SketchUp Extensions

A handful of useful extensions for SketchUp 2017+.

  • Hide Back Faces (back-face culling)
  • State Machines
  • Exact Measurement (Windows only, WIP)
  • Fly Tool (Windows only, no longer in development)

install.ps1 can be used to install all plugins for SketchUp 2017 (you will need to restart SketchUp). You can modify the script if you have a different version.

Hide Back Faces

Adds a toggle under the Extensions menu which hides the back sides of faces – this is also known as “back-face culling.” As you orbit/pan around the scene, faces will be continuously updated. This is especially useful for working with interior spaces, or previewing how a model will appear in game engines that render single-sided polygons. You can reverse faces (by right clicking and choosing “Reverse Faces”) to flip which side is considered “front.”

Hide Back Faces only applies to untagged faces (aka “Layer 0”), and doesn’t apply to groups or components unless you edit them. Selected faces will also be kept visible.

The extension works by moving all hidden faces to a separate, hidden tag. The faces are only updated when you move the camera or change selection. They may get out of sync while using other tools; just move the camera slightly to update.

You can use Sketchup’s shortcut preferences to attach a shortcut to the menu item. I recommend “Shift-K,” which mirrors the “K” shortcut for viewing Back Edges. You may also find it useful to attach a shortcut to “Reverse Faces.”

Known issues

These are a result of the limitations of Ruby extensions.

  • If you undo a command while Hide Back Faces is enabled, it will temporarily pause to avoid clearing Redo commands. It resumes automatically when you make any other change.
  • Select All and box-select will only select visible faces. (Triple-clicking will select all connected faces, even hidden.)
  • It can be slow with large numbers of faces in a single object