As a former Google product, it's little surprise that SketchUp Pro offers an extremely user-friendly interface and cutting-edge graphic representations to help you produce virtual designs. One quick try of this Mac home design software reveals an intuitive, free-flowing system that is typical of the best products made for design-ready Apple computers.
SketchUp Pro earns our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award. It utilizes the Google 3D Warehouse, also known as the Trimble 3d Warehouse, which is comprised of millions of models and objects shared by other SketchUp users, to provide perhaps the most extensive object library on the planet. SketchUp was invented by @Last Software in 2000 and acquired by Google in 2006. Google sold it to Trimble Navigation in April 2012.
The software lacks a few design capabilities held by our top two products, as well as editable home plans and editable room templates. It also lacks automatic floor plan dimensioning and a feature to estimate project costs.
SketchUp Pro includes 2D and 3D designs as well as various ways to view your designs. These include a 3D walkthrough and 3D fly-around, dollhouse views, wireframe views and custom animations.
This Mac home design software offers outdoor lighting simulation but no interior lighting simulation. It lets you create landscaping.
When choosing colors, SketchUp Pro makes it easy to view different schemes and patterns. By holding the Shift key when painting in one scene, for example, you can change all colors of the same type at once, whether those colors are contiguous or not.
This software offers a helpful Instructor window to the right of the interface. Click on a tool in the toolbar and the Instructor tells you how to use that tool. Like many Mac programs, the tools are simple and easy to use.
SketchUp's array of finely focused tools makes it powerful software. Tools include a Paint Bucket, Eraser, Rectangle, Lines, Circle/Polygon, Arc, Freehand, Move, Push Pull, Rotate, Follow Me, Scale, Offset, Tape Measure, Dimensioning, Protractor, Text & 3D Text, Axes, Navigation, Position Camera/Look Around, Walk and Sections, which lets you create cutaway sections of your designs.
The Push Pull tool lets you move surfaces in or out, and expand or make them smaller – all in 3D. The Orbit tool lets you spin your designs in any direction, and the Pan tool lets you move your model from side to side. The Zoom tool lets you zoom in and out. You operate all three of these navigation tools with the scroll wheel on your Mac mouse.
SketchUp Pro's line tool automatically finds the midpoint of a wall or line. You can use the Offset tool to create depth and add dimension to doors, windows, overhangs and more. The Follow Me tool lets you create design elements and wrap them around corners, such as courses of exterior brick, and the Lines tool follows parallel inferences to ensure that lines are parallel throughout your designs, such as roof lines, building lines and more. The Infer tool lets you adjust walls, panels and elements to the same depths or protrusions.
As mentioned above, SketchUp Pro gives you access to millions of models and objects in the online Google Warehouse. This includes every item on our matrix, plus many more. The collaborative nature of the Google Warehouse, which gives you access to other models created by other SketchUp users, is truly a great benefit befitting the true openness of the world wide web.
Key objects offered in this home design software for Mac include appliances, indoor and outdoor furniture, windows, doors, cabinets, stairs, flooring, roofing materials, houseplants and railings. There are indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures, ramps, trees and shrubs, sidewalks and patio blocks.
SketchUp Pro may not offer an in-program manual, but the tools are simple and easy to use, and the handy Instructor, mentioned above, gives brief explanations of how each tool operates. There is an online manual, along with video tutorials and community forums to help you better use SketchUp Pro. There is no telephone or email support.
SketchUp Pro has all the earmarks of fluid and intuitive home design software for Mac. Its interface and tools are cutting-edge and easy to use. It offers access to the Google Warehouse with millions of objects for use in your designs, as well as models created by other SketchUp Pro users. It lacks wizards to build roofs and houses, as well as cost estimation and editable room templates, but overall, this product lets you design intelligent displays of virtual homes.
This software's fluid design capabilities and perhaps the largest object library in the world make SketchUp Pro a top choice for Mac home design software.
The software lacks house-builder and roofing wizards, as well as project cost estimation.
You can't go wrong with this product if you're a fan of smooth computer designs and usability. It's made in the tradition of Mac modernity.