We teased you for the last few weeks showing you how we were installing plugins directly into SketchUp. Now we are pleased to announce that the SketchUcation Plugin Store is now available for the community!
There's lots of cool features we added over the last few months to help SketchUp users search for and install plugins that are part of SketchUcation folklore. Not only that, but installing is just a simple click, no more dragging and dropping files and folders.
To find out all the details about this new tool just follow the read more link below. You'll see why we are so excited about what make this tool awesome!
If you are new to the big bad world of plugins then I recomment you take a look at our tutorial on installing plugins for beginners. Seasoned veterans can scroll down to the end of this article to see to grab the download link.
First up is the Search feature at the top of the window. Just input a keyword to return a list of plugins associated to that word.
Below the search box are 2 filter menus to really help you to dial into the tool you need. There's over 150 plugin authors to choose from and we've already catalogued nearly 600 plugins. The category list is currently very focussed with the aim that community members will help to grow the category tags overtime.
Each plugin has been laid to be as clear and concise as possible. You have the author's name followed by the plugin's name and below that a short description of the tools use.
Next up is where the magic happens. To the right you can see either 2 or 3 buttons depending on the author. Firstly there's an AutInstall button. That's right! You can install plugins directly from within SketchUp that are currently hosted as SketchUcation.
After downloading you will see 2 popups. The first popup is the default warning SketchUp gives making sure you want to install this awesome new tool.
Immediately after that you get a second popup. This allows you the save a backup of the plugin to your local drive. Maybe you want to tweak it, send it to a friend or just keep a copy for safety? The option is there for you to decide....
The More Info button does exactly what you would expect. It launches your Internet Browser and brings you direct to the SketchUcation where you can find out more about the tool and if you run into any difficulties get support from the community.
Finally, there is the Donate button. This is something we felt that was most important for the authors of all these wonderful tools. The really cool thing is that you can donate directly to the authors PayPal account from with the Plugin Store tool. SketchUcation does not receive a single penny it is 100% in favour of the author of the tool. Some tools you'll notice have no donate buttons as it is entirely up to the author if the button appears or not. But if you want to grab some good karma once in a while make it worthwhile for authors by sending a token of thanks now and again.
There's also some added features to the Plugin Store that aren't immediately obvious. Some users don't, by defaullt, use the plugins folder that SketchUp uses as the place to host plugins. Our tool recognizes these settings and will install plugins where YOU want not where SketchUp wants. This is really useful in big offices or Universities where SketchUp folder access is restricted and the users must have their own folders for their own scripts. Or if users keep a central plugins folder accessed from several networked PCs.
Overall, we are super excited about our Plugin Store and so should you. You can download it for free and started browsing, installing and donating straight away. Enjoy!
Written by Rich O'Brien - Rich is SketchUcation's Managing Director and Certified SketchUp Trainer. He has a background in aviation technical training and is also the editor of CatchUp WebMag.