saving a LayOut Document explains how to navigate this dialog box.
  • Blank Document: Select this radio button, and LayOut creates a new blank document every time you start the application, bypassing the Getting Started dialog box.
  • Use Selected Template: When you select this radio button, LayOut creates a new blank document based on a template you specify. After you select the radio button, click the Choose button and select a preset or custom template in the dialog box that appears.

In the Main Window area, you can set how the main window appears:

  • Select the Cascade Main Windows checkbox to open new document windows so that they’re offset from each other.
  • When you click the Save Current Window Size button, LayOut uses the current window size for any future new documents that you create.

In the Software Updates area, Automatically Check for Updates is selected. To turn off this feature, deselect the checkbox.

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