Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Dave R » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:57 pm

Installing plugins from ZIP files isn't really very difficult but it seems to cause a lot of folks trouble. If they are to work, plugins must be installed correctly. In most plugin files that are offered in the .ZIP format there is a script file with the extension .rb or .rbs which refers to or points to other files that are commonly in a folder. The script file will not look anywhere else for those files. If the files aren't located where the script expects them, it won't work. Also, folders must be named exactly the same as they are in the ZIP file.

When preparing to install a plugin from a ZIP file, take a moment to look at the file structure. In this screen grab I've opened TIG's 2D Tools ZIP file.
snap038.jpg

You can see there are two .rb files and a folder. When extracted to the Plugins folder, these files must look exactly the same. The contents of the folder must remain in the folder and that folder's name must be identical.

Some users have reported that the Windows utility for extracting the contents of ZIP files can deconstruct folders which results in the contents of the folder being extracted to the wrong location. If you are running into that use something like 7-zip. On a Mac, just double click on the ZIP file to open it, copy the contents and paste them to the Plugins folder making sure you've maintained the file structure. If you do that, you shouldn't have any difficulty in getting plugins to work and toolbars to display.

Finally, when downloading the plugin in the first place, read the first post to see if there are any special requirements such as supporting files which must also be downloaded and installed. These are also required for the plugin to function.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby rocorona » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:15 am

A simple and safe way, for me, is to select everithing in the zipped file, drag and drop all to the Plugin folder.
drag.png
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby mitcorb » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:35 pm

I do not wish to confuse the issue. And you can remove this posting if it does just that.

I have had no difficulties to date with placing a copy of the zipfile in the Plugins folder, right clicking on the zipfile, selecting from the flyout menu either Winzip or 7zip and clicking on that, another flyout appears with a selection list, one of which is "Extract to here". The contents are appropriately placed in the Plugins folder.

I then have the option to delete the zipfile.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Dave R » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:20 pm

mitcorb, that's just fine. The key point I was trying to make is that the once the files are in the Plugins folder, the file structure must be identical to that in the original ZIP file. The vast majority of the time when posters report that they've installed the plugin and it doesn't work, it's because they've not installed it correctly.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Jim » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:31 pm

Dave R wrote:mitcorb, that's just fine. The key point I was trying to make is that the once the files are in the Plugins folder, the file structure must be identical to that in the original ZIP file. The vast majority of the time when posters report that they've installed the plugin and it doesn't work, it's because they've not installed it correctly.


Correct. The most common problem by far is that the user's un-archiving software "flattens" the files and folders when extracting them. It is critical when extracting the .zip to find and select the "preserve folder hierarchy" (or similar) option no matter what software you use to extract the plugins with.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby thomthom » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:38 am

Jim wrote:
Dave R wrote:mitcorb, that's just fine. The key point I was trying to make is that the once the files are in the Plugins folder, the file structure must be identical to that in the original ZIP file. The vast majority of the time when posters report that they've installed the plugin and it doesn't work, it's because they've not installed it correctly.


Correct. The most common problem by far is that the user's un-archiving software "flattens" the files and folders when extracting them. It is critical when extracting the .zip to find and select the "preserve folder hierarchy" (or similar) option no matter what software you use to extract the plugins with.

Or, the extractor wraps everything in an extra folder with the same name as the zip file.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby simonoz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:14 am

Where do I find the plugins folder??? When I go to _Applications,Google Sketchup8_ there is only the application in there. I am using Mac osX Sketchup8.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Gaieus » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:45 am

Hi Simon,

I am on a PC but I believe on the Mac, the folder is here (where # is your SU version):
Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp #/SketchUp/Plugins
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby simonoz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:04 am

Ok, thanks...now....how do I make the plugin active. I have downloaded and installed FredoScale 2.1a – 12 Jan 11 and LibFredo6 3.6b, then restarted sketchup8, but cant find what to do next :roll:
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Gaieus » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:18 am

Did you also properly unzip them into the folder? (The zip files won't work).

If yes, restart SU. FredoScale needs to be activate under Preferences (SketchUp menu on the Mac) > Extensions. If you activated it, restart SU again and you should fin the plugin menu under Tools > Fredo Collection (or activate its toolbar - that is different from the PC version I have so I do not know where it is on the Mac).
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby simonoz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:03 am

There is no sign of Fredoscale in the extensions folder of SU preferences after restarting SU.
SU preferences window.png
I must be missing something else?
Screen shot_finder window.png
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Gaieus » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:29 am

You should move these files I marked one level higher (don't know about LibFredo - probably the same). You seem to have unzipped them in a way that the container zip archive became a containing folder.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby simonoz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:37 am

just like magic, many thanks
Screen shot 2011-04-09 at 4.34.32 PM.png
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Gaieus » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:37 am

:thumb: :enlight:
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby rscottsc » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:57 pm

I'm having a devil of a time getting the clean up plugin TT_Lib2 to load and run. I have read your tutorial and it appears that I'm missing something obvious, (not seeing the forest for the trees problem).

I have unzipped the zip file into /plugins to no avail. I also copied the TT_Lib2 into the /plugins folder..no luck. I've closed and reopened Sketchup.8, but see no evidence of the plugin in tools or in the extensions folder.

I'd appreciate any guidance you can give me. Sorry for my Duhh factor.

Here is the Win Zip and XP explorer folders view.

Thanks Richard
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby rscottsc » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:17 am

Hi, I'm a newbie and have a question about getting plugin's to load and run. Please excuse my duhh! factor. I'm an old dog trying to learn some new tricks. In this case making drawings to send to the Patent Office.

I've read your tutorial on installing and running plugins, but I'm missing the obvious me thinks. I'm trying to get the clean up plugin TT_Lib2 to run. I've unzipped the TT_Lib2 folder into the plugins folder. I also tried copying the file into the plugin folder, sadly, to no avail.

Any help you can give me will be very much appreciated.

Here is a screen grab of the winzip folder and Win XP explorer files.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Gaieus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:19 am

Richard,

In that second screenshot, it seems that the TT_Lib library is installed correctly. Did you also install the tt_cleanup.rb plugin into the Plugins folder?
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby rscottsc » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:20 pm

Thank you for getting back to me Gaieus.

My Sketchup 8.0 finally found it's legs I guess. The cleanup plugin inexplicably starting working last night when I opened a new window, (which I had done numerous times before). I now have a new "Plugins" selection in the tool bar menu. Nice!

Problem solved...for that one anyway.

However, now I can't get the Shape Bender plugin to work. I get, "Error Loading File clf_shape_bender_loader.rb
no such file to load -- progressbar.rb", when I open a new window.

Any suggestions?

BTW, This is my first post here. I've not found a need to make posts as I have easily found answers to my previous challenges, (and then some), here in Sketch Ucation. I very much appreciate all of the time and effort you folks put into helping myself and others, get started.

Richard

Here is the explorer screen grab.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Gaieus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:22 pm

And here is the missing file:
http://www.smustard.com/script/ProgressBar

(Chris mentions this in his post where he published the shape-bender plugin!).

Also, watch the video tutorials there as there are some tricks and staps that you need to follow in order to successfully use that plugin.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby TIG » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:25 pm

As explained on the 'shape_bender' download page [ :roll: ] you also need progressbar.rb... which is free to download from 'Smustard.com'...........
Get it, install it and restart Sketchup.
That problem is gone... :D

Dam' Csaba beat me to it...
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby rscottsc » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:32 pm

Thanks fellas. I'm in business.

Sorry, I didn't read the instructions earlier....I'm learning...albeit sloowly.

Richard
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby RPeM » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:14 pm

simonoz wrote:There is no sign of Fredoscale in the extensions folder of SU preferences after restarting SU.
SU preferences window.png
I must be missing something else?
Screen shot_finder window.png


Pretty much the same questions as posted by "Simonz" but your answers to him have not lead me to a conclusion. Also on a Mac, using SU version 8. My first attempt at using rubyscripts. Have been trying to open Curviloft & LIBFREDO6. It is my understanding that just dropping the downloaded folders into my plugins folder will unzip them. Is that correct? If so, how do I access them in SU?

If they are still to be unzipped, how do I go about doing that? The instructions provided by FREDO don't translate to a Mac - I have no EXTRACT command.

When I launch SU and open extensions I don't see Ruby Examples or anything related to the newly downloaded plugins. Obviously missing something but I'll stop writing now and open my mind to your instructions. Thank you very much for being willing to help us out of our SketchUp/computer quagmires.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby TIG » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:18 pm

:roll:
Dropping a downloaded zip file into a Plugins folder will NOT unzip it - it's not 'magic'.
Also unzipping the contents of a zip file into a new folder and then dropping that new folder into a Plugins folder will not work either!

Please reread guidance AND the installation notes that come with each tool...

Some scripts are simple lone .rb files and these are simply put into the Plugins folder.
A tool of complexity needs helpers... these come in a zipped set of files...

A zip file [almost always] contains one or more .rb/.rbs files [loaders and helpers] AND a subfolder [and even some subfolders within that]... the subfolder[s] will contain other files - like helpers/tools as .rb/.rbs files, and .html/.css/.js files to make dialogs, or .png/.jpg image files to use as toolbar buttons or cursors etc etc...

When you 'extract' all of the files/folders from a zip file they should be extracted into a temporary folder [usually named after the zip's name], keeping their relative locations in their own subfolders as applicable etc. Then the contents of this temporary folder should be moved into the Plugins folder - keeping any files that are inside subfolders in those subfolders, just as they were in the zip file. When the tool runs it will look for its 'helpers' in that subfolder and if they are not there then it won't work!

Another way to do it [when you have confidence] is to open the zip file window and select all of the files and subfolders [at the base level], and drag+drop them all into Plugins, again keeping the files in their relative positions in any subfolders etc...

It really is not that complicated...

Once the files/subfolders are in the Plugins folder they will auto-load when Sketchup is restarted. You do nothing to load a .rb/.rbs file from Plugins - it's automatic at startup, IF everything is properly installed.

Depending on the tool then it is accessed in one or more of several ways - see the notes relating to each tool.

Most tools will appear as a new item [or submenu item] in the 'Plugins' menu, or sometimes in other menus that the author considers better suited to the tool - like 'Tools' or 'View'.
Some tools will have a toolbar - available under View > Toolbars, that has to be activated initially.
Some tools are 'Extensions' that can be switched on/off, and this type will need activating initially from Preferences > Extension before they are then available as a menu item or toolbar.
Some tools are only accessed from a right-click context-menu - which will appear if you have selected the appropriate type of entity/entities etc...
A few other tools will only run if you type their special 'command' into the Ruby Console, and a few more are 'helper' scripts to other tools, and these never appear in their own right, but they do assist in providing support functions like 'progress-bars' etc...
Please note when downloading if a tool's notes says it requires another script or 'library' [folder of scripts] to be installed to support it. Some more complex tools will need these, and they do not always come 'prepackaged' in the zip, but rather they require you to get the additional parts yourself from linked posts or sites... If you don't install them then the new tool won't work... :roll:

Please carefully read the installation and usage notes for each file! :D
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Dave R » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:43 pm



Here's a screen shot of Finder on my Mac. I've navigated to where the downloaded ZIP file went for Tools on Surface. You can see that I've actually downloaded it twice and in this case I've highlighted the second copy. Extraction to the Plugins folder is simple. Highlight the folders and files shown in the rightmost column. I've circled them here. Copy them (use Command-C or right click and choose Copy). Next, navigate to the Plugins folder which is under MacIntosh HD/Library/Application Support... When you get to the Plugins folder, highlight Plugins and either right click and choose Paste or hit Command-V. Done.

The files and folders should look identical to the way they did in the downloaded file.

After you've done that, open SketchUp. If you aren't sure about it, go to SketchUp>Preferences>Extensions and look to see if there's a related box there to check. If there is one, tick it.

Finally, check to see if the plugin is now available. Read the documentation for the plugin to see where it will show up. Even though they all go into the Plugins folder, they won't always show in the Plugins menu.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Dave R » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:51 pm

Did you enable it under SketchUp (left of File)>Preferences>Extensions? You need to tick the box for it.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby congellous » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:43 am

I have the same problem OSX SU8 Libfredo06, Fredoscale 2.2a 24Jul 11.zip
I can't get it to show up in the extensions
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Dave R » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:38 pm

Stanley, post a screen shot of Finder showing the Plugins folder on your computer.
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby congellous » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:08 pm

Screen shot 2012-01-16 at 20.05.12.png
is this the bit where I expose myself as being a numpty ?
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby Dave R » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:11 pm

Well....

What's with "bootstrap_FredoScale.rb and bootstrap_RoundCorner.rb? Try changing their names to eliminate "bootstrap_" and restart SketchUp. Any change?
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Re: Zipped Plugins -- A Guide to Installing Them

Postby congellous » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:47 pm

Err.. don't Know what the bootstrap thing was but I've got rid and it still aint finding it ??
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